Liz Butcher - Powerful, Gripping YA Horror
Liz Butcher resides in Australia, with her husband, daughter, and two cats. She's a self-confessed nerd with a BA in psychology and an insatiable fascination for learning. When she's not writing or spending time with her family, Liz enjoys road trips, astronomy, music, and knitting. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, LeRoux Manor.
Please give us a short introduction to what LeRoux Manor is about.
So good to be back! LeRoux Manor is about a teen named Camille who’s forced to leave her home and friends in Melbourne, Australia, and travel across the world to Woodville in the U.K. when her father inherits the family estate from his estranged uncle. As soon as they arrive, Camille can’t shake the feeling she’s being watched and when she finds old albums in the attic, she discovers that her ancestor was found murdered the day of the Manor launch, and his young daughter vanished without a trace.
What inspired you to write about a family manor inheritance?
I’ve always loved really old buildings, and unfortunately here in Australia we just don’t have anything like that. So I was eager to write a story set in an old estate, but I wanted to do something a little different too. I researched some of the manors in the U.K. and their layouts which was a lot of fun. I’ve always loved really old buildings, and unfortunately here in Australia we just don’t have anything like that. So I was eager to write a story set in an old estate, but I wanted to do something a little different too. I researched some of the manors in the U.K. and their layouts which was a lot of fun.
Why did you pick the small town of Woodville, England as the backdrop for this story?
I created a fictional town so I could map it out how I wanted, but I also wanted to create contrast between where Camille lived before, to where she lived at the Manor as a bit of a symbolic gesture.
Tell us more about Camille. What makes her tick?
She's very curious and intuitive and despite the scary things happening around her, she's driven by the truth and wanting to uncover the truth about what happened to her ancestor, Mena.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Not too many, to be honest! I love knitting, but writing is where I feel I shine the most.
How has your work at Horror Tree influenced your writing?
I loved working for the Horror Tree, but aside from conducting a few interviews myself, it was more of an administrative role, coordinating interviews and following up with authors etc. I was fortunate to cross paths with some fantastic authors.
What is the best writing advice you've received?
Invest in an amazing editor! They really are worth their weight in gold.
Do any of your characters ever take off on their own tangent, refusing to do what you had planned for them?
In every book. There's always one!
Why is LeRoux Manor a great Halloween read?
Halloween is the perfect time to read a scary book, for sure! Especially one that's not quite what it seems.
Tell us more about the novel and how it came about.
This is a little hard to answer without giving any spoilers away, haha! But aside from my fascination with old estates, there are other themes present in this book that I've always been drawn to.
Have you always known you wanted to be an author?
Off and on. I loved writing when I was a child, but it wasn't until I was in my 30s that I seriously pursued it.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I'm very organized and schedule my whole week out. I ghostwrite also, my days are usually mapped out depending on what client projects I'm working on as well as my own. I'm usually at my desk at 630 in the morning and finish at 4pm when I go and pick my daughter up.
What are you working on right now?
The final details for my next release, Never, Never, and a new series about a paranormal investigator with her own haunted past, and a surreal fantasy.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?