Interview: Frank Butler, Author of “The Time Cage”

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Description: “It wasn’t the first time Patrick Martin woke up early and ended up at a 24-hour diner. It wasn’t the first time someone had tried to kill him there either. In fact, it wasn’t the first time he, or anyone else on Earth for that matter, had been alive. Though from that night forward, the unlikely and reluctant hero starts an incredible journey that reveals to him the true nature of time and the ancient hidden past as well as his unwitting role in saving humanity from the mortal prison of the time cage.”

It is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BFMDY0A.

About the Author

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
Right now I am writing science fiction and fantasy, but I’m open to just about everything. If I have an idea that intrigues me and I feel the urge to write, I am going to write about it no matter what the genre is.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have been interested in writing since I was in elementary school. I’ve always felt more comfortable with written communication than verbal communication. Writing allows me an outlet to put forth the ideas and emotions that I find difficult to talk about.

Who or what was your inspiration for writing?
My inspiration is really just to have a venue to express myself and bring my ideas to a wider audience. Also, when I wrote The Time Cage I told myself that I wanted to have fun writing it. I had written so many serious things before and I needed a break from that. I figured if I am going to enjoy writing it people will enjoy reading it.

Where do you get your daily dose of news?
Google News

Where do you hang out online? Website URL, author groups, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc?
I have a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/FrankButlerAuthor) and a Twitter account (@RealFrankButler)

Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I think one thing that people in general are surprised to know about me is that I used to take flying lessons. I think people don’t look at me as the type of person who could fly a plane.

Where are you from originally?
I’ve lived my whole life in New York and New Jersey in the New York City metro area.

Is there anything unique about your upbringing that you’d like to share with readers?
No. Despite what you may have heard there are no naked baby pictures of me. Trust me.

Your Writing Process

Why do you write?
I write for fun and a way to express myself.

What excites you about writing?
The fact that I get to express myself to so many people and just the general thrill of creating something.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I am not able to be an independent writer right now so my writing revolves around my work, not vice versa. I’d love someday for writing to pay the bills mainly for the reason so I could write some more. But I’m not there yet.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
I’m probably the one who needs the advice. I’m just getting started so I could make up something but I won’t.

What would you consider is your favorite part of a book to write? The beginning, the middle or the ending?
I think whenever you begin a book there is an excitement. Even though you may have an outline or plan things out or have a general idea in your head, there’s still the thrill of exploring the unknown when you start.

Do you listen to music or have another form of inspiration when you are writing?
I find it extremely difficult to write with distractions. I need everything to be quiet. There’s already a beat in my head that I’m writing to. I almost approach writing as if I’m playing a musical instrument.

What is the best and worst writing advice you have ever received?
I struggle with the “write what you know” mantra. For me writing is an exercise in exploring the unknown.

Do you have a system for writing? 
I’m really still trying to iron that out. I don’t have a set system now which makes things a bit chaotic and unorganized but also keeps things interesting. If I’m not interested in what I’m writing the readers won’t be interested.

Do you track work count or write a certain number of hours per day?
I try to do so many pages a day, though I realize life happens and some days I have to skip writing altogether.

What was the most uplifting moment you’ve experienced during your writing career?
My career’s just begun, so just seeing that people have enjoyed The Time Cage is a big thrill for me.

Your Books

Your book is about to be sent into the reader world, what is one word that describes how you feel?
Excited.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve only written one book so far called The Time Cage.

What can we look forward to in the upcoming months?
I have some ideas for more books so stay tuned.

What story haven’t you written yet but would like to?  Is there anything holding you back from writing it?
I’d like to write something that is epic in scope. The sheer size of the task though holds me back.

Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
They force me to sit down and write, which is good because no matter how creative you are if you are not at least somewhat disciplined no one is ever going to read your work. People can’t read what you don’t write.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?
It’s a living, breathing process. For The Time Cage, I had a general idea and then I started writing. When I got so far in writing the book, I took a step back and thought about things a bit. I wrote down questions that I had that I thought readers would have and answered them. Then I continued writing.

What was your first published work and when was it published?
My first published work is The Time Cage and it was published on Amazon in February.

Is there something special you do to celebrate when one of your books is released?
If the authorities are reading this I can assure you it is nothing illegal.

Your Characters

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
No character is an exact carbon copy of someone I know in real life. Even though The Time Cage is written in the first person, the main character is not an exact copy of me. I take bits and pieces of people’s characters I’ve met throughout my life and then implement them with every character in the book. I also tend to exaggerate those character traits to make things more interesting.

Is it hard coming up with names for your characters?
Yes! This is something I struggle with. I never know what to name a character.

Which of your stories would make a great movie?  Who’d play the lead roles?
I think The Time Cage would make a great movie but I have no idea who would play the lead roles.

Do you make a conscious decision to write a certain type of character with a certain occupation, or do the characters decide for themselves what they want to be?
I start with a prototype in my head and then the character evolves into whatever they are meant to be.

What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters?
I think I try to give me characters if not a sense of humor at least a sense of wit and when you bring two characters with wit together it makes it easy to write their dialogue.

Is there a character from one of your books that resonates deeply with you?
There is a character in my head that I’ve thought about writing in a future book, and he’s always evolving.

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