Niteblade Contributor Interview with Jacinta Butterworth

Today’s interview is with Jacinta Butterworth, a short story writer, who is someone you should keep your eye on. She’s been nominated or short listed for several prizes and I’m certain we’ll be hearing more about her work.

When did you first recognize yourself as a writer?


I don’t think I do. I was first published in 2006. After all this time I still tend to think of myself as somebody who writes, rather than a writer. Not that  there’s really a difference. It’s just that when I think of a writer I think of  somebody who writes all the time or has had a book published or gets paid  decently for their work. Maybe I’m just scared of taking myself seriously because then I can actually fail. Not that I can’t fail anyway. (In the back of my head there’s always this little voice whispering if I don’t believe I’m a  writer I’ll never be one. Too much Oprah I guess.)


What draws you to speculative fiction?


Speculative fiction lets me write about the real world in a creative way. For me, the best speculative fiction is written for young adults. I love The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan and Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.


Is there a piece of writing advice you’ve never followed?


Never use the second person. There was a time when I was obsessed  with it. In fact, my mantra was always use the second person. What else? Research publishers and publications fastidiously before you submit your work. Obviously I believe in researching publishers and publications generally but I try not to set my heart on one in particular before I submit my work. I’m a fan of the ‘shotgun approach’ – sending my work out far and wide with the belief I’ll get a hit sooner or later.


In the December 2010 issue of Niteblade, Rhonda chose to publish your story, “Love Affair“.  Is there a story behind how it came about?


“Love Affair” was the first story I ever had published. I wrote the story when I was about sixteen (I’m now twenty-four). I redrafted it and redrafted it before submitting it. I was super excited when cOck accepted the story for publication – not only was I going to be getting paid but the editors had  decided to use it to promote the anthology. The story later received an honourable mention in the best horror short story category at the 2006 Aurealis Awards. Finally, it was reprinted in Niteblade and nominated for the 2010 Pushcart Prize. I’m proud of it. It was a good first (and how often can you say that?).


What have you been working on lately?


I have been redrafting a handful of stories, writing a new one and looking forward to editing a young adult book I wrote last year.


Is there anything else you’d like to share with Niteblade’s readers?


One of my horror short stories was shortlisted for the 2010 Wet Ink Short Story Competition. You can read it here:

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Unless otherwise stated all books reviewed here were received free of charge from their author or publisher. This, of course, does not affect the content of our reviews.