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Bethany author has stories included in 'Not Your Mother's Book' anthology


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Initial post: Jan 18, 2013 11:01:54 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 18, 2013 11:04:49 AM PST
Link to Middle-Grade book referred to in the article is Raptor Ravine

http://www.oregonlive.com/north-of-26/index.ssf/2013/01/bethany_author_jim_butler_has.html

BETHANY -- For most of his life, James L. Butler has been telling stories about growing up on a Michigan dairy farm with 40 cows. Only recently did the Bethany resident start to write those stories down, and two have been published in a new anthology titled "Not Your Mother's Book ... On Being a Stupid Kid" (Publishing Syndicate, October 2012).
The anthology features 59 stories by 52 authors. Dahlynn McKowen, who with her husband, Ken, created and publishes the "Not Your Mother's Book" series, called Butler's stories "too much fun." She hopes readers will be inspired by his and other tales in the book to remember "some of the crazy things they did when they were kids."

Butler's "crazy things" often involved his younger sister, Amy, whom he describes as his "best enemy" during most of his youth. "I was the one putting us in danger, and she was the one reporting on it," he said.

As an example, Butler cites one of his stories involving a rope, a barn and a daring leap from the hay loft. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt.

Butler, 60, works as a sales manager at Cummins Northwest, where he writes for the company newsletter. Over the years, he has also written for magazines, and he mentors aspiring writers, encouraging them to finish projects and improve their craft.

Of all his projects, Butler is proudest of the book he wrote and published a few years ago, "Raptor Ravine." It takes place in a small Oregon town inspired by Mist, which lies along the Nehalem Highway between Portland and Astoria. As he was writing, Butler often sought advice from his then-9-year-old son, Richard.

"We would read the dialogue out loud to each other," said Butler, who also solicited input from the kids on Richard's swim team.

Now 17 and a captain of the swim team at Jesuit High School where he is a senior, Richard said working with his dad helped him realize how books were written and how they ended up in libraries and bookstores.

"My major role was criticizing him and editing, and I could do that without getting in trouble," Richard said. "I would read a chapter and give him feedback on what was awkward and how 9-year-olds really talked."

Jim Butler has donated many copies of "Raptor Ravine" to school programs around Oregon. He said he especially cherished the memory of his visit to Mist Elementary, where first- through fifth-graders role-played scenes from the book for him.

Butler said he found time to write by working "in the cracks," which he defines as "any time you're not doing something important." For Butler, this means writing instead of watching television, while sitting in the cafeteria eating lunch and while riding on airplanes as he travels for work.

Butler may have even more reason to look for those cracks in the coming years. Ken McKowen suggested he write a whole series of chapter books based on his childhood antics on the Michigan farm. Butler has finished the first book and submitted it for McKowen to consider for publication. He also plans to send in more stories for future anthologies.

"Anyone who loves their craft, loves to share it," he said.

-- Cindy Hudson

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 19, 2013 1:27:05 AM PST
cathyr says:
1. Author Self Promo is against Amazon's ToS outside of Meet Our Authors discussion forum.

2. Reviews posted by the author as "customer reviews" are against Amazon's guidelines. Even if you are reposting them for someone else. They should go in the Editorial Reviews section.
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Discussion in:  Children's Books forum
Participants:  2
Total posts:  2
Initial post:  Jan 18, 2013
Latest post:  Jan 19, 2013

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