by Nicole Reitz
Fulton resident Erin Butler will become a published author in April. She recently signed a contract with publisher Evernight Teen for her debut novel, “Blood Hex.”
Butler was born in Louisiana, but moved to Phoenix during elementary school. She graduated from John C. Birdlebough High School in 2000 and earned a bachelor’s degree, studying literature with a minor in writing.
Butler has a master’s degree in library and information science and works part-time at the Central Library in Syracuse. At her job, Butler works mostly with teens.
Butler began writing her novel in 2009. The idea sprung from watching a piece on the history channel about ancient prophecies. Butler was fascinated by prophetess Mother Shipton, a contemporary woman who published her prophecies in rhyme and verse.
“I kept thinking about Mother Shipton and how cool her story was and my own story just bloomed from there,” said Butler.
Half of “Blood Hex” takes place in the past while the other half is set in the future. The story is about a curse that spans four centuries.
The original title for the book was “The Desk,” because an antique spinet desk inspired Butler to start writing her first novel-length work four years ago.
Butler went to an estate sale with her husband at the Battle Island Inn Bed & Breakfast and spotted an old spinet desk.
Knowing she wanted it, her husband went back to buy it for her.
Butler writes on the desk in her reading room. In the first drafts of “Blood Hex,” the desk was written into the story, carrying the essence of a witch’s curse.
At one point, the novel was also temporarily named “Cursed.” Ultimately, Butler chose the title “Blood Hex” because the curse in the novel has to do with family ties. Another word for “ancestry” is “blood,” she said.
The first draft of Butler’s novel was 55,000 words and was written in third person.
After querying agents and getting mixed feedback, Butler reworked her story in first person. She has also opened up the ending to a sequel.
When she started writing the book, the young adult market had not started blossoming yet. Butler decided to change the age of the main character from a college age woman to the voice of a teenager.
“I think I’ve rewritten ‘Blood Hex’ ten times,” said Butler.
Over the process of a few years, Bulter received three contract offers for the book. She decided to join with Evernight Teen, a newer publishing company that wanted her novel to promote their teen line. With Evernight Teen, Butler was able to release her novel sooner and was glad to be with a company who was willing to work with her.
It will be released in April for the Nook and Kindle. It will also be sold in paperback online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
“I can’t wait to get a physical copy of my book and be able to hold it,” said Butler. “I’ve only ever seen it on a screen.”
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