Kristin Butcher

Kristin Butcher

Author
Campbell River, BC
Awards

Chocolate Lily Award (Winner, 2006)

Chocolate Lily Award (Winner, 2011)

Silver Birch Award (Runner-up, 1998)

IODE Violet Downey Award (Runner-up, 2002)

Sheila Egoff Award (Short-listed, 2010)

Silver Birch Award/Red Cedar Award (Short-listed, 2010)

Diamond Willow Award (Short-listed, 2011)

CLA Book of the Year (Short-listed, 2003)

Snow Willow Award (Short-listed, 2015)

Genre

Teen Fiction (Hi-Lo) (Ages 12 and up)

Biography

I was born in Winnipeg in 1951, but moved to Victoria when I was five. I took my parents, sister, and brother with me. My parents bought two acres of land on Blenkinsop Road with an apple orchard, a wooded mini-mountain, a huge oak tree, and two friendly horses in a nearby pasture. There were also some not-quite-so-friendly highland cattle with very long, very sharp horns, which will no doubt turn up in one of my stories someday. Some of my favourite memories of that time include walking the rafters of the house my dad was building (when my parents weren’t looking, of course) and eating apples straight off the trees whenever I wanted—even when they were hard and green and super-sour.

I have always liked being on my own, so when I wasn’t playing with the neighbourhood children, I could be found designing houses (to scale!), doing crafts, reading, sketching, or just walking through the fields and woods—imagining.

Being a voracious reader naturally led to writing—poetry, stories, even magazines. When I was in grade 7, studying ancient Greece, I wrote an entire newspaper featuring my classmates as citizens of long-ago Athens. That year my teacher gave me a notebook to keep my personal writing in. I still have it, and in appreciation of my teacher’s encouragement, I dedicated one of my books to him.

After grade 12, I wanted to study interior design, but at that time it wasn’t offered anywhere in B.C., so I became a teacher instead. I worked at that right up until I published my first book. I never lost my love for design though, and during my 45 years of marriage, I've personally decorated every one of the thirteen homes my husband and I have lived in. (Note: Wallpapering with your spouse can lead to divorce.)

My husband and I met and married in Victoria but moved to Winnipeg the day our daughter, Sara, was born. We just unloaded the furniture and went across the street to the hospital. We stayed there (in Winnipeg, not the hospital) for 22 years, returning to Victoria one month after our son, Dan, graduated from high school. When my husband retired in 2006, we moved to beautiful Campbell River on Vancouver Island, where he fly-fishes and I write books.

About three years ago, I joined the Campbell River Genealogy Society (CRGS) and began documenting my family history, which will one day find its way into a novel. Until then, I am part of the CRGS Education committee, responsible for developing association projects and programming. This sometimes involves meeting presentations. I am part of the quest team too. It is our job to find ways to break through research brick walls our members are encountering. In addition, I have recently begun writing a monthly genealogy column for the local newspaper.

Teacher, mother, grandmother, genealogist, and former child—I tap all these resources when creating my books for young people. I published my first middle grade novel in 1997 and haven't looked back since. I now have 23 books for young people with more in the works.

I can't imagine not writing. Aside from family, it is the single most rewarding part of my life. I also enjoy visiting classrooms and libraries to share my writing knowledge and experiences with readers of all ages.

I love to dance. I love to laugh. I love to learn. Crossword puzzles relax me. Waiting frustrates me. I like spending time by myself. I use way too much salt. I make New Year's resolutions. My ideal job would be writing a television sitcom. The Great Gilly Hopkins is my favourite kids' book. I appreciate witty people. I dislike whiners. I have better friends than I deserve and a family that gives me strength.

I quite like my life. In fact, if there's such a thing as reincarnation, I'm coming back as me ... only skinnier.

Presentations
Inquire about this presentation

Since the World Was Black & White

Using a slide presentation, I share my writing experience--my early interest in books, my ventures into writing, how I first became published, and the change in my life since then.

Presentation type: Reading

Recommended levels: Intermediate (7-8)

Fees: $250/hr or part thereof, plus GST and expenses.