Kristin Butcher

Kristin Butcher was born in Winnipeg in 1951, but moved to Victoria when she was five. She took her parents, sister, and brother with her. They 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 Kristin’s stories someday. Some of her favorite memories of that time include walking the rafters of the house her father was building (when her parents weren’t looking, of course) and eating apples straight off the trees whenever she wanted—even when they were hard and green and super-sour.

Kristin has always liked being on her own, so when she wasn’t playing with the neighborhood children, she could be found designing houses (to scale!), drawing, doing crafts, reading, or just walking through the fields and woods—imagining.

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

After grade 12, Kristin wanted to study interior design, but at that time it wasn’t offered anywhere in B.C., so she became a teacher instead. She worked at that right up until she published her first book. She never lost her love for design though, and during her 38 years of marriage, she’s personally decorated every one of the thirteen homes she and her husband have lived in. (Note: Wallpapering with your spouse can lead to divorce.)

Kristin and her husband met and married in Victoria but moved to Winnipeg the day their daughter, Sara, was born. They just unloaded the furniture and went across the street to the hospital. They stayed there (in Winnipeg, not the hospital) for 22 years, returning to Victoria one month after their son, Dan, graduated from high school. When Kristin’s husband retired in 2006, they moved to beautiful Campbell River on Vancouver Island, where he fly-fishes and she writes books.

Kristin generally writes fiction. So when she was offered the opportunity to write Pharaohs and Foot Soldiers: One Hundred Ancient Egyptian Jobs You Might Have Desired or Dreaded (2009), she was delighted and terrified. She had always loved ancient history—particularly ancient Egypt—so this was like a gift. But what if she couldn’t do it? This was a non-fiction book. That meant it could only contain stuff that was true. What if she accidentally made stuff up? It was tough not to, especially when she had trouble finding information, but Kristin resisted the temptation, and it all turned out just fine. In fact, Kristin enjoyed the experience so much, she’s considering writing more non-fiction books in the future.