June 22nd – Octavia Butler

“Writing is one of the few professions in which you can psychoanalyse yourself, get rid of hostilities and frustrations in public, and get paid for it.”

Octavia Butler

Writer Octavia Butler was born on June 22nd, 1947. 

After her father died when she was seven, she was raised by her widowed mother in Southern California. Constantly filling up notebooks with stories, she resolved to become a writer by the age of twelve after watching a trashy sci-fi movie, “Devil Girl from Mars” on TV and realizing she could craft a better story. After high school, she attended Pasadena City College and won a short story contest her first year, earning her first paycheck from writing, $15. In 1971 she published her first short story, “Childfinder,” but it would be five more years of rejection slips until her first novel, Patternmaster, was published.

In 1979 her masterpiece novel, Kindred, was published. Other notable works include her Earthseed Series: Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents

She lived a solitary life with her mother in Los Angeles, then moved to Seattle after her mother’s death. 

Butler died on February 24th, 2006, after a fall at her house. Over her lifetime, she published twelve novels and many short stories. 

In her collection of papers housed at Huntington Library in Pasadena, California, is a notebook in which she wrote manifestations for herself, writing down exactly what she wanted for her life:

“This is my life. I write bestselling novels. My novels go onto the bestseller lists on or shortly after publication. My novels each travel up to the top of the bestseller lists and they reach the top and they stay on top for months. Each of my novels does this. So be it! I will find the way to do this. . . .”

Find out more about Butler and her works here

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