A special thanks to David Gallie for allowing me to speak on such enjoyable topics.
Next up to take their place on the interview chair is indie author Ethan Howard. Read on to find out what makes him write:
Why do you write?
It is truly a passion. A great way to express myself and release that inner child. From the very first time I started putting words on the screen, I discovered how much I truly enjoy it. It always allows me to challenge myself mentally in ways I never thought possible. I have no plans of ever stopping.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I had come home from a tour in the Middle East. It was 2009 and I caught up on Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and reread short stories from the great Richard Matheson lying on the beach in San Diego. I wanted to try to be at least a fraction of the literary artist these men were/are.
What genre are your books?
Science fiction and fantasy.
What draws you to this genre?
There is a certain freedom with this genre. True escapism. You can explore several different concepts and get away with bending laws of physics and reality.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
It was my wife. She told me that it was time to stop talking and start doing. She said I had always been a man of action and decisiveness, so why hadn’t I done anything. I told her of some of my story concepts and she said, “Great. I cannot wait to read them.”
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I write part-time. After spending time with my family, I use late Saturday nights as my time to write.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I have discovered that I am far better at night writing than the day. The later the better.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I talk to other writers. I read their stories. I review them. By doing so, I have become better. I use the wisdom of others to better myself. There is so much good stuff out there, I feel I improve each time I read someone else’s work.
What have you written?
Tales of the Unexpected (an anthology of short horror stories) Published 2013.
Sidereus Nuncius (Book One of the Opportvnvs Adest series) Published October 2015.
Hostis Humani Generis (Book Two of the Opportvnvs Adest series) due out March 20, 2016.
Temet Nosce (Book Three of the Opportvnvs Adest series) due out April 20th 2016.
Finis Omnium Reum (Book Four of the Opportvnvs Adest series) due out May 20, 2016.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?
I always work with an outline first. I have hand written notes with names and personalities of the characters. I also do research on any particular area of the world or subject I am writing on. I outline the chapters almost like scenes in a movie. I do this before I even start writing. I find it makes things much easier for me.
How do you market your books?
Book signings at local bookstores.
Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
I had a book launch party at a friend’s house. My wife is an excellent cook so she made the food and it was a smashing success.
Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in the future?
Absolutely. I feel that I should have done a better job on social media as I was crafting my first story.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Never, ever stop writing. Do not do it for money because it may not ever come. Do it because you love it. Be willing to accept criticism. Learn from it and do not let it deflate you.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?
At the heart of the Opportvnvs Adest story is a man called Quentin. In Sidereus Nuncius you learn he is from the stars with a mission to save the planet Earth. He is noble, thoughtful, and a warrior with restraint. It all sounds simple enough until things unfold and we see there is much more to this being than even HE imagined. Throughout the story, he is on a journey of self-discovery that will take him to dark places. The question to be answered is, can this powerful being return from the abyss and complete the task given to him?
Where do your ideas come from?
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Grimm’s Fairy Tales
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Stopping and going to bed.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Patience. I know exactly where it is all going so I have to use patience getting there. Sometimes I just wanted to skip parts and get right to the revelations. There are many twists and turns to the story so it is important to leave the proper foreshadowing (or breadcrumbs) so the reader does not feel cheated.
Which writers inspire you?
I guess I should stop there.
What do you do to get book reviews?
I beg. Seriously, I ask on various media forums.
How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
It has brought fair results. Folks who have gone to my books have put a few on Amazon and Goodreads. The sales far exceed the reviews. I am still searching for a better way.
What is the current book you are promoting?
Sidereus Nuncius. Even though I want to say Hostis Humani Generis is due out in a few weeks.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Quentin. I can relate to him on the level of having gone on missions for the military. I found myself questioning the purpose of it all but still loyal to the cause. Like Quentin, I did a lot of soul searching.
Who is your least favorite character and why?
Rex Talion. He is pure evil and he just might be the worst bastard in the history of literature!
If your book were made into a movie, who would you cast?
Quentin: Idris Elba
Regina Tate: Rachel Weisz
Rex Talion: Billy Zane
Dante Tate: Take your pick of a 12 year old (African American) male actor
What is your next project?
The Anti-Life Manifesto. It is an 8-page story that leads directly to Hostis Humani Generis (Book Two of the Opportvnvs Adest series), which focuses on the rise of Rex Talion, the villain of the series. The Manifesto gives you a snapshot into the motivations of Rex Talion. It is written from Talion’s perspective and gives you a glimpse into the mind of this madman.
I just finished it up and have sent it out to people for free. The reaction I have gotten so far has been: “Holy crap! You weren’t kidding about Rex Talion! What a bastard!” It even shocked my wife.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why?
Heracles from Greek Mythology. He was fearless in the face of danger. He had a sense of honor and was uncompromising when it came to completing a task.
What one person from history would you like to meet and why?
John F. Kennedy. He made such an impact on the world in a short time.
If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?
Homelessness. Everyone should have a safe haven to go to at the end of the day.
Who inspires your writing?
The little boy in me.
Where do you come up with your stories?
The wonderment of what is beyond Earth. I try to make sense of all the questions I have had since I was child.
Who is your favorite author?
There are just too many to name. If am forced to give one, I will say Alan Moore.
What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?
It is grind. If you want eyes on your book you have to hustle and even then there is no guarantee to getting a positive or negative response.
Tell us something unique about you
I listen to alternative and nu metal to write. Smashing Pumpkins, Godsmack, Deftones, Crossfade, CKY, Sevendust are just a few. Good stuff. Something about the music brings out the odd, creative side to me.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Come to my blog or email me directly. I enjoy dialogue on a variety of subjects.
Thank you for allowing me to share this with all of you. See you back here soon when I release the Anti-Life Manifesto for all to read.