Q & A with a Writer

Hello there.

I wanted to share the interview I had with a San Diego Neighborhood Book Signing.David Russell, Oracle Project Manager spearheaded the event and this an excerpt from the question & answer session.

Thank you, David.

Ethan Howard Q & A:

Q1. Ethan can you tell us what character is most like yourself?

Q1. Without a doubt it would be Quentin. He is a man who questions his duty and purpose throughout the series. He is sent on a mission and conflicted if he should actually be doing the things he is asked to do.  As a member of the Armed Forces, I have had those same thoughts creep into my head from time to time during assignments.

Q2. Who has inspired you the most to be a writer?

Q2. There are too many to list but since you asked  for just one, I will say Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen finally pushed me to sit down at my computer and start writing. In addition to being a an excellent writer, Moore is also a student of literature and history. I was amazed at how much detail he puts into his work. I have learned a lot about what it takes to be a writer by reading his work and the work of his sometime annotator, Jess Nevins.  

Q3. Do you really believe in Aliens or are you just a guy with an overactive imagination?

Q3. My wife would absolutely say I have an overactive imagination and I would agree with her. I do believe there is life on other planets. The notion is not so outlandish when you consider that just over five centuries ago, we thought the world was flat and if you sailed too far, your ship would drop off the planet. We laugh at the notion now but I suspect future generations will scoff at us thinking we are the only sentient beings in the universe.

Q4. There are a lot of strong female characters in your story. Why is that?

Q4. I believe women are as capable as men in all aspects of life. I did not consciously make an effort to show this, but I am glad you noticed.

Q5. Do you think readers of Sci-Fi will be turned off by the retelling of Christianity, to put it mildly?

Q5. I hope not. I respect all beliefs. My story does not in any way dismiss the notion of God or Christianity.   What I do is challenge how people interpret what they have read and been taught. We see it in our lives now where often the smallest piece of information passed from one person to the next is inaccurate. Now take that notion and apply it to vast amounts of information/stories circulating for thousands of years. How accurate is it going to be? Things are bound to be confused and twisted because we are human, and to be human is to be flawed.  Stay with the series and you will see this play out in a big way.

Q6. Do think Sci-Fi/Fantasy readers are receptive to the idea of a Black Man/White Woman relationship?

Q6. I have found Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans to be the most open-minded people on the planet. Quentin being black is not some cheap stunt to draw controversy or some political statement. There is reason why his skin color happens to be dark and the tale behind it is essential to the character. The reader will learn this in Book Three and it will make sense. 

Q7. Is there an overall theme to your work that you would like to share with us?

Q7. The Opportvnvs Adest series is a science fiction take on the Great War that is prevalent in every religion . Along the way, I explain the origins behind legends, myths, fairytales, and folklore throughout the world. I venture into why the planet is littered with so many fantastic unexplained things like the Pyramids, Stonehenge, UFOs, etc. The theme of the series deep dives into these things along with the bible. I challenge many of the things we have been taught in a big way.

Q8. Finally, give us a peek into what is going to happen with the rest of the Opportvnvs Adest series. What can fans look for from you in the next few years?

Q8. Sidereus Nuncius is only the introduction to the alternate universe I have created for Earth and the rest of the universe. The other books will be released one after another so readers can enjoy binge reading and not wait. Hostis Humani Generis (Book Two) will explore the origins behind Rex Talion and how he allied himself with the Degans. Temet Nosce (Book Three) will show Earth on the precipice of Armageddon and how the main characters react to the state of affairs. Finis Omnium Reum (Book Four) All hell breaks loose. Literally.

Once the complete series is out there, I will release The Encyclopedia of Opportvnvs Adest. This is a 100 page book that goes into detail about the characters, worlds, weapons you meet. It will go into those only mentioned, and backstories of others in the universe not encountered in the series.

Expect the unexpected and expect to be entertained. Many other characters will be introduced and their motivations may or may not be clear to you. There will be plenty of bread crumbs for the reader to devour along the way so he/she is not cheated each time there is a revelation.  The more you learn, the more questions you will have as the story unravels. Nothing is what it appears to be.

The Opportvnvs Adest Timeline will be follow Book Four.

This was without a doubt my favorite and most ambitious part of crafting the series. Here I will give readers the history of my alternate Earth from 4.6 billion years ago to 2020. I thoroughly enjoyed mixing and matching real historic events with my twisted take on the world. You want to know heavily debated topics like why the pyramids were built, did Atlantis exist, or who really killed Kennedy. I have your answers those questions and many more. 

Remember this is the world of Opportvnvs Adest. What you believe is false. What you know is untrue. So where lies the truth? Decide for your yourself.
I really enjoyed meeting with fellow readers and writers and talking shop. There is so much creativity out there, my only regret is not having time to read all. But it will not stop  me from trying.

Until next time.

Be well.







Alan Moore & Jess Nevins : Their Impact on a Writer.


Last time I wrote about Crisis on Infinite Earths and how it helped me crafting a story.

This time I want to say a few words about the legendary comic scribe, Alan Moore and another talented man by the name of Jess Nevins.

Mr. Moore certainly needs no introduction from me, but what the hell. I am going to give him one anyway.

If you read comics, there is little doubt you know who this man is. If you don’t, I am sure you have seen his works on the big screen. Mr. Moore is responsible for Batman: The Killing Joke, V for Vendetta, From Hell, various Swamp Thing stories, the last pre-crisis Superman story, Watchmen, and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (LOEG). That is just to name a few.

It is the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen  I want to touch on.

Forget what you saw in the theaters, LOEG is one amazing piece of work in its singular form and its totality. Moore takes starts out with an assembly of Victorian characters and weaves a mystery story. It gets even better with his other volumes. In other words, Moore created an alternate universe using pre-established and recognizable characters from Sherlock Holmes, the Invisible Man, to James Bond, and later Harry Potter. Moore even created an Almanac for all of the references.

Absolutely brilliant!

When I finally sat down and began typing out the Sidereus Nuncius, it was only going to be a short story with an ambiguous ending. Then it struck me that I should  borrow from the master storyteller.

The lead character in Sidereus is an alien who calls himself Quentin who comes to Earth with a message to the human race of an impending disaster . In the original draft, he falls in love with a human woman and decides to remain on Earth and face the doom with the humans.

Standard fare, I thought as a love story. Thanks to Moore, I started giving Quentin a backstory. Who are his masters and why do they even care about Earth? Are there other protectors/messengers out there? If there are benevolent aliens, then there has to be bad ones, right? Maybe aliens have been coming to our planet all along, helping or hurting us.

These races who lived on other planets needed names.

Suddenly I had a growing universe.

I invented a number of characters from scratch but I also took many from previous legends, myths, fairy tales, and works from well known authors and gave them a new spin. Why reinvent the wheel when there is so much rich literature to draw from?

Opportvnvs Adest is like peeling back an onion. The further along you get, the more characters and worlds you discover. So many that I created an encyclopedia (A-Z) for the all the events, worlds, weapons, and characters. I also put together an Earth time that begins 4.6 billion years ago and culminates in 2020. It took a great deal of research mixing and changing real life events over the centuries to fit my alternate universe, but I have to tell you it was quite enjoyable.

I believe you will feel the same after reading them.

Jess Nevins is an award nominated author and a librarian. He is responsible for annotating LOEG various volumes. This man has successfully identified every character, every building, every veiled reference in the stories. After reading his exhaustive work on Moore, I was completely  sold on the creative talent of both men.

In some ways, the Opportvnvs Adest series is a way of saying thank you to them for unlocking whatever creativity I attempt to claim.

Thanks for checking in.

Have fun because in 2020 Earth will….whoops can’t say that yet!

Until next time.