Hey everyone, Ethan Day, the fabulous new author of Self Preservation has dropped by to tell us a little about himself. I was thrilled when Ethan said he'd visit. Besides writing a great book, which I have read and highly recommend, Ethan is hilarious. Keep reading and you'll see what I mean.
Okay, Ethan, let’s start getting your shine on. Tell us who you are beyond an author.
I’m just a simple country boy with a dream, Stormy. Seriously, ask anyone who knows me & they’ll tell you the same thing…at least they better. I’ve paid them all to lie, lie, lie!!
I guess you could call me a hooker with a heart of gold…okay, so yeah…that’s not true either. Like anyone’s going to believe I’d ever really charge. I’m a gay man living in the Bible belt…let’s just say escapism is a necessity.
And what is your normal day like?
I do my best to avoid normal days. When I’m very lucky, I get to spend my days pretending to be other people who live in other places.
I'm with you, Ethan. Normal is boring. However, the writing must continue. What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to become an author?
Me. Those pesky voices in my head are both a blessing and a curse. In my second book, Dreaming of You, you’ll get a bit of a glimpse of what it can be like to be me in that respect. While the main character Aden Ingle, is fictional…he has managed to obtain one or two of my more charming personality traits.
I know that Self Preservation was your first book. Going back to the beginning, show us the day you received your publication offer.
Hmmmm. Picture a guy in pajama’s…make him cute, damn it!! Thank you!
Now picture him jumping around like cheerleader on crack…yeah, that’s pretty much it.
How would you best describe your writing style?
Probably not very stylish…I usually write in my PJ’s, so I’m certainly no fashion plate.
Ooohhh, PJ's are good. Kind of like my piggy slippers. I wonder if they help you write too? Ethan, you've written a great book. Show us when you realized you had a passion for writing?
Passion for writing…you little minx!! Is this your sneaky attempt to get me talking about sex scenes?
It’s not….oh, um…wow…well that’s not at all embarrassing.
Well as anyone who has read my bio knows, I took a creative writing class in college after reading the course requirements and discovering there were no tests. The professor wound up being one of those amazing teachers we always hear stories about. She really altered my entire universe. By the end of the semester I changed my major and never looked back.
I’ve always had an overactive imagination. I’m the type who’ll be on a date with a guy and there will be multiple conversations going on. The real one with my date, the fake one with my date that’s going on in my head, and the final one consisting of me arguing with myself, while keeping a sort of running commentary of everything that’s going on. Yeah…I come from a whole lotta crazy, and apparently quite the talker. I’m sorry…what was the question, again? LOL
We understand that uniqueness counts in the literary world, but we equally understand there must be reliability.
Thanks for the heads up, Stormy. I hereby vow to all my readers to do my very best to remain reliably unique.
Do you write everyday, Ethan?
No…I wish. It’s not write, Stormy!!! Some days are easier than others, and I’ll have days where I write like a possessed demon, and others where I’ll sit for hours going over and over something. When I’m writing a funny scene…or a scene that I’m intending to be funny, I spend a lot more time word nit picking. The scenes between Davis and Alex in Self Preservation took a long time. Hopefully, the end result makes all the time and fretting worth it.
What about writer's block? Does this ever happen for you?
Um…hello…that which should not be named!! *tosses salt over shoulder & rubs lucky horseshoe*
Blockage is bad…someone really needs to develop author ex-lax.
Most of the authors I know, myself included, are major readers. Tell us an author with whom you share similar writing styles.
While I’m sure it’s pretty obvious…I’ll just go ahead and say it. I am a total homo Jane Austen, right? LOL
You can’t tell me you’re unable to imagine my masterful dialogue as being totally interchangeable with say…Pride & Prejudice!?! I close my eyes and can like totally hear Elizabeth Bennett uttering the same comment to Darcy that Deseree says to Davis… "Darcy, really, you’re such a conspiracy queen." That is so Lizzy B!!!! LOL
So, do you have a preferred writing genre and the genre you prefer to read.
From a reading stand point, fiction for the most part…and the occasional bio. I don’t really care about the genre as much as the characters. If I like the people I’m reading about, I’ll follow them wherever they go. That’s not to say I’ll read anything. I don’t like Exorcist type stories or gory serial killer stuff…basically anything that might make me scream like a girly man I try to avoid. It’s so not pretty when I do that.
As far as my writing, again…if they aren’t people I want to hang out with, then the story probably isn’t going to go anywhere. The story itself and plotline, that’s all important as well. I guess though, at the end of the day, if I liked the characters and they made me laugh, the entire story could take place around the dining room table and I’d keep reading. I don’t think I could say the same though for a book with a great plot or story line that had characters I didn’t like.
Most of the writing I’ve done up until this point has been in what I call a Romantic Comedy genre. I like writing fun and funny. It feels good to read, and it feels good to write. I can’t afford anti-depressants, so I write instead, LOL. I am writing a story right now that delves into some darker, more serious stuff. It’s part historical, part contemporary with a dash of paranormal thrown in for good measure. But even in this new story there is some humor. I can’t go cold turkey.
Tell us an important lesson, on the business side of publishing, that you've learned on your journey.
The business side? Dude…I totally just lost my erection.
That's dudette...LOL...but I'll let it slide this time if you tell us your expectations of an aspiring author approaching you for information about writing/publishing?
Gee Stormy…way to deflate the ego. Thanks for assuming that’s the reason they’d approach me? LOL
Honestly, the really big shocker for me coming into this area of the publishing industry was how many already established authors reached out with offers to help. People who’d never even read anything I’d written!! I wasn’t expecting that. I guess I’d probably do the same…assuming they didn’t want to sleep with me of course. *big cheesy grin* In case anyone missed it…that was my way of saying I’m single. :)
Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?
I can honestly say that for me, the setting is never first…or even second. I think a good story could take place almost anywhere, so other than doing my best to color in the background for the readers so they know where we are, setting is just the frame for the photo. That’s not to say you can’t use the setting to advance the story or reveal things to the reader about the characters, but it’s not on the top of my list.
I usually get the basic germ of an idea first. From there I’ll go to the characters, and during the character development process, further plot lines or story points come.
I know I fall in love with my characters and they become like family for me. Do you have a favorite character?
Are you trying to get me into trouble? They can totally hear everything I say!!
Where do you get most of the ideas for your great stories?
Dreams, day dreams, I got one idea while channel surfing. I was flicking through and went from an old movie I’d seen before and loved, and then clicked over to an episode of VH1 Behind the music. From the combo of those two things a story idea was born. I haven’t started that particular story yet, but it’s in the top 10 of my ‘To Write’ list. I will be writing a Cowboy story at some point. Not because I had a story idea for it, but because I’m sooooooo looking forward to the research. :)
We write because we love it. But sometimes our stories tend to take on a life of their own and we have to stop what we're doing and write what our characters want. Do you have any unfinished projects sitting around?
Good Christ my hell, yes, and the characters are all yelling at me all the time. It’s really quite annoying…you’d think I would have written them with better manners!
I’ve got two I’m in the middle of, and then this past Sunday I woke up with an idea…needless to say, the sequel to Self Preservation has officially begun. I have a third Rom/Com I’m working on called The Smell of Books as well as the before mentioned more serious Contemporary/Historical book, titled A Token of Time.
I’d Say Token is my big project at the moment. At least the one I’m spending the most time with. As I said before, while it is more on the serious side, there is some humor. Don’t worry, folks…I’m not going all pretentious, trying to write some vanity piece to prove I have depth. I will say this much, I had a dream after reading Tab Hunter’s Auto Bio. *fans face with hand* My, my, that was a really good dream. Let’s just say that dream was the jumping off point for Token.
What would you say is a true hero?
Anyone who buys my book!!! I’m so not joking either!
Anyone who buys your book, huh? Then tell us what your audience looks like.
Aside from their obvious intelligence and fabulous taste in fiction? They’re probably peeps I’d be friends with…gay boys and girls and the women who love them. I write about people I’d want to hang out with. I assume people read my book for the same reason. They wanna hang out with their friends for a few hours.
How much does reader reaction mean to you as an author?
Reaction…do you mean like a rash?
Okay, seriously…I’m not really sure how it affects me. If you bought my book and didn’t care for it, sorry. Don’t really know what else I can say except…what’s wrong with you!!! LMAO. Don’t you like having fun!!! I’m so shameless. I’m actually not too serious here. I do realize that not everyone is going to like everything I write, and that’s okay. We’re all different, thank goodness, and I can’t get upset if somebody doesn’t see the world like I do, or at the very least doesn’t mind spending a few hours looking at the world through my particular brand of rose colored glasses.
I can say to those people who have taken actual time out of their day to send me an e-mail or a post on my blog letting me know how much they liked Self Preservation…well that means A LOT to me. First, that you purchased my book and took the time to read it is way huge. That you then liked it enough to give more of your time looking me up…WOW. Thank you for that.
Ready to shine? Tell us the name of your book(S).
My first book is Self Preservation, currently available from Loose Id. I also have a second book coming soon from Loose Id called Dreaming of You. I don’t as yet have a release date for Dreaming of You, but I’m hoping it will be available within the next couple of months.
Other than that, I’m going to try to get two more finished and out by the end of 2009. That’s my goal, anyway. I have to have those. If I have nothing to shoot for, then I’d never get anything finished. As stressful as they are, I probably do better with deadlines. Self Preservation was accepted as an outline. I had barely begun the actual manuscript when I submitted the idea to Loose Id to be a part of the ‘Marriage For All’ series. I had about three and a half weeks from acceptance to due date in which to write it. I’d written the story in screenplay format back in college, so I had a fairly complete story line to follow, but it was fever pitch to say the least. The fact that Loose Id accepted the story, unfinished…from an as yet unpublished author? That meant a lot to me, and I didn’t want to let Loose Id down.
Having already read your book, I already know the answer to this one but I had to ask. From one of your character's point of view, show us why we should buy it.
Davis would probably prefer you didn’t read it. He’s more than a little shocked and embarrassed by some of the things he finds himself doing in order to get his ex-bf and the only man he’s ever loved to not marry his new fiancé.
Alex would tell you that he’s in it, and that is reason enough to purchase a copy.
Tadd would probably want to invite you to the wedding and Deseree would say you can only read it if you can keep your mouth shut and follow her lead. Jack’s an actor…he’d have no problem with you watching along.
Okay, Ethan, I'm sure everyone would like to know where we can find you on the internet.
Aside from that sex tape of me and Robert Gant? Oh wait, that only happened in my head.
My website is http://www.ethandayonline.com/
My personal blog, The Addiction To Fiction Blog: http://blog.ethandayonline.com/ I’m not real great at posting a lot here. I’m usually doing really good to get something up every few weeks. I feel really bad about that, so I do my best to make sure that when I do post it’s something special. I appreciate everyone who’s stopped by and left comments as well.
And of course you can find my books at http://www.loose-id.com/
I also stop by your Yahoo group on a regular basis, Stormy: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MMRomancereadersandWriters/ I’ve sort of designated your Yahoo group as my home too. I’m so totally your Kato!!
I do also have a My Space page: http://www.myspace.com/ethanday I’m having issues with getting it set up to look like an extension of my website, so we aren’t getting along with one another at the moment. If I didn’t know better I’d swear it was taunting me…I can almost hear it snickering at me every time I log on.
I’m also on Facebook, although I have no idea how to use it.
I've so totally read your bio and you blog like a million times and it makes me laugh everytime. Well, Ethan, it was a blast having you here and I really hope you can come back to visit again. I'd really like to hear about your next book when it comes out, as I am sure your readers will too. Thank you for joining us today.
Note: If you have a question for Ethan, you can either email him at email@example.com or leave a comment here. I know Ethan will be checking regularly.