Questions straight from the Heart (we are burning to know!)
First of all let me start by saying I am a huge fan of yours. I got the chance to meet you at the GRL event last year and I was such the fan girl. I had my picture taken with you on the first day and I also won a gift package at your reading at the Bourbon Oh! Bar. Oh Happy Day!
ED: Yay!! Many thanks for the hugs and most especially for that whole fan thang! It means so much to have someone let me know they’ve enjoyed reading my books. That’s definitely the best gift anyone can give me.
Cat: What inspired the idea behind “A Token of Time”?
ED: A combination of things actually – a daydream on a rainy afternoon turned that first niggling nugget of inspiration which came after watching a film I’ve always loved but hadn’t seen in ages called, Somewhere in Time, into this unstoppable fantasy in my head. The film is a sad and romantic love story; people should definitely check it out if they haven’t seen it before.
I’d also recently finished reading Tab Hunter’s autobiography, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star around the same time. Those two outside influences came together, infecting my brain with a story I couldn’t rid myself of until I sat down and started writing. It’s a much more complicated story with a lot going on and it really came to me in pieces over several years time.
Cat: This story not only switches from one POV to another but different places in time. How did you compartmentalize all of that in your mind and what was your process to relating that your readers on paper?
ED: I don’t do a lot of multiple POV and that’s somewhat intentional. Usually I find it adds tension – even to the romantic comedies – when the reader isn’t privy to the inner thoughts of both leading characters. With Token I knew I wanted to use multiple POV from the very beginning. I think I almost had to in order to really place the reader into Marc’s head and make him feel real. I also intentionally held the multiple POV’s until a very specific point the story. For me, it helped signify that something had really changed – the very rules had been altered which meant that anything was now possible. I had a lot of notes with Token. I have spiral notebooks with all sorts of maddening, barely legible scribbling in them for each book. Often times there will be stuff from multiple books in one notebook because I’m a disorganized boy-mess who grabs at whatever happens to be handy whenever something comes to me.
Cat: How much research did you have to do to create that feeling of the 1950’s in the eyes of your reader?
ED: Way too much! I hate research, too!! Blech! So boring that I start to whine whenever I have to do it for any length of time!! Hopefully I was successful in giving that feeling, though. Anytime my editor wanted to cut anything that I had to do research on, I threw a hissy, lol. “That would mean I did research for nothing, Kris!” We can’t have that!! : )
I’ve always been a huge fan of classic films, so from that perspective I had a lot to pull from, but the cars, clothes, the studio system, the fan mags – that all took research and some coin as a good amount of it I had to purchase. I was able to find some period catalogues, travel books, and periodicals which all helped. I think having one character from 2008 was smart. I was able to cheat on the traditional historical to a degree as Zachary could have fits about the internet, diet coke, and cell phones – all the things you or I would be freaking over in his shoes.
Cat: This book is out of the realm of what your readers expect of an Ethan Day book. Did you have any apprehensiveness when writing it?
ED: Yes, not your average Day, lol. I most certainly did have apprehensions – shit-tons of them. Had it come out two years ago, maybe not so much, but after three years of dick jokes, lovably neurotic, wise-cracking characters and lots of giggles, I was a teensy bit worried. : ) I think I probably still was up until my final read through the week before it released. That final read through I found myself still enjoying reading the book. Believe me when I say, after all the writing and reading, and multiple editing rounds, if I can read the ARC and still find myself getting lost in the story – I consider that a win. At that point, it dawned on me that whether people love it or hate it, I was happy with the story – at which point I was able to let any apprehensions go.
Cat: In the book “A Token of Time” I have to admit that I loved Dave and Max. Out of all of your books which is your favorite character and why?
ED: Man – that’s difficult for me. I love them all for different reasons. I think Julian from As You Are is very much like I was in my early to mid-twenties – so he can feel a little like walking down memory lane for me. Boone from the Summit City series is probably the obvious choice, though. I’ve certainly spent the most amount of time with him in my head and I always realize how much I’ve missed him each time I return to that character. He’s definitely a go-to, good time boy for me as a writer. Writing Summit City Christmas this past November was like going home again. I laughed a lot writing that 14k short story.
Cat: Your book “Sno Ho” is filled with GREAT humor! I ABSOLUTELY love sarcasm! Are you naturally a sarcastic person?
ED: I think I am, or certainly can be, at any rate. Most of my real-life sarcasm is likely wielded in my own direction, though. I have a great deal of fun at my own expense sometimes. It is a great tool for making the asshole in all of us seem more lovable and funny. : )
Cat: If you could tag team with any author and write a book together, who would you pick and what type of concept might you tackle?
ED: Since I’m already tag-teaming with Geoffrey Knight, I’ll say…Geoffrey Knight!!! LOL! We’ve been working on a book for a couple years now, if you figure in the year we chatted back and forth about it before we ever started writing. It’s titled, To Catch a Fox, and will be the first book in a series of two or three in total. Its mystery and adventure rolled up with some man-lovin’ and comedy – much of which will come in the form of sarcasm, lol. It’s set in New Orleans and the surrounding area, we were very much inspired by our trip to GayRomLit this past October. I think it’s going to be a pretty breathless ride for readers – Geoff’s very good at breathless, lol.
Cat: What is your process when you get a concept that you would like to turn into a book? What steps do you take? Do you plot out your stories entirely before writing or as you go along?
ED: I do some plotting but not completely. I like to leave plenty of room for the story grow and make unexpected twists and turns. I’ll often re-plot as I go along because of those unforeseen things. The main reason for plotting at all is I like to have other scenes to go to, should I get stuck on one. It helps prevent that yucky old writers-block from completely taking hold.
When I’m ready to begin, I always start by free writing, especially if it’s First person – it allows me to get inside that characters head and get a feel for how and what they think, speak – where they are in their life as the story begins to unfold. With any book, it HAS to begin with the characters. Until I know them inside and out, to the extent I’ll instinctively know what they’ll do in any given situation, the story isn’t going to go anywhere.
Cat: Did you base any of your characters on people that you know?
ED: All of them – to varying degrees, no one I know is safe!!! : ) I don’t do so blatantly. It’s more of a bits and pieces puzzle of the people I know woven into them. A character quilt, if you will, lol. This allows me to have and keep my friends as opposed to pissing them off by slapping their ass in a book.
Cat: What do you do when you aren’t writing? Do you have a day job, Hobbies?
ED: I honestly have very little free time for anything. I have the EDJ, the writing and promo, the online shenanigans which I seem to have less and less time for, which totally blows as I enjoy piddling away endless hours chatting with peeps over the world wide web. Add to that GayRomLit and my life is pretty nutty. SO if I seem a little more exuberant than the law would otherwise allow in Albuquerque this October, it’s because I’ve been locked away at a computer for six months and am THRILLED to be around real live people. LOL!
Cat: If you could have the chance to interview one of your favorite authors, who would you choose and what would you ask?
ED: All of them! I’ve already interviewed several for an interview series I do on my blog. Something else I have very little time for – reading. But I’ve interviewed Geoff Knight, Ally Blue, ZA Maxfield, PA Brown, Josh Lanyon, JP Bowie, Lynn Lorenz & Sloan Parker already. The interviews are strictly about the books as opposed to the author’s personal bid-ness. Anytime I read a book I like I always wanna know more about the writing of it, that’s what led to the interviews.
Cat: Are there genres or specific elements you are not a fan of reading?
ED: I’m not personally a fan of the shifter sub-genre, not sure why that is. Possibly because I hate the idea my dog might be thinking anything other than what I imagine her thinking, lol. Seriously – that creeps me out! : ) Her thoughts are very Disney in my mind, lol. I make up songs for her – usually during bath time as she loathes getting a bath.
I also can’t get into the Gay-4-U stories. From my POV it’s the biggest fantasy there is. If it were Bi-4-U I could get on board, but I do understand why women love them. It had to be explained to me, but I get it, lol. I don’t have an issue with it as a sub-genre of the larger M/M romance genre. I likely would if someone was writing a young adult story utilizing that theme. I would find that irresponsible on the author’s part. Hopefully there isn’t already a book out there like that.
Cat: What can you tell readers about yourself that would surprise them?
ED: I’m not sure there is anything – the hazards of having a big mouth. : )
Cat: Can you tell us what to expect from you in the future?
ED: More books! I have Second Time Lucky coming from MLR Press June 8th, and Geoff and I will have To Catch a Fox out before GRL in Albuquerque. We’re working on getting that finished now – it will be released through Dare Empire – the Aussie based publisher helmed by Justin James – who did my cover for the ebook version of At Piper’s Point. Speaking of Piper’s, MLR Press will be releasing a paperback version in May!
I’m also working on the first book in a new series, working titled, Welcome to Meteor Springs – which will be a paranormal/sci-fi based dramedy that I hope to have out by year’s end. I’m really excited about the book, so we’ll see what comes of it. I’ve been chatting with a publisher about this one, but it’s all still in the developmental stages.
Other than that I’ll be trying to squeak out a Rom-Com short story for Resplendence Publishing before the end of the year and then I’ll begin working on the final book in the Summit City Series – if I’ve got that going by the end of 2012 I’ll consider this year a super-success. I’m excited to go back to Boone and Wade one last time along with revealing Chip and Gabe’s love story.
Cat: Is there anything you’d like to add?
ED: Try not to laugh during sex. Most guy’s don’t find this amusing…go figure?