JJ: Where did the idea for “Dreaming of You” come from?
ED: It started as an homage to the Rom-Com, Only You from the mid-nineties starring Marisa Tomei & Robert Downey Jr. In the movie, Tomei’s character is given the name of a man – her supposed soul mate – from a fortune teller. While she continues to live her life, she always has that name in the back of her mind – she’s always on the lookout.
I like the idea of pre-destined love. I think it’s a very romantic concept, but for Dreaming, I wanted to take that idea and push it to the extreme. I wanted Aden’s dream man to be more real – very three dimensional. Aden’s been dreaming about this man since his teens. He’s had this whole other life going on inside his head – a long term relationship that’s taken place while he was sleeping.
At the same time, I love the idea that reality can be better, richer than the fantasy. Enter Logan, and that’s the pickle in which Aden finds himself, in the book. Is real life better than the fantasy? It would seem like an easy question to answer, depending on one’s personality. But real life can be a little like driving without a safety belt. One hit from the right angle could send you flying face first through the windshield. However, the fantasy can seem real, while never actually running a risk that would require the deployment of an air bag.
JJ: Being a Gay Author, writing gay Novels, do you find that you cast yourself in your stories?
ED: I’m not sure I’d say I cast myself, though you’d likely find some aspect of my personality in all of my characters. There’s usually the germ of an idea or a broad concept for the book and then creating the people who are going to live in that world. Once I figure out who my protagonist is, I do try to get inside their head. So I suppose, as the writer, I do cast myself in all the roles to a certain extent. But it’s me becoming who they are not the other way around. But that’s part of the reward for writers, to become other people for a while – to leave yourself behind and get lost in someone’s life. It’s not a bad gig and it doesn’t cost anything…other than lots and lots of time.
JJ: Put in Aden’s Shoes, would you tell Logan what you did in St Louis?
ED: First, let me say I am decidedly against wearing other people’s shoes. I may let a guy stick his you know what, you know where – I’ll let ya’ll fill in those blanks – but I’m not completely nuts! : ) You gotta draw the line somewhere. For me, that line is below the ankles, lol.
As to the actual question you asked, I’m not sure what I’d do. The Boy Scout in me would like to believe I’d tell the truth – supposedly it’ll set you free. At the same time, I’d be wondering exactly how free – so free I’d once again be single?
JJ: Dreaming of You seems to glide on the edges of sci-fi and mental health as far as the dream man coming to life is concerned, do you believe it’s possible to dream about a man who exists but you have never met?
ED: Aside from Lindsey Lohan getting her career back and mainstream Hollywood making a gay-themed film where one of the star crossed lovers doesn’t tragically croak before the credits roll…I think anything’s possible. : ) I mean, who’s to say you couldn’t. The human brain is capable of a great many things, and is this scenario really all that farfetched? What percentage of the planet believes in a God they’ve never laid eyes on? How many people believe in pre-cognition, the paranormal, that aliens snatch them out of their beds and probe them? And let me say, if these aliens look anything like Daniel Craig…please…pick me!!! Elvis sightings or not, we as a species are pre-destined to believe – to have faith in the things we cannot see or explain and even take comfort from them at times. I like that about us. It’s one of the few truly harmless things we do.
JJ: If told you had to invent an alternate ending for “Dreaming Of You”, how would it go?
ED: Ha! Nice try, buddy. I’m actually planning a sequel which will continue where Dreaming left off. So eventually, you’ll have the answer to this question – but first I have to find the time to write the thing.
JJ: There is quite a focus on the culinary world in the story, do you have a culinary background or was research required?
ED: Well, sadly Justin…I’ve been unfortunate enough to have held down many jobs that might stereotypically be considered gay. Cater waiter. Bartender. I was a deejay for a few years and even worked in a hair salon. I didn’t actually cut hair, though – just answered the phones and washed towels. I was also a catty bitch for a while in my early twenties, but the pay really sucked and surprisingly the ‘tude wasn’t all that alluring either. You’d think one or two guys would have at least offered to shove something in my mouth…if only to shut me up? Go figure?
I did spend a good twelve years working in fine dining restaurants, so there was no actual research required. Somewhere in America there actually is an antique, marble morticians table being used to prep baskets of bread.
JJ: I think every gay man has a “Finn” in some degree in their lives; did you base the Finn character on someone real?
ED: Finn is an amalgamation of several friends – some female, some male. She says all the things I’d love to, but never would as my damn mother raised me to all polite and stuff. Stupid parents, they ruin everything! : )
JJ: Do you use people in your life as inspirations for characters, or are they complete figments of your imagination?
ED: Oh please…like I’d rape my own life for material and not my friends? Yeah, that’s so not gonna happen. The only people who are safe are the ones I don’t know – or that my friends don’t know. Six degrees of Ethan Day, people. You spill it and I’ll scoop it up, change the names – possibly even the genders to protect the not so innocent – and use it as a character quirk.
JJ: If there was ever going to be a movie adaptation of “Dreaming of You” who would you cast as the main characters of Aden, Logan, Nathan, Finn, and Rufus?
ED: I love Hugh Dancy, always kind of had him in mind when I was writing Aden. But I think Luke Macfarlane from Brothers & Sisters would make a great Aden as well. Of course, whoever played Aden would have to be really good at the physical comedy, ‘cause he’s a major klutz. Plus I like the idea of gay actors playing gay roles…mainly because they had the nads to come out. It pisses me off when these actors no longer get jobs because they decided they couldn’t live their private life pretending to be someone else’s fantasy. I’ll kick that ‘lil ole soap box back under my bed now. For Finn I’d love Drew Barrymore. It’s been a while since she’s played someone with a little edge, and I think she does that beautifully. Plus she’s a totally brill comedian. Chad Allen would make a great Logan and Charlie David would be perfect as Rufus. But honestly, I’d be thrilled to see it as a movie. They could cast it with Smurfs and I’d still be excited.
JJ: Finally, I would normally ask you who you would turn gay for, but in this case it would be, Who would you turn straight for?
ED: Nobody!! You’ll never take me alive!! I’m quite happy living my life as is and experiencing the fairer sex the way God intended – gossiping over brunch and shopping.