Interview with Author of the Month Ethan Day

Ethan, let’s start with you telling us a little bit about yourself

ED:  Hi Anders! Thanks so much for having me at QMO, I’m excited to be here. Not like excited in a got wood? sorta way,  but super happy all the same. Plus I get a whole month? Love it. Y’all are so generous! That’s longer than most of my relationships have lasted. : )

I don’t think I’m really all that interesting once you get past the sparkling wit (a.k.a. smart mouth). The anchor hits bottom fairly quickly with me, I’m afraid. I’m only as deep as my latest plot line. That’s my excuse for spending all my time living vicariously through my characters.

What would people be most surprised to learn about you?

ED: That I have no boyfriend! I know, you’re like totally shocked, I can tell. Who knew loud mouthed and sarcastic didn’t go hand in hand with sexy and irresistible? Go figure? Apparently, my definition of lip service is slightly different than most other gay guy’s out there. A difficult lesson to learn – let me tell you. The confusion that can come from explaining to a new boyfriend that you don’t need to be on your knees in order to provide it can be insurmountable. ; )

Actually, I have no clue what would surprise people about me. I can’t imagine anyone spending their time wondering about me to begin with, lol. I’m not all that interesting, but my imagination is!

When did you start writing, is it something you’ve always been interested in, or did it develop later in life?

ED: I’ve always been a daydreamer. From a very young age, I could often be found playing by myself in my bedroom, using my Star Wars action figures to make up my own stories. I was a bit of a late bloomer, so I started college late. It wasn’t until I took a creative writing class as one of my Gen-Ed requirements at university, that I began to write. It just clicked for me – taking that class. It was also a work-shop style course where each student read everyone else’s stories, so it was like falling in head first. It didn’t hurt that I somehow managed to get good feedback from the professor and the other students. That was when I first started to think this whole writing thing might be something I could do. I switched my major the next semester.

Has it been everything you thought it would be or not?

ED: That’s what made it so strange, coming into it late like I did – I guess there wasn’t much time for me to form any over-the-top misconceptions as to what it might mean or what to expect. I’m probably better off because of it. Plus, I’ve always been way better at dreaming big for my characters than I ever was for myself.

How did it feel when you realized that your very first book was going to be published?

ED: Excited, naturally. Scary. Giddy. Then terrified again. It’s kinda akin to squealing like a twelve year old girl and vomiting like a teen-beauty queen all at the same time. I was excited to show everyone my goodies while fearing folks might point and laugh once I did. The laughing part I’m cool with, the pointing not so much. : )

What’s your favorite part of writing a book?

ED: Finishing it, lol. I don’t actually mean that in a negative, thank god it’s over way. Writing for me is such an odd mixture of the creative and the technical. Figuring out who the characters are and getting completely lost in their story….it’s magical. To this day I’ve never experienced anything else quite like it. It’s addictive for a personality type such as mine. I probably enjoy it a little more than I should, lol.

Of course, like anything else, there is a balance – which means it takes more than merely getting your imagination down onto the page. There’s structure that needs to be maintained. In order for anyone else to be able to enjoy it, you have to paint a full picture, making sure the characters are rooted into reality, filling in the details of the world in which they live. It’s still part of the creative process but not as much fun for me to write. Still, there is a satisfaction that comes with completion. Some characters stick with me longer than others, and some I don’t want to let go of at all, lol. I’m always happy when I get a book finished, though.

Out of your books so far, do you have a personal favorite?

ED: I wouldn’t say I have a favorite, but At Piper’s Point is the one I’m most proud of. Just my opinion obviously, but I believe it encompasses all of what I have to offer. It’s more emotional with an undercurrent of sadness and regret, blended with romance and plenty of comedy. The character of Sadie was inspired by my own grandmother, so the relationship between her and Cassidy was very personal for me – that made it difficult to write at times.

Do you get time to read for pleasure? If so, which books do you enjoy?

ED: I do get to read some, but not as much as I’d like. I have a day job which means I’m not able to write full-time. That pretty much means that anything I do for me cuts into my writing time. I’m horrible at trying to balance things. If I start reading a book I’ll keep going till I pass out or finish it – whichever comes first. I pretty much exclusively read gay fiction at this point. I enjoy mainstream fiction as well, but there isn’t time for everything.

Are there any other genres you’d be interested in writing?

ED: That’s one thing I enjoy about writing gay romance. The readers of the genre are open to all different types of sub-genres. If I want to write a book about Vampires I could – or a ghost story or horror or Sci-fi. As long as it has that universal theme of romance at its core, I think anything goes. That’s really cool to me as a writer. Most of what I write is considered gay Romantic Comedy, at least by me. However, I do feel like I can try different things and not have people chasing me down with torches and pitchforks, lol.

Please tell us a little about your current release.

ED: My last book was released back in March, a short story called Anything for You, from MLR Press. I’d wanted to write a romantic comedy with a coming-out theme for a very long time, which is what I did with this short story. The real challenge of the book was taking this particular subject matter, which isn’t a joke, and making it funny without making fun. I think I did that – hopefully. I’ve known a lot of guys who are like the protagonist in the book, living a predominantly gay life while remaining in the closet professionally or with regard to their family. Like Jason in the book, often times these guys weren’t the happiest or most positive people to be around, lol. That doesn’t mean they don’t make for excellent entertainment, though. He’s not the most likable guy to ever grace the pages of a romance novel, but he sure makes me laugh.

What can we look forward in the future from you?

ED: With regard to the near future I have three books on the horizon. The first is called A Token of Time, and it’s a bit of a departure for me. It’s a mash-up of several genres including elements of paranormal, contemporary, & historical with a hint of fantasy. It’s a much more serious book, but I was able to tell the story in a way that still allowed me to tap into the comedy whenever I felt it was appropriate. I’m putting on the finishing touches right now before I send it off to Loose Id. Assuming they’ll want to publish it, it should be released late summer/early fall.

I’m also working on the first book in a new mystery/adventure series which I’m co-writing with Australian author, Geoffrey Knight – who’s probably most well-known for his Fathoms Five series. The book we’re writing together is titled, To Catch a Fox, and will be published through Dare Empire. It should be available in early October of 2011. Set in New Orleans, it’s going to have tons of twists, plenty of old-money, Southern family drama and loads of action & comedy. Think Lethal Weapon meets Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil…with man-on-man lovin’! LOL!

Last, but certainly not least, is another short story from MLR Press, called Second Time Lucky, which will be more of a straight up Rom-Com about two guys who’d burned hot and heavy years before in college who rediscover one another and get a second chance at love.

I’m also going to TRY squeezing in a VERY short Christmas story to go along with my Summit City series at MLR Press by year’s end. Boone and Wade’s first holiday as a couple – I’m crossing my fingers I can make it happen.

Anything you want to say to your readers.

ED: Hopefully I put everything I wanna say into my books, but aside from that, I’m exceedingly grateful to anyone for giving me a read. My most sincere thanks go out to everyone who’s purchased one or all of my books. Aside from the money you paid, the commitment of time that you put into reading the book is huge to me. I hope you’ve all had some laughs and been entertained above all else.

We will thank Ethan for this interview and QMO wishes you much success in the future!

ED: Thanks again for having me, Anders! I do enjoy being had!! : )