Thanks for taking the time to be here with us today, Ethan. Why don’t we begin by having you tell us a bit about your background?
A:My background—Married, divorced, had kids, realized I was gay, fell in love with a wonderful man and became a writer. Not necessarily in that order.
What was your first book and how long did it take to get it published?
A: I first wrote a book many years ago but never submitted it. It was a mainstream thriller called “A Gentleman Among Thieves.” It’s not very good but maybe someday I can do something with it.
How many books have you written thus far?
A: Four, not counting the one from years ago: In the Flesh, Flesh & Blood,Wolf Moon and Blood and Tears. Plus two short stories; Being Taught and Starting Over. I am currently working on a fifth book.
Do you write full time? If not, how many hours per day do you try to dedicate to writing?
A: I work 12 hours a day three and four days a week. On my work days I don’t have any time to write. I try to spend most of my weekends concentrating on writing.
Do you recall a definite moment in time when you realized you absolutely had to be a writer?
A: I was in third grade when we were assigned a Creative Writing assignment. I wrote a story about a multi-colored alien. Probably not the best ever, but since then I’ve been interested in writing.
Do you write straight through, or do you find that you revise/edit as you go along?
A: I make minor revisions and edits as I go along. But generally once it is written, I don’t make changes until the first draft is done. I do go through lots of ideas in my head before they make it to the draft. Wolf Moon went through a lot of different versions and plots while I wrote the first draft. And then more after that.
Do you outline your plots or generally write in a more freestyle way?
A: I’ve tried to write outlines but when I do I tend to lose interest in the story itself. I make lots of notes on scratch papers and end up with stacks of papers of different shapes and sizes.
What’s the most difficult topic you’ve ever approached in your writing?
A: In Flesh & Blood I wrote about both child prostitution and molestation. I had to walk a fine line between getting the story without being too descriptive.
Of all the characters you’ve created, do you have one who stands out as a favorite? Why?
A: Gabe Vargas has always stood out in my mind. He was supposed to just be a minor character in In the Flesh, but he became a major supporting character. I knew I wanted him to have his own story so I wrote parts for him in Flesh & Blood that would lead into his story, Blood and Tears.
How much of yourself, your experiences, and the people you know do you find make their way into your stories and characters?
A: Quite a lot, actually. In both Flesh novels there is a lousy public defender who stammers and stutters who is based on a real person. Cristian and Colby’s relationship somewhat mirrors my real life relationship when it comes to the push and pull of trying to get close, but not too close, and then realizing you fell in love and never planned on it.
How long does it generally take for you to complete a book you would allow someone to read?
A:In The Flesh took six months. Flesh & Blood took a month and a half. Wolf Moon and Blood and Tears fell in between those time frames.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? Do you have any routines or exercises you use to get past it?
A: I suffer from writer’s block quite often. I don’t do anything other than refusing to give up. I try to push myself to write something even if it’s only 100 words or if I end up trashing it.
Does the title of a book you’re writing typically come to you as you’re writing it, or do you title your stories before you even begin the first sentence?
A: It’s been different for all of them. I called my first book Flesh until it was completed and I made it into “In the Flesh.” I knew the title of Flesh & Blood before I ever wrote it. Wolf Moon and Blood and Tears both went about a hundred different titles before I finally decided on one.
When it comes to the covers of your books, how much creative control do you have over their design? Do you design them yourself or work with a graphic artist?
A: All my books have been with Dreamspinner Press and DSP is excellent about working with me. Artist Justin James has created outstanding covers for my books and has listened to any and all advice I offered. We went through a couple different covers for Wolf Moon and it was a true collaborative effort.
Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing? Do you have any hobbies?
A: I love to read and am addicted to television and movies. I’m the epitome of a couch potato.
Speaking as a published author, what words of advice would you give to someone just starting out in the business?
A: Keep writing. Take pride in the positive reviews but don’t let the bad reviews stop you. Keep writing, just keep writing.
What future projects do you have in the works?
A: Currently co-writing a story called “5-Star Review” about an author and a book reviewer.
When you have a free moment, what sorts of books are you likely to pick up? Who are a few of your favorite authors?
A: I read almost exclusively m/m. Marie Sexton, Josh Lanyon, Z.A. Maxfield and Clare London are just a few of my favorite authors.
What’s your all-time favorite movie?
A: Two-way tie between “When Time Ran Out” and “Poseidon Adventure.”
Who are your favorite actors, both male and female?
A: Male-Chad Allen. Female-Julianne Moore
What’s your favorite food?
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
A: Being asked what my pet peeve is.
Do you have a favorite quote?
A: “There is no try. There is only do or not do.” Yoda
Do you know more than one language?
A: Does Klingon count?
Do you enjoy travelling? Where’s your favorite travel destination?
A: I enjoy going places, but I don’t like travelling. I hate driving long distances and am not even that fond of plane travel. I recently went to Vegas with some very good friends of mine and I had an absolute blast.
Ethan, thank you again for taking the time to be with us today; will you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?
Would you care to share a favorite excerpt with us from one of your books?
From Flesh & Blood
I heard the front door open and then click shut. I knew who it was. I knew how Colby walked when he didn’t want to wake me up. With his big body, the floor always creaked under his weight.
Colby didn’t say a word as he stripped and climbed into bed. He lay on top of me and kissed me. Kissed me with such passion that the bad memory slipped from my mind. All I could think about was this magnificent man. I reached between us and stroked our cocks. I reached to the nightstand and grabbed the lube. I squeezed some onto my fingers and then on our cocks. I stroked us both for a few minutes as he continued to torture me by nibbling on my neck, my ears, and my nipples.
I reached between us to coat my hole. Colby knew what I wanted—and it wasn’t rough, rock-my-world sex. I wanted the type of sex that only Colby could give me. Slow and gentle lovemaking. I don’t know how he knew my moods so well, but I was fucking grateful he could. I wondered how my life would be different if I had met Colby sooner. But I think I wouldn’t have known what I had. When I met him I was ready for something different. I didn’t know it at the time, and I could’ve lost him.
Life in the future without Colby in it is what scared me the most. I couldn’t go back to that lonely, horrible place. And that made me wonder why I still pushed him away so much. I wondered why I was afraid to tell him about my past. The easy excuse would be that he wouldn’t think of me the same once he knew. But I knew that wasn’t true. I didn’t know why Colby loved me, but I knew he did. And I knew nothing could change how he felt about me.
My mind was brought back into the present as Colby entered me. With the head in, he stopped and leaned down to kiss me, his tongue sliding into my mouth. With our mouths still connected, he slid in a bit further, then pulled back. Forward and backward, back and forth, three inches in, two inches out, four inches in, three inches out. It was a slow dance of excitement and adoration.
When his entire length was buried in me, he remained still and looked down at me. I met his gaze, reached up and ran my hands through his dark, wiry hair. With our eyes still connected, he pulled almost all the way out, then slowly slid his cock back into my hole. I felt full and complete with Colby in me. Without him I felt like I was missing something. Only when I was with him did I feel complete.
He slowly and maddeningly made love to me, touching me everywhere with his lips and fingers. The wave began slowly and built until it was ready to crash through me. I pulled Colby into a kiss as I came, my seed coating our stomachs. His orgasm came seconds later with our lips and tongues still connected. He collapsed on me and started to roll off, but I held him there. I loved his big body on top of mine, and that’s how we both fell asleep.