Welcome to the six hundred and seventh of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with thriller author Ethan Jones. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Ethan. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Ethan: I have always liked to read and I tried my hand at writing when I was 13-14. I would read a story or watch a movie and then go to write how I wanted the story or the movie to continue. Then life happened. After finishing law school, I also continued my graduate studies and got a Master of Laws degree. As a part of my degree, I had to write a 150-page thesis. The process of research, writing, rewriting and editing inspired me to return to my childhood passion. I was blessed with time and I learned things as I wrote.
I live in Canada with my wife and my son.
Morgen: Oh yes, I know all about life happening. I left my job March 2012 and have got one novel online since then (I have another four written, they just need the dreaded editing). The time goes so quickly, it’s crazy. We (time) and I used to be good friends – I’m hoping we rekindle our friendship this year. 🙂 What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Ethan: I love spy thrillers and suspense stories and I like to write about things I love. Besides spy thriller, I’ve started to work on a murder mystery set in the US, called A Complicated Justice. A Court of Appeals judge goes missing and the detectives are trying to find him, the reasons why he has disappeared and the whole truth.
Morgen: That sounds great. Do let me know when that’s available. What have you had published to-date?
Ethan: My debut spy thriller, Arctic Wargame, was released on Amazon.com on May 22, 2012 as an eBook and paperback. At the same time, I released two short stories: Carved in Memory––which is a prequel to Arctic Wargame and explains an important aspect of Justin’s background–– and The Last Confession––about a dying NY mobster confession to his priest. Most recently Tripoli’s Target, which is the second book in Justin Hall series. This time, Justin and his partner, Carrie O’Connor, return to North Africa to meet with one of the masterminds of a terrorist network. The man in question has promised them high-value intelligence, related to an assassination plot against the US President during her visit to a G-20 summit in Tripoli, Libya. The US Secret Service is informed about this plot, and they take all necessary measures to protect the President. However, new intelligence points at a large flaw in Justin’s and Carrie’s plan. They must now scramble to avoid the disaster. Tripoli’s Target was released in fall 2012.
Morgen: Which have been 5am Flashes free eBooks a few times (and I have them, thank you). You’ve self-published, what lead to you going your own way?
Ethan: I shopped my two novels, Arctic Wargame and Tripoli’s Target (out in fall 2012), to a few hundred agents and publishers over the course of 2009-2011. I received some great feedback. A few agents asked for a partial manuscript and two or three for a full. But no one was willing to make an offer or sign a contract. In the meantime, I kept writing. I had not considered self-publishing because it seemed like a lot of work and I had truly hoped an agency or a publisher would pick up my works. Upon the suggestion of a good friend, I dusted off my first novel, Arctic Wargame. I found three great beta readers, all published writers, and we took a new stab at my gibberish. Then I worked with two great editors and proof-readers, to create the best possible work.
Morgen: A “few hundred agents”? Wow, that’s determination. I stopped at just after a dozen, because I could see how simple it was (once you got the hang of it) to eBook. Are all your books available as eBooks? How involved were you in that process? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?