Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome author of Sword & Sorcery: Frostfire, Ethan Avery, for an author interview with The Reading Bud.
About The Author
Ethan Avery believes in the power of stories. As a child growing up in Ohio, they gave him a chance to see a bigger world, and to hear what life was like for people that didn’t look like him or believe what he did. And now years later, he hopes to do the same for others.
You can connect with author Ethan Avery here:
Author Website | YouTube | Twitter
Welcome to TRB! Please give our readers a brief introduction about yourself before we begin.
Hi, I’m Ethan Avery, author of the upcoming novel Sword and Sorcery: Frostfire, thanks for having me! I guess a bit about myself now is that I work between writing novels and movies, so it’s storytelling for me all the way! In addition to the book coming out this month, I also have some exciting potential Hollywood movie news, but I have to be hush-hush about it for now. I’ll probably make an announcement later on YouTube or Twitter. As far as an introduction goes, instead of giving a long and boring list of awards and accomplishments, I’ll just say that I’m a storyteller. I studied at The Ohio State University with a focus on both storytelling as well as the social aspect of politics. Things like why people believe what they believe in a theoretical sense, as opposed to the individual issues themselves. And that’s actually been an invaluable tool as a fantasy writer.
Please tell us something about your book other than what we have read in the blurb?
Oooh, that’s a good one. I guess I’ll keep it spoiler-free. Sword and Sorcery is not only a fantasy adventure, but it’s written from multiple perspectives to really show the world through more than one person’s eyes. Primary socialization, which is a fancy term for how people learn about life in their youth, was one of my big points of study in college and that’s translated to helping me write the book, because the way you grow up truly does affect how you see the world.
What is that one message that you’re trying to get across to the readers in this book?
Oh my, another good one. Personally, I try to keep myself from influencing a reader’s experience by telling them what they should or shouldn’t learn. Sword and Sorcery will probably be a book that different people get something different from, and that’s no problem to me. In fact, I’d love to hear from readers when the book releases about what they feel it might have been about. And I’m always open to connect on Twitter!
Who is your favourite character in this book and why?
Uh-oh, that’s the kind of question that gets writers in trouble, and honestly, I know people think it’s the easy-way-out answer, but I truly can’t choose. From the main cast to the most seemingly-insignificant little side-characters, they all feel to me like the most important person in their own little world, and I try my best to write them as such. Real-life, I think, is similar in that way, in that most people view themselves like the main character of their story or video game, but we all share this space together. In that sense I guess life is less like a traditional RPG game and more like an MMO or giant D&D campaign!
What inspired you to write this book? An idea, some anecdote, a dream or something else?
I was honestly obsessed with fantasy as a kid, and still am now, of course! I’ve read, watched and played pretty much every kind of fantasy story I could get my hands on. Perhaps it spoke to me because in fiction, and fantasy in particular, we get a chance to remove ourselves a bit from the biases of our own world and see the problems societies go through from a fresh, more objective perspective. And I think there’s a lot we can learn from that.
How long did it take you to write this particular book?
Sword and Sorcery was written over the course of about 15 years, so it’s been a blast crafting and building the world of the book, which is always one of my favorite parts of making fantasy stories!
What are your writing ambitions? Where do you see yourself 5 years from today?
Whew, that’s a tough one, hopefully I’ll have written a few more novels.
Are you working on any other stories presently?
I am indeed. Other than the secret movie project, and another book in the Sword and Sorcery series, of course, I’m also beginning to develop another series, but it’s still very early in the creative process at the moment.
Why have you chosen this genre? Or do you write in multiple genres?
Ah, perfect timing on that question. The series I’m starting to develop is a sci-fi universe, so I’m definitely a multi-genre kind of storyteller.
When did you decide to become a writer? Was it easy for you follow your passion or did you have to make some sacrifices along the way?
It happened in several parts. I had a few poems published when I was like 14, and that gave me the confidence to be like, you know, maybe I can do this. But even though I was working on Sword and Sorcery then, I didn’t really have much direction in terms of how to pursue getting a novel published. So I wrote a bit here and there and kind of put the story off to the side. Fast forward a few years and I’m doing film and animation in college and learning screenwriting, which shares the basics of storycrafting with novel writing, but they both branch off in their own fun and interesting ways. And it was here I think I truly realized I’d become a storyteller. I had a college exam once worth a big portion of the grade for the class, and I skipped it to finish a story I was working on at the time. And I also remember a moment listening to Andrew Wyatt from Miike Snow, in the Ron Howard/Jay-Z Made in America documentary, where Andrew mentions that he once pictured himself going back to school and becoming a rich lawyer, and then he realized that if he did that, all he’d want to do once he got there was make music. Anywho, after skipping that college exam, I worked on a lot of film stuff for some years, and yes, there were some rough years but I did indeed survive, then when I had more time on my hands in 2020, due to the pandemic, unfortunately, I decided to dust off my old Sword and Sorcery notes and finally finish the story.
What is your writing ritual? How do you do it?
I do a lot of outlining, which is sort of ridiculous because most of the time I end up writing pretty spontaneously and going away from said outline. But when working in a world as big as the one in Sword and Sorcery, it’s nice to at least know what my plan was before I deviated to something else that I think is better.
How do you prefer to write – computer/laptop, typewriter, dictation or longhand with a pen?
Desktop computer for sure. It’s gotta go there eventually anyway, so it’s easier to just start that way, though I still jot down scenes or notes on my phone or notebook when I’m away from my pc.
What are your 5 favourite books? (You can share 5 favourite authors too.)
Oh no, I’ve been put on the spot. I honestly can’t choose, mostly because the list is forever updating. I’d be remiss not to mention anything though, so how about I recommend Michelle Knudsen’s highly underrated Trelian series. And I think people that have read both of our books will know exactly why.
How do you deal with Writer’s Block?
It’s honestly never been a problem for me. If I’m stuck on a scene where I know the ending I’m writing for it isn’t right or I don’t know what scene to go to next, I just jump to a different part of the story and start writing that. And if it’s a more deep-rooted problem I’m having, like plot/character stuff, I usually get up and take a short walk to clear my head. By the time I’m done, I almost always have a solution!
What advice would you give to aspiring non-fiction writers?
Figure out if you want to do this. Or need to do this. And if you need to do it, what kind of writing do you need to do? There are writing jobs out there that are a lot less hit or miss than being a novelist or screenwriter. You might find you enjoy telling stories as a columnist, journalist or even starting a cool and awesome blog like The Reading Bud!
Thank you, author Avery, for your honest (and fun) answers!
About the Book
Sword & Sorcery: Frostfire
If you could change your life by trusting in a stranger… would you?
Erevan has a problem. He grew up on the unforgiving streets of Bogudos and has the scars to prove it. His friend, however, is stuck in jail because of his mistake. But when a suspicious courier offers him a chance to fix things, should he lift his sword and journey across treacherous lands to aid her cause?
Meanwhile, Aireyal has been accepted into the wealthiest and most prestigious magical school in all the land. There’s just one problem. She can’t do magic. But that’s far from the only secret within the walls of Darr-Kamo. And what she discovers might just change the world.
Swordsman & Sorcerer
Scholar & Spiritualist
All four have enemies. And all four need help to get what they want. But help is never free.
What would you sacrifice to get what you most desire?
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