I’m not sure if my interview is up to snuff after yesterdays with Rachel, Benjamin’s daughter but I hope everyone enjoys it just the same and I have to say I’m thrilled to see he’s a ChiZine fan too 🙂
Be sure to check out Benjamin and his books. The are on my own must read list.
Benjamin Kane Ethridge is the Bram Stoker Award winning author of the occult fantasy novel BLACK & ORANGE. He also wrote a master’s thesis entitled, “CAUSES OF UNEASE: The Rhetoric of Horror Fiction and Film.” Available in an ivory tower near you. Ben lives in Southern California with his wife and children. When he isn’t writing, reading, videogaming, he’s defending California’s waterways and sewers from pollution.
What are you reading now? –
Westlake Soul by Rio Youers
Some favorite authors and books –
Most anything by Richard Matheson, Richard Laymon, James Joyce, Sarah Langan, George RR Martin, Bentley Little, Robert Jordan, Tom Savage (the vanished thriller writer), Joyce Carol Oates, and I could go on and on.
What is your work space and writing routine like? –
Cluttered and chaotic. I haven’t cleaned off my desk in a year and I haven’t had a steady routine for about as long. It seems to work well this way.
I love the premise of Bottled Abyss what was the inspiration? –
I’ve always been fascinated with the River Styx and the myths surrounding it. Most often, the river is only used as a brief, creepy setting in a long heroic story, but I wanted to tell a tale about the river itself and all the “real” players behind it.
Was it a story that just flowed for you or did you have trouble getting it out of your brain and typed out? –
There may have been a couple pauses during the rising action leading to the conclusion. I just had to soldier on.
Did the story end up like you envisioned or was there a vast change along the way? –
For the most part, it’s the book I started writing and finished writing. The suffering and individual fates of the characters, however, turned out to be something completely different than I first conceived.
Black & Orange also sounds fantastic, you won a Bram Stoker award for it, what was that recognition like? –
A lot of things went through my head as I stood at the podium to receive the award. I hadn’t prepared a speech, and I had to start thinking of what to say. I’m not spontaneous at all, so this was a completely terrifying place to find myself, before all my peers and some of my writing heroes. I was really happy enough people voted for my book, and still, that night wasn’t all happiness. I spent most of the time in a bar with my friend Michael, who was valiantly battling cancer and unfortunately going through one of his worst fights yet. Part of me wanted to be out in the main lobby, talking to the likes of Peter Straub and Joe Hill (just to name a few), but I also knew that whatever time I had with Michael had be treasured. I wanted to believe he would survive his struggle, but I also didn’t want to short change myself, if his time was limited. So, all the hobnobbing and celebrating would have to wait for another day (if there ever is). I don’t regret how I spent that evening. I just wish Michael, one of my biggest supporters, could have been more comfortable to enjoy it, because I know he wanted to.
Which of your books would you recommend a new readers of yours start with? –
If you like fantasy with a healthy dose of Halloween inspired horror, you should start with BLACK & ORANGE. But if you’re more into fast paced supernatural thrillers, then BOTTLED ABYSS would be a better place to start.
You’re taking part in this tour for Bottled Abyss, authors now have a lot of leg work to do. What part of the social media hands on work do you enjoy? —
I’d enjoy writing articles more if I wasn’t so busy lately. I have numerous projects with deadlines, a day job, and a family to attend to. I never enjoy rushing through any project, of any size, and yet there is only so much of me to go around.
Do you prefer interacting with readers face to face instead? –
It’s awkward for me to speak to readers, because I’m used to them also being writers. The questions from non-writers are often completely different. I like interacting with readers who have enjoyed my work, but they tend to focus on where my ideas come from, what that says about me, or they ask about details left unexplored in the book (which, most times are not relevant—So did Joe end up eating that corndog he mentioned?). It’s all good though. I welcome any banter, even the kind that leaves me awkward and twisting.
What future works do we have to look forward to? –
Hoo-boy! There are many. I have another novel, dark science fiction, called DUNGEON BRAIN coming from Nightscape Press on October 30th. Next year from Journalstone Books I will be in a shared world anthology called LIMBUS about mysterious temp agency and I will also release the first of a trilogy called NIGHTMARE BALLAD. Lastly, but not leastly, from Bad Moon Books, the sequel to Black & Orange, called NOMADS.
Bottled Abyss is available right now and for a few more days you can enter to win a copy on goodreads.