Today we sadly come to the end of the Brain to Books Cyber Convention author features. But you can still catch the last exciting day of this great event for authors and readers alike on Goodreads, so be sure to pop on by.
Be sure to check out all the fun here:
Now on with the main event, our Brain to Books author feature.
Today I have a great interview with fantasy author Ed Ireland.
Interview With Ed Ireland
Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.
Alright. I started out life as a child, and then moved very slowly towards adulthood. Eventually I’ll reach it if time doesn’t run out on me first. I was born and raised in Philadelphia, and am currently live in Miami. I’m on my second marriage with a child from each. I’m stuck in the hippie years as far as musical tastes go, am a rabid Philadelphia Eagles fan and a self-confessed video game junkie. I am also one of those people that believe in animal rights.
How long have you been writing, and how many books have you published to date?
I’m actually a late bloomer. I would love to tell you that I wrote my first novel at 3 but it just wouldn’t be true. I actually started writing in my forties. I was so horrible back then. My first book went through about 15 years’ worth of editing. I’m currently sitting at 8 books. 7 are still self-published, but 1 has been republished under Snow Leopard Publishing. I expect to eventually send all of my books to them.
Of all the books you've written, do you have a favourite?
I do. Oddly enough, it’s a book that was an experiment…gone horribly wrong. I wanted to give a first person perspective and decided for some odd reason that having a dual first person would be even better. It’s a great story in the historical fiction genre called Crime Scene. It’s a fictionalized account of the mafia tie to the Kennedy assassination as told through a Philly gangster and his younger partner, a Dallas gangster. I do plan on returning to it and fixing it because it’s such a great story.
You write in several genres. Do you have a favourite? And if so, why?
My favorite is always fantasy. It’s the one genre that allows a writer to stretch as far as he or she can. I think it’s a favorite among readers because it forces them to use a part of their imagination that they only used in their childhood. Take a murder mystery…if I say “Mike shot his berretta from the hip, dropping Mr. Chin in his tracks”, everybody has seen a gun, has seen that scene a million times. If I write about a new race, or a new creature, with no references to draw on, we have to reach way back to that childhood imagination. Personally, I think it makes readers feel young again and that’s always a good thing.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
HA! I’m still not sure that I am a writer or if I want to be one. I guess, if my book should somehow become a NY Times bestseller, I’d grudgingly accept the title. Better yet, if it gets me a new house, then I’ll absolutely take it. As for writing, I just have all these things demanding I listen and this really pushy muse named Marisol that keeps threatening me with brain damage if I don’t write.
Can you tell us about your writing process? Where do your ideas originate? Do you have a certain writing routine?
My process is fairly simple. Marisol directs me to the chair, lights her cigar (yes, she’s that weird) and tells me to write. On my side of the coin, if I don’t perform my ritual, then I don’t write and we fume at each other all day. My ritual is a steaming hot cup of Bigelow’s Earl Grey Tea and four Chips Ahoy cookies. Not 3, not 5…4. Yes, I’m that weird. Once that’s done, I’m ready to go. My ideas come from a million places and the pocketful of scribbled notes that I jot down as things come to me. I also have a sub-folder in my books folder that has future concepts because god forbid Marisol lets me finish one thing before she starts something else.
What do you like to do when you're not writing? Any hobbies?
Well, as I am supporting habits like sleeping indoors and eating regularly, I have my day job. I’m a cabinetmaker so I do love working with wood. The more complex a project, the happier I am. Since that pays the bills I guess it’s not a hobby. I love to cook, specializing in Italian. Don’t let my last name fool you. My step-father adopted me. My family name is Rizzo. I also love to get down and dirty in the garden with vegetable plants. Flowers are pretty, but you can’t eat them. And then, there is the nasty video game habit I referred to earlier.
Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?
Well, hopefully it’s available by the time the Brain To Books Cyber Con is in session. The title is The Last Ranger of Sarn. It’s the first book in my Journals of the Huntress series. It follows a young girl named Vespias Firstlight as she makes her way from carefree youth into troubled adolescence. Just when things seem to be fixing themselves, her lands come under attack by a mysterious warrior and his army of the undead. To compound matters, the mortal enemies of her race approach her, calling for a truce. It seems that she is the chosen one in an ancient prophecy that will save both races from destruction and reunite them.
The story is filled with action, adventure and everything else you expect from high fantasy. It also has the undertones of horror with the plague-born undead. There’s also the romantic love story that follows the heroine. I’ve had readers say it’s a love story against a background of war and others that reverse it as a war story against a love background. I think it has elements that will appeal to a vastly different group of people and they will all take their own views with them.
What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?
As I have said, I’ll be releasing all of my books through Snow Leopard so that means Book 2 in the Huntress series, Blood Moon Sacrifice is already written. There is another high fantasy piece, The Chronicles of the Free People Trilogy that will be going out with them as well. My current projects are a bit varied. I’m working on a cookbook of all things, tentatively called The South Philly Smartass Guide To Good Italian Cooking. I recently met a person with an extraordinary narcissistic complex which gave me the idea for another crime drama called Foremost Authority. Then of course, there is the third book in the Huntress series. It’s entitled The Broken King and it’s a dandy so far.
Ed Ireland was born in Philadelphia on September 29, 1954. In January of 1955, the hospital he was born in was torn down. Presumably, they didn’t want anything like that happening again. His adolescence was shaped in Catholic school where the proper use of the common language was the only thing that mattered to the short but strong nuns.
In 1972 he joined the military where his wanderlust surfaced. He has since called many places home such as Texas, California, Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania New Jersey, New York and North Carolina while on his way to his current home in Miami, Florida. He claims his penchant for wandering is now at an end here in the shadows of Hemmingway.
Along this great and wondrous trip he has collected memories of some of the most beautiful scenery this country has to offer. He has also met a veritable kaleidoscope of colorful characters that make up the tapestry of his work. Along with his scenic visions, each character in his works carries some part of people he has known in his life, both good and bad.
On the personal side of his life, he is the proud father of two, a rabid Philadelphia Eagles fan, a self-confessed video game addict and a proud supporter of wildlife issues. His particular issue is support for the wolf programs across the country. He encourages support for these magnificent animals and donates a portion of each sale to Runningwiththewolves.org.
I'd like to thank Ed Ireland for stopping by today, and be sure to check out his virtual booth at the convention this weekend.