Benjamin Kane Ethridge’s fiction has appeared in Doorways Magazine, Dark Recesses, FearZone, and others. His dark fantasy novel BLACK & ORANGE (Bad Moon Books 2010) has won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in First Novel. Beyond that he’s written several collaborations with Michael Louis Calvillo, one of which is a novella called UGLY SPIRIT, available in 2011. 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. Benjamin lives in Southern California with his wife and daughter, both lovely and both worthy of better. When he isn’t writing, reading, videogaming, he’s defending California’s waterways and sewers from pollution.
You can visit his website at BKEthridge.com
Say hi and drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Thank you for this interview, Benjamin. Can you tell us what your latest book, Black & Orange, is all about?
A: It’s a love story with killer pumpkins, hellish gateways and a sacrifice that could end life as we know it. You know, fun stuff.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?
A: The Nomads are the main characters. It is their task to protect a sacrifice from the Church of Midnight, a cult that has been in existence since the beginning of civilization. Supporting characters include a pair of Bishops in the church, the Archbishop and a vixen from another world known as the Priestess of Morning. And I cannot forget the apex villain of the book, Chaplain Cloth.
Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
A: None of my characters are completely based on any one person. However, using real people as guides can be helpful when character-building.
Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?
A: I know the beginning and the ending, but never the middle. Despite my first assumptions, the beginning and end are subject to change—I don’t like being too rigid. You’ll write yourself into a corner and that’s unpleasant.
Q: Your book is set in Colton, California. Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?
A: I work in Colton quite often, so I understood the layout and what the city felt like. After a while though, I realized that the story wasn’t really dependent on the city itself, and I then began to change things around.
Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?
A: Not entirely, but I did use the surrounding canyon and train yards in the story’s climax.
Q: Open the book to page 69. What is happening?
A: One of the Bishops of Midnight, Paul Quintana, is trying to get control of himself while suffering severe hallucinations from a drug he was forced to smoke. All this is happening as he watches the Archbishop of the church set up an inter-dimensional chat session with a corpse.
Hey, I never said it was all a love story!
Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?
A: Cloth stared into the scrolling shadows in the silo’s opening below. It was welcoming. A warmth lifted with a smell of rotten soil and grain. Cloth inhaled it blissfully. That he had come into this world so early, days before the Time of Opening, gave him a sense of security that made him almost capricious. He’d never had a head-start like this and it was all due to last year’s spoils. Tony Nguyen, so delicious. The fruit yielded had been more powerful than many other Hearts in the past and the gateway to the Old Domain pushed open wide enough to allow two church members through. Cloth could still feel that Heart’s power eating away the path, letting more Old Domain influence drift over to this world. Perhaps this year it would allow for an army? Or perhaps the other church could fit the pillars into place?
They were wonderful fantasies, but the job had to get done first.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Benjamin. We wish you much success!
A: I appreciate it, thank you!