I try to write books that I would want to read, and I believe that THE PROPHET would be greatly enjoyed by the fans of authors such as James Patterson, Lee Child, Dean Koontz, David Morrell, Thomas Harris, and Jeffery Deaver.
Describe your style of writing in three words.
Fast-paced, dark, action
Describe your typical writing day. How do you balance your writing with marketing, editing, plotting, your day job, and all other commitments?
Of course, it all begins with a cool idea and interesting characters, but there’s much more than that to a novel (in fact, those are the easy parts). I typically start by just thinking of everything I want to happen in the book (character moments, action sequences, etc). Then I begin to fit those pieces together. I have a dry-erase board and a cork board. I brainstorm on the dry-erase and then begin lining up notecards on the cork board. These cards contain just enough info to let me know the linear progression of the book and how the pieces fit together. Then I craft an outline.
I’m an obsessive outliner. For THE PROPHET, I wrote a 170-page outline that went through two major drafts with feedback from my editors. This outline contains pretty much everything that’s going to happen in the book, even thoughts, research, and snippets of dialogue.
For me, that’s the hard part. Once that’s done and the “writing” begins, things flow, and I’m able to focus on the intricacies. After the outline was done, I wrote the 125,000 words of the book in about a month and a half.
Writing is my “day job,” and so I treat it as such. Since I’m not much of a morning person, I start out with answering e-mails, conducting promotional activities, research, learning, etc…essentially the business side of things. Then, once I’ve got some caffeine in my system, I start to write/outline. I usually quit around 6:00, depending on when the kids have activities or we have plans for the evening. Then I usually have a little time to work some more once the kids and my wife have gone to bed.
Do you have a ritual for getting into the writing zone?
Heavy metal music. I like to listen to music while I work. I feel that it creates a sort of “bubble” where I can shut out the distractions of the real world and focus on the one I’m creating.
What do you enjoy most about writing thrillers?
The fortune, fame, and groupies…wait, that’s a rock star…or maybe a politician. But seriously, I think the best thing about being a writer is the act of creation. I’m happiest when I’m enjoying someone else’s creation or bringing one of my own into existence. Forging something new from nothing using only your imagination is a very therapeutic and fulfilling experience.
Early bird or night owl?
Red or white wine?
Coke or Pepsi?
Bath or shower?
Mac or PC?
International bestselling author Ethan Cross is The Story Plant’s Author of the Month, which means we are offering sensational deals on his work. You can read more about the program here.