Telling stories on a grand scale has been my dream for as long as I can remember. When a fireman or a policeman would come visit my school, most of my classmates’ heads would swim with aspirations of growing up and catching bad guys or saving someone from a blazing inferno. When these moments came for me, however, my dreams weren’t to someday be a cop or put out fires; I just wanted to make a movie or write a book about it. And my dream came to fruition with the release of my first book, The Shepherd.
I had written a partially-finished screenplay in high school, and at one time in my life, I had considered moving to California and attempting to break into the film industry. But I knew that was an uphill battle, and much of my time was being consumed by another dream: music. While reaching for that dream, I was able to play all over the Midwest, record a few CDs, and open for national recording artists as a lead singer and guitar player. But I never gave up on my dream of telling stories, and I continued to develop the ideas in my head.
Up to this point, I had never been a big book reader, but then a friend introduced me to a series of Star Wars books that picks up where the original movies left off. I had always been a Star Wars fan, so I decided to give the books a shot. I loved them, but I also discovered a love for books. It wasn’t long before I was reading three to four books a week, everything from suspense thrillers to action and adventure. I had always considered writing a novel, but it was at this point that I knew that was what I wanted to do. So I began writing The Shepherd, which was based upon a short story that I had written for an English class during my senior year of college. My main goal with The Shepherd was to write a book that I would want to read, and the books that I loved were fast-paced with a lot of action. After more work than I could’ve possibly imagined, I finished a first draft. But the book was far from finished.
After doing a lot of research and knowing that I couldn’t get my book published without an agent, I decided to attend a writer’s conference in New York City called Thrillerfest. It included a period of time where you were able to pitch your novel to a group of agents, but you only had three minutes with each. I did well during my pitches and generated interest from all but a couple of the agents with whom I spoke. However, during Thrillerfest, I also attended three days of classes taught by some of biggest authors in the world. It was at this point that I realized my book wasn’t ready for primetime, and I still had a lot of work ahead of me. I also made a lot of new friends and contacts within the publishing industry, and one of them referred me onto a man named Lou Aronica.
The funny thing is that Lou had been the head of several of the big publishing houses, and while heading Bantam Spectra, he was the guy that came up with the idea of having Star Wars books (the same books that got me into reading). It all felt very serendipitous, so I began working with Lou to take my work to the next level. But Lou wasn’t finished with me yet. He also loved my book so much that he referred me onto my agent, Danny Baror – a man who represents some of the biggest authors in the world. Then, a few months later, Lou contacted me about a new undertaking. He had decided to start a new publishing imprint that was going to be invitation only. He asked if I would want to be one of the first authors to be published under this new imprint. I was, of course, excited to continue working with Lou and accepted. Since then, I’ve signed on with Random House in the UK and have deals in several other countries as well including Germany, Russia, Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, the Czech Republic, etc.
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.