Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Interview: Author Brian P. Easton

Interview by Jessica A. Weiss.

Thank you, Brian, for talking to us today.

You’ve been a finalist with both of your novels (Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter and Heart of Scars) for the Independent Publisher Book Awards. How did/does that make you feel?

Obviously, it feels good to have your work validated by people who judge books for a living. This isn’t your mother patting you on the back or your best friend saying he likes you’re stuff. To be judged by strangers and to have them award you for it was a very satisfying, very encouraging experience for me.

How does a son of a southern pastor turn to studying the occult? Which you’ve now done for over 20 years. What moved you in that direction?

I’ve always had an interest in the spiritual side of life, and growing up in church I witnessed several things that I’ll simply call, phenomena. These experiences prompted me around age 18 to do my own research into world religions, cults and their various supernatural-oriented traditions. The occult quickly became the primary focus of my studies, even though I don’t practice it.

You have a degree in anthropology, its purpose to help in your research. Did it help and in what ways?

My degree in Socio-cultural anthropology became an extension of my research, and a way of lending it some credibility. It helped expand my studies to include interviews with occult practitioners and to sit in with certain groups. The firsthand knowledge I obtained from those sessions is the kind of thing I just couldn’t get from books. As a writer of dark fiction, the things I learned during those years have been invaluable.

Anti-heroes aren’t always popular main characters, yet you’ve admitted you’re a sucker for them. Is there a personal story behind this?

I’m a part of the generation that made characters like Wolverine popular. We like our heroes with an edge, and many times with a certain flare previously reserved for the ‘bad guys.’ The hero vs. villain thing is timeless of course, but I never found real life to be that black and white. True-to-life heroes have faults and sometimes horrible character flaws, but if you can put them against someone who makes them look good by comparison, then they cease to be a typical anti-hero.

Both of your novels were originally self-published and are now released through Permuted Press. What was the purpose of this?

I self-published to get myself noticed, because I believed I could tell a story well enough to do that. It was a plan that ultimately paid off thanks to Permuted Press.

On Facebook, you’ve mentioned The Lineage a few times. Is this book three in your trilogy? If so, when do you expect to have it completed?

The Lineage will complete the trilogy and after a couple of years of taking notes and building the plot in my mind I finally started writing it last month. I hope to have it completed sometime in 2012.

Once you’ve completed your trilogy and its prequel, what projects do you have simmering on the back burners that readers can anxiously await?

I really want to do a horror-western comprised of several short stories, and I also have an enduring idea for a horror-comedy. That’s about all the details I can go into right now. They may have some tie-ins with the SLJ series.

Heart of Scars and Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunger are available as NookBooks. Will you be releasing all your novels in ebook format?

That’s entirely up to the publisher. I literally have nothing to do with that.

What has been your biggest setback as a writer in a popular genre?

Knock on wood, but I haven’t had any real setbacks. Sometimes I’ll get out of pocket for a few weeks and it’s tough to get back to writing again, but that’s about it so far.

Do you see yourself writing another werewolf trilogy, or will you branch into something else?

I may do more on werewolves, but once the trilogy and prequel are done, I’ll want to pursue other options first. I have a lot of potential novel ideas; it just depends on what I have the vision to write when it comes time to start.

How can readers, fans, and creatures of the night find and/or contact you?

They can find me on my Facebook author page, Brian P. Easton. Or through my publisher at PermutedPress.com.

Again, thank you for your time.

About Brian P. Easton

The son of a Southern Illinois pastor, Brian Easton grew up a fan of classic horror films during the 70's. His favorite, as you might imagine, was The Wolfman.

"When I was a baby, my mother used to rock me while watching Dark Shadows. I cut my teeth on a steady diet of Creature Feature and Night Gallery, the old school Universal Monsters and spaghetti westerns. I started writing when I was ten, after I was given a hand-me-down Royal typewriter."

He has studied the occult since 1985 and obtained a degree in anthropology to further his research. His first novel When the Autumn Moon is Bright and his second novel Heart of Scars were finalists in the 2003 & 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards.

"I'm a sucker for tragedy and anti-heroes. Even the most unscrupulous character can become the good guy when pitted against an evil greater than himself. My novels, 'When the Autumn Moon is Bright' and 'Heart of Scars' feature such a protagonist and deliver an autobiographical account of the awful price of hatred. It tells the life story of Sylvester James whose life is tragically altered by a marauding werewolf, and what happens when he hardens his heart to vengeance. As he becomes a man, he learns that it takes more than just silver bullets to kill a werewolf...it demands a perfect willingness to die. A third book is planned to complete the trilogy, and after that a prequel chronicling the life of Sylvester's mentor."

About Jessica A. Weiss

Owner and Editor-in-chief of Wicked East Press (www.wickedeastpress.com) and short story author. You can keep up to date with her blog (thewriterssideofthelookingglass.blogspot.com) or email questions to her at jaweiss@wickedeastpress.com.

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