Interview with Ethan Proud, author of Terra Mortem
22 Jan 2019
What can you tell us about your new release, Terra Mortem?
I don’t want to give anything away, but Terra Mortem is a sci-fi thriller and takes place on the exo-planet AE625. Humans were never supposed to live here, it is nearly uninhabitable and the humans who wrecked there only survived because of the microbes shared with them by the gonis who tried to eat them. Now they have a symbiotic relationship with these creatures, while trying to survive in the most volatile climate. Water is scarce, as are morals and food. Nomadic tribes begin warring with each other while the Original Settlement orchestrates a rescue mission with the humans who reached their destination. As everything falls apart around them, they discover that they are not as alone on this planet as they had thought.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I caught onto reading at a young age and my love of reading transferred into writing. My mom told me that I would sit with a book in the living room and ask what sounds each letter made while she was making dinner, cleaning, etc. My parents were always proactive with my brothers and I’s learning and as a result, I was reading Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings in elementary school. I’d have to say that Tolkien was a huge inspiration and I loved the books and movies. I used to reread one of the LOTR books every summer. Around the time I was in the third grade I started writing in notebooks on the way to sporting events and when I was in seventh grade I began co-authoring my first published works, The Rebellion Trilogy, with my older brother Lincoln.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
That question almost isn’t fair! If I had to be picky I’d say Rant (Chuck Pahluniak), Monstrumologist (Rick Yancy), Lord of the Rings (Tolkien), Cephrael’s Hand (Melissa McPhail), and Cat’s Cradle (Vonnegut). I also love non-fiction and read biographies, books on science and the environment, and historical events.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
Probably Tolkien. His writing was such an inspiration to my younger self that it would feel wrong to interview anyone else first. I would ask him anything and everything, from who his favorite character was (mine are Gandalf and Boromir), to how he came up with such rich languages and cultures.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
My favorite aspect of writing is exploring the possibilities. I like to think that I exercise good judgment ( my friends and family would probably say no), so I like to have my characters make mistakes that reverberate through an entire book or several. While the plot is fun and necessary, I feel like my characters sometimes hijack the story I have in mind and it grows into something even more spectacular.
What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day for me is usually work, writing, and getting outside. I make myself sit down and write every day if I have a story in mind, and discovered that you don’t need inspiration to write something good, just stick to what you want to happen and follow the plot. Until its published, nothing is set in stone. My favorite hobbies include snowboarding, backpacking, rock climbing, and fishing. I take every chance I have to get outside, and I usually find myself energized enough to write a few chapters after a good outing.
What scene in Terra Mortem was your favorite to write?
I don’t want to spoil anything for the readers and picking one is too hard. But I enjoyed writing the first four chapters, the human sacrifice between the aliens and their god, and the coupe in the Original Settlement.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
I think my philosophy changes every day. I just try to do right by myself, not step on anyone else’s toes and do me. Its pretty easy to avoid drama when most of your time is spent writing or outdoors!
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