Interview with Ethan Cross
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
It started as early as I can remember. I wasn’t an only child, but since my three sisters are so much older than I am, it felt that way growing up. I’ve always been an introvert and my favorite pastime as a young boy was playing pretend with my action figures and my imaginary friends (as my parents called them). But I’m not sure if they were truly the imaginary friends that we traditionally think of. I say this because they were more like characters in my own little movies. At the time, it was a boy playing with his imaginary friends, but I still do basically the same thing as an adult, only my imaginary friends find life on the pages of my books.
What genre do you write and why?
I write crime thrillers. I’m not sure where my fascination first stemmed, but I can say with almost one hundred percent certainty that I’ve never read a fictional book where no one was killed or no crime was committed. It sounds pretty morbid when I read those words, but honestly, I think it all comes back to what’s at stake. The more that’s at stake, the higher the level of excitement and tension. My goal with writing is to create a book that I would want to read, and crime/action thrillers are the type of books that excite me because they have the highest stakes.
Tell us about your latest book.
With THE PROPHET, I wanted to touch on the world of doomsday cults and the abuse of power wielded by the charismatic leaders of such groups but also on the impact of abuse and how the sins of the parents affect their children. Throw in some gun fights and explosions, and you’ve got yourself a story! And I’ve received some wonderful praise from some of my extremely talented colleagues:
"The best book of its kind since Thomas Harris retired Hannibal Lecter, a cat-mouse-game extraordinaire that will leave your knuckles white and your stomach churning." - Jon Land, Bestselling Author of Strong Vengeance
"Cross pushes the boundaries in this sinisterly clever showdown between one shadowy vigilante justice group and three twisted serial killers. The surprises are fast and furious and will leave you breathless to read more." - Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Catch Me and Love You More
"Solid, memorable storytelling that moves rapid-fire through a complex and gripping plot. Ethan Cross is one of the sharpest emerging writers on the thriller fiction scene today."
- Steven James, National Bestselling author of Opening Moves and The Pawn
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?
Anything that could generate word of mouth, since that’s how books are sold. We’re trying to generate buzz using a lot of promotions, giveaways, blog posts, reviews, social media, etc. The key is to first write a good book and then get people talking about it. Neither one is an easy task.
What formats is the book available in?
My books are available as trade paperbacks from all major retailers and as ebooks on all major platforms.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I’m a huge movie buff. My wife and I religiously have date night every week and take in a movie. And if I’m not writing or watching a cool story, I’m probably reading one.
Who are your favourite authors?
I enjoy any book that’s action-packed, regardless of genre, and I've been known to read three or four books in a week. I love David Morrell, James Rollins, Lee Child, F. Paul Wilson, Dean Koontz, Jeffery Deaver, James Patterson, Douglas Preston, Clive Cussler, and many, many more.
What advice do you have for other writers?
The first step in succeeding as a writer is having a deep love of stories and then learning how to write. You can do that in many ways including reading (and doing it a lot), taking classes, attending conferences, etc. For me, the most significant and worthwhile experience was attending Thrillerfest in New York. While there, I took classes from some of the biggest selling and most accomplished writers in the world. I learned so much and have applied those techniques to my writing. I also made a lot of great friends and business connections while there. So I guess I could sum it up as: have an incredibly strong desire to write and a deep love of stories, learn to write well (and keep learning and improving), and get out there and make connections.
What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” - Stephen King. I think this sums it up. You can learn more on the craft of writing by reading great writers than by sitting in any classroom or attending any conference.
What's the best thing about being a writer?
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.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?