Featured Interview With Erato
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I’m from the United States, living in New Mexico currently (yes, it’s a state.) So far, however, all of my books are set in the United Kingdom, where I lived briefly, and some of the knowledge I picked up there is incorporated into the work.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I started reading a lot around 4th or 5th grade when I was made to change schools, and consequently recess wasn’t much fun anymore because I didn’t know anybody. So, I liked the library and reading kind of random stuff in there. We were also forced to do a lot of reading in school, “silent reading time” and stuff like that. But I feel like reading and writing are very different activities. It’s a lot easier to have a great time writing a boring book than reading one, for instance.
I got into writing about 5th grade or so, because my parents were doing screenwriting at that time. Also, movies that I started to really enjoy were coming out, and I wanted to make things like that. So, my initial aspiration was actually screenwriting; just, by the time I was about 30, it was pretty apparent that a career in that field wasn’t going to happen for me — not with the current state of the film industry, where everything either has to be a film that can gross $100 million in the opening weekend, or else be Oscar-bait. So, I started to shift into writing books. With books, the book is the finished product — it doesn’t need to get made into a movie in order to be seen.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I will be honest, these days I don’t have a great deal of time to spend reading fiction — usually if I read, it will be a book with a dull-ass non-fiction name like “How to Write Advertisements.” If I read fiction, I normally read Classics. I’ve been reading Daphne du Maurier’s book “Rebecca” lately, and also started on Lord Byron’s “Don Juan.”
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My newest book is called “The Cut of the Clothes: A Story of Prinny and Beau Brummell.” It’s set between 1795 and 1816. The narrator of the story is the Prince Regent, called Prinny by his friends. I actually read the real Prinny’s letters in order to imitate his (often rather distinctive) patterns for talking and writing — he will suddenly burst into French or Italian, or use curious spellings of words that were already old-fashioned 200 years ago. Transcriptions of conversations that took place between him and his friends indicate there was a great deal more strong swearing than the literary language would have you to think. One of his girlfriends was apparently nicknamed “The Bitch” by people at the Court who knew her. The story itself is about Prinny’s efforts to become the most fashionable, admired man in Britain, and how he finds himself obsessing over Beau Brummell — a teenager who seems to naturally sparkle, and compels admiration from everybody without even trying. While Prinny’s life is going down the tubes, Brummell seems to do better and better every year, and grows more and more disdainful of Prinny as he ceases to require his patronage.
I wrote it after completing a yet-unpublished romantic crime novel. I had sent out my submissions and queries about that one on November 30th, and I began writing “The Cut of the Clothes” on December 1st. I had a first draft done in about 10 days, but it was about half the length of the finished product. I finally had the book ready to go in for copyright at the end of January. I had given myself a deadline of February 14th to have it self-published by — I beat the deadline by 7 days. I knew from the start that it was likely only to be a novella, not a full 80,000 word novel. Most publishers won’t look at novellas, so I was aware it would have to be self-published; which is fine, since a lot of the book publishers aren’t much better at promoting or editing than my own efforts have proven, and they keep a lot of the money in return for that modicum of prestige they offer while still leaving you to do virtually all of your own promotional work.
I hope that “The Cut of the Clothes” might appeal to more than just the Regency Fiction crowd, but to those who enjoy language, humor and stories about outcasts.
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