This week’s guest author is Ed Ireland, a self-confessed gaming addict, and a fun guy to interview. When I send these interview questions out to authors, I have no idea what’s going to come back, if anything. But Ed provided an entertaining set of responses, that I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading.
Introducing Ed Ireland
Ed Ireland was born in Philadelphia on September 29, 1954. In January of 1955, the hospital he was born in was torn down. Presumably, they didn’t want anything like that happening again. His adolescence was shaped in Catholic school where the proper use of the common language was the only thing that mattered to the short but strong nuns.
In 1972 he joined the military where his wanderlust surfaced. He has since called many places home such as Texas, California, Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania New Jersey, New York and North Carolina while on his way to his current home in Miami, Florida. He claims his penchant for wandering is now at an end here in the shadows of Hemmingway.
Along this great and wondrous trip he has collected memories of some of the most beautiful scenery this country has to offer. He has also met a veritable kaleidoscope of colorful characters that make up the tapestry of his work. Along with his scenic visions, each character in his works carries some part of people he has known in his life, both good and bad.
On the personal side of his life, he is the proud father of two, a rabid Philadelphia Eagles fan, a self-confessed video game addict and a proud supporter of wildlife issues. His particular issue is support for the wolf programs across the country. He encourages support for these magnificent animals and donates a portion of each sale to Runningwiththewolves.org.
Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.
OK, I can do that. I’d like to say I was born on a winter’s night in the Middle East to two wandering parents…but it just ain’t so. I was born in Philly so thank your lucky stars this is a written interview and not spoken.
I am a degenerate game player and if you know Philly, you know what the Philadelphia Eagles mean to me. I like to cook and garden mostly because I’m getting too old for fun stuff anymore. Nah, it’s mostly because…oh hell, it’s the first reason.
I enjoy writing, but oddly enough I hate to read. I went through Catholic school in the 60’s and 70’s and after enough beatings at the hands of short, powerful nuns you get good enough to start your own literary police force. I can’t stand reading stories that could have been scrawled in crayon on the inside of a cereal box turned to print without proper editing. And don’t get me started on sentences like “Ware R U going”…
Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?
Ahh, so quickly to delve into the meat and potatoes of the interview. My latest book is entitled “The Last Ranger of Sarn”. It is what I can an adult epic fantasy/romance/horror tale. My characters curse, get naked, make love and assist in numerous beheadings. No YA in my stable. Then again, from some of the YA books I’ve seen, perhaps I have the wrong idea about what the YA rating means.
But, back to me. When I used to read, the progression of the character was always important to me. So, I took great care to bring my heroine to life. She is a very normal person that is simply put into a choice of do or die. In fact, all of my characters are that way. They all have strengths and frailties. I was always taught that the best quality one could possess in their character was not how good they were at avoiding adversity, but rather how well they adapted to it.
In Last Ranger, I bring my heroine to the edge of madness several times. Each trip costs her, just as it would a real person. I can safely say that when you finish my book, you’ll think of Vespias Firstlight as a real person…and you’ll want more.
Who is your intended readership?
Well, my work is intended for several groups of readers. I would say that people with eyes are one group. Also, as a sub-group, I would add people with fingers to read braille if the eye thing is a problem.
Another group would be the living. While Vespias might have to fight off undead attackers, I’m pretty sure if any are about in the real world, they probably wouldn’t like my book. And a final group might be those people that have bookcases in their bathrooms. You know who you are!
But, all kidding aside, I would like my book to reach into at least two groups. That group that enjoys a good sword & sorcery tale and that other group that likes a good, realistic love story set against the backdrop of a war.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’m still not sure I want to be a writer. Maybe if these stories would stop popping up in my head, my muse would just go away. I’m one of those unfortunate people that get the idea and then must get it out to a largely uncaring world.
Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?
Of course, I am always inspired by the master of my chosen genre, J.R.R. Tolkien. Another inspiration for me is Gregory Maguire. He wrote “Wicked – The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West”. Not that very silly stage musical, but the real, dark, political and gritty story of the Witch of the West. He taught me to see both sides of any situation. What each player perceives as the truth is often very different. I try to work that in when I write. Sometimes it works and other times, ehh.
What advice would you give beginning writers?
Simply put, don’t give up. Keep writing. The more you write, the better you’ll get. Much better advice than what my first author gave me. I asked for her advice on being a writer and through what I’m sure were drunken eyes, she slurred out for me to “keep my day job”.
Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?
Amusing how? Like I’m a clown? I’m here to amuse you??? Actually, my entire life is either and amusing anecdote. Well except for the tragic parts of it.
OK, here’s one.
I was nursing a cold…not a sniffle kind of cold, but a real cold. The kind that makes everyone you know afraid to come within ten feet of you. Coughing, sneezing, runny nose…the entire enchilada with hot sauce.
So, against my better judgement, my wife talks me into going to Wal-Mart with her, her mother and our daughter. So right there in the middle of the store, in a very crowded aisle, I sneeze. At the same time, my butt decided to join in the chorus and I let it rip… loudly. So loud that at least five people spun around and looked at me.
I turned, embarrassed, hurt and confused, to my loved ones. I saw them just as they ducked down another aisle. When I got there, the three of them had tears in their eyes from laughing. My wife rationalized it by telling me to put it in one of my books. Right.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?
The aforementioned hobbies, cooking, gardening and gaming. Apparently, writing is a hobby until you sell enough copies. Screw you NY Times Best Seller List!
I am also very passionate about animal rights. Animals are mistreated and maligned every day on this planet and they have no voices to fight back with. It comes therefore, to each of us to be that voice. Stop the aerial hunts, stop the whaling, stop the black market harvesting of animal parts.
Start being more concerned with what is happening to our world. Remember, we are just a more sophisticated animal. As their world goes, so does ours.
What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?
Well, aside from the editing on the next passage of Vespias Firstlight’s life, I’m re-writing an historical fiction piece I did entitled “Crime Scene”. It’s about the alleged mafia ties to the JFK assassination as told through a Philly gangster. It comes complete with authentic Philly speech. All that’s missing is the cheesesteak!
Speaking of food, there’s also a possible cookbook featuring all of my grandmother’s Italian cooking secrets. It’ll be told in my best smartass style.
The Journals of the Huntress:
The Last Ranger of Sarn
Vespias began to take a knee, as was the custom of the Rangers before battle. She was expected to ask Surres, the Mother-Goddess of all life, forgiveness for the lives she was about to take. As she lowered herself, that knee stiffened.
She thought of the destruction the Black Prince had visited on her home. She thought of the countless lives he had taken. She thought of what would happen if he won. Her home, her family…indeed, her entire race would be stricken from history as if they had never been.
Slowly, defiantly she lifted herself while the kneeling Rangers around her looked on. She whispered a silent apology to Surres and instead called upon Lyra, the warrior Crone-Goddess who tended the underworld.
“Before the end of this battle” she whispered hoarsely, “you will have either the dark soul of my enemy, or my own soul. If it is mine, receive it well and put it in a place of honor. Then tell the Castian people, my heart had endured enough.”
Buy Direct: Snow Leopard Publishing
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