Ethan Coffee left California for a few years to study at Purdue University, but is now back in the Golden State. His series, Fables of the Flag, chronicles Jack Preston’s journey through time as he meets famous figures in American history. The second installment, Fables of the Flag: The Surveyor’s Tale, was released July 1st. Check out his website, the Fables Facebook Page and follow him on Twitter.
Let the conversation begin!
What book are you reading right now?
A few, actually. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Divine Comedy by Dante (finally!), and Invictus by John Carlin. At some point I developed a huge backlog, so I’m doing my best to get through everything now.
Do you keep a writing journal?
This is one of the things that has helped my writing the most. I can’t tell you how many story ideas I’ve come up with, declined to write down because I thought “I’ll never forget that!” and then promptly forgotten. My journal doesn’t have any real format, it’s more of a place for me to clear my thoughts before I actually set to writing. A lot of it is drawings as well; maps of where story locations are in relation to each other, timelines, certain objects, etc.
Coffee or Tea?
Obviously, I’m a bit biased overall towards coffee, but in general, coffee in the morning and tea (Tejava, mostly) later in the day.
When are you the most productive?
Just before lunch. I find that if I get through all my emails and other business early in the morning, it frees my brain up to be a lot more creative than if I’m constantly thinking of when I’ll get to all those other random tasks.
Daily word count?
I usually do right around 2,000. Anything less is probably a day where I did work outlining and anything more is where I felt particularly inspired. Most times, I start a scene right before I stop for the day, to set up the next session, but occasionally I have to get through the whole thing.
As a teenager, what was your favorite musical group?
I liked a lot of pop-punk bands like Blink 182 and Green Day. Please don’t judge me, my musical tastes are much more developed now.
What is the best part of writing? Worst part?
The best part is definitely the freedom that comes with being able to take a very personal idea and build an entire world around it. Once you get used to that idea, it’s intoxicating.
The worst, at least for me, is when there’s a big fork in the story and I come up with two possible branches, both of which I like. It’s kind of like anti-writers block, where it could legitimately go either way and I have to decide which route will make a more interesting story, which means I have to discard something else.
If you could only write one more book, what would it be about?
Most likely about an author who is forced against his will to write his last book.
If you could snap your fingers and appear somewhere else, where would you be?
Some beach in Hawaii. Clichés develop because they’re true!