TNA: Hi, Ethan, welcome. It’s great to have you here with us today.
Since you’re here to chat a bit about the re-release of Blood & Tears, let’s start out with the series in general. What made you want to move it from Dreamspinner to DSP Publications? Or, in other words, what makes the series a better fit under that press?
Ethan: While all the books in the Flesh series have romance in them, I believe the mystery elements are somewhat stronger. The books under the DSP Publications umbrella are ones where romance isn’t the primary focus. I thought the dark tone of Flesh fit with the new imprint.
TNA: Did you revisit the books before they went in to publication at DSPP, do any revisions to them? How do you feel your writing style has changed, if at all, since you first published In the Flesh five years ago?
Ethan: All three books were re-edited. In the Flesh and Flesh & Blood, the first two in the series, had only minor changes. However, this book, Blood & Tears, was totally re-written from third person into first person. I consider it a brand new book, which is why I’m saying that even if you read the first version, you should read this edition. It’s a thousand times better, in my opinion.
My writing style has changed a great deal. I realized that when I started re-edits on In the Flesh. I tried not to change too much because it was my first published novel, and it has a unique voice. My voice is different now, and I wanted to keep my original voice intact.
TNA: If someone were considering reading the series but wanted to know a bit more about Cristian Flesh first, what are a few things you’d want that reader to know about him from your point of view?
Ethan: Cristian can be an asshole, a total douchebag, but he has a big heart. He’s afraid of getting hurt, especially when we first meet him in In the Flesh, so he uses a rough exterior to keep people away. A few people manage to see beyond his attitude and find the real man beneath. He’s a good cop, an excellent one, even if he is a bit unorthodox. If he doesn’t like you he will tell you, but if he likes you he will do whatever it takes to protect you.
TNA: Would you say there are any parts of you in Cristian? If so, how would you say he’s most like you?
Ethan: The Cristian we see in In the Flesh was very much like me at the time I wrote the book. I wasn’t very happy and had a dim view of the future. I was in an unhappy relationship, and many of the rules Cristian lives by were ones we had regarding our open relationship. As I’ve written more books in the series, where Cristian is a supporting character, I’ve written him as mellower and happier, which is how I am as well.
TNA: Was it difficult to switch gears in Blood & Tears, leaving Cristian and Colby in the background to focus on Gabe and Drew? How do Gabe and Drew’s “voices” differ from Cristian and Colby’s—are they grittier, or less so? More or less romantic?
Ethan: It was difficult at first, but once I got into it, I enjoyed it a lot. I’ve loved Gabe since I first wrote him in In the Flesh. He was originally meant to be a disposable character—and a bad guy—but he took over and I’d been looking forward to writing his book for a while. Both Gabe and Drew are less gritty than Cristian. Drew is a bit of a stuffed shirt in the beginning, and I had him relax and chill out as the book progressed. Gabe was rather damaged—mentally and physically—in the beginning of Blood & Tears, but he still had hope beneath the anger. The romance and sex between Gabe and Drew is different than with Cristian and Colby because Drew is a newbie to it all, so it’s not as rough but just as enjoyable.
TNA: Do you have any more books planned for this series, or was this always meant to be a trilogy?
Ethan: Excellent question! I’d planned on it just being a trilogy, but as I worked on the re-releases, I realized I wasn’t quite done with these characters. A fourth book—Closing Ranks—is due out in October. It introduces new characters, but has Cristian and the cops at Reno Police Department as supporting characters. Jeremy Ranklin, the main character, works alongside Cristian on a case and gets to know both Cristian and Colby. It also shakes things up in the police department, which opens up possibilities for new stories. I’m also working on a fifth book which will feature characters introduced in Closing Ranks.
TNA: What’s coming up next for you? Any new releases on the horizon you’d like to share some news about with us?
Ethan: In addition to Closing Ranks from DSP Publications in October, I have a release around the beginning of the year with Pride Publications. Hiding in Plain Sight is a sequel to Vegas Hustle. I’ve also written a couple of short stories for various anthologies.
TNA: Where can readers follow you on the internet?
A huge thanks to The Novel Approach for having me and to the readers who support me. As a reward to the readers, I will give out an ebook copy of Blood and Tears to one lucky commenter.
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
The last thing Gabe Vargas wants to do after nearly dying is to leave his young son. But that’s exactly what FBI Agent Drew Bradley is asking him to do. According to Drew, the only way to protect Gabe and find his wife’s killer is to fake Gabe’s death.
With an already established adversarial relationship, protecting a hothead like Gabe isn’t exactly a picnic for Drew either. But Drew lets his guard down and a desire for Gabe leaves him confused. Before the crime can be solved, Drew will have to risk more than his life. He’ll also have to risk his heart.
1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, July 2011.
Buy Link: DSP Publications
About Ethan: Ethan Stone is an out and proud gay man. Which is fairly new in his life, the out part, not the gay part. He’s been queer his whole life, though he tried to deny it for years with a wonderful woman. The years in denial weren’t all bad, he has two amazing kids out of it. His son is a teenager and his daughter has made him a grandfather, three times over. A way too young grandfather.
Ethan has returned to Oregon after almost a decade in Nevada. He no longer has a day job and is doing his best to make a living at this writing thing. If he can’t make a living, he at least wants to support his Mt. Dew and beef jerky addictions.