ER: When did you first discover speculative fiction and how did it affect you?
ED: I honestly can't recall a time when I haven't been inundated with spec fic. Some of my earliest memories involve watching Disney fairy tales (Beauty and the Beast remains my favorite of these). I often say that fantasy is the heart of who I am. If you don't have imagination, you don't have much.
ER: What are your three favorite books and/or authors and why?
ED: Books are tough. Currently, I would say Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (though I have to include The Hobbit and The Silmarillion with that last one because the three of them make up the whole story). Till We Have Faces is Lewis' best novel, I think; Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is a perfect book if ever there was one; and Tolkien's works never disappoint me. Each of these books has a profound spiritual aspect to it that always leaves me challenged and refreshed when I finish reading.
As for authors, Lewis and Tokien are always at the top of the list. I
will say J.K. Rowling is the third at the moment, if only because I
need to reread Harry Potter almost as much as Narnia and The Lord of
ER: What is the hardest part of writing speculative fiction? How do you
cope with that?
ED: The hardest part for me is keeping myself from losing the story in all the cool things that can be done. My first novel, which I hope to rewrite so that it can be what it was intended, suffered from a lack of character development because I couldn't contain the plot – the flashes and bangs. That's always the greatest difficulty for me. I cope with it by reminding myself that the characters are the heart of the story, and by getting to know my characters so well that who they are leaps onto the page more easily.
ER: What are you working on now?
ED: The sequel to Albion Academy! It's a fun book to write because there are a lot of developments to the characters and the world they live in that couldn't fit in the first book. While Mortimer, Merlin, and Bryn are changed by their experiences in Albion Academy, I think it's what happens in this second book that will end up changing them the most.
ER: Every speculative fiction writer specializes in something – universes,
creatures, languages, technology, magic, etc. What are your
ED: My specialty seems to be mixed mythologies. I can't help throwing myths together, a bit like Lewis did with Narnia or Rowling in Harry Potter. It's a thrill to have a Djinni and a Valkyrie fighting side by side and dealing with their individual troubles, which aren't always as different as they think.
ER: What are some of the values you want your fans to take away from your novels?
ED: There are a number of values in Albion Academy, but I think a love of the truth and a strong sense of personal responsibility are chief among them.
ER: What are your professional and/or personal goals for the next decade?
ED: Professionally, I want to see the Albion Quartet finished and move on to some other projects that have been stewing in my brain for years. Personally, I just want to see us all survive my son's first decade of life, haha.