ER: Since Speculative Fiction is often interwoven with spirituality
(myths, legends, science, etc), please describe your personal
spiritual path and how it is reflected in your writing.
ED: I follow the Christian faith. I was raised in a Southern Baptist church under a pastor who'd previously been a Pentecostal and I have a more liturgical soul than many Protestants. The way this presents itself in my fiction is varied. Sometimes I have stories with a fairly obvious moral like "The Debt-Keeper" and then I'll have books like Albion Academy that have a more ambiguous spiritual flavor. It isn't that my faith isn't reflected there – I think a person's spiritual beliefs can't help but be present in a book's underpinnings – but Albion Academy has faithful and unfaithful pastors, people who believe in God and people who are closer to agnostic. For some, faith is a matter of fact; there is no room for doubt in their lives. Others have to work through even the smallest matters of faith. And while all of these things are important, none of them quite pushes itself to the forefront of the novel.
ER: Conventions – do you attend?
ED: I've not had the pleasure yet, but I hope to make it to ConNooga and DragonCon at least once.
ER: What advice and/or warnings do you have for burgeoning writers?
ED: Don't make excuses. Just write. It's the best way to get things done.
ER: You can’t tell a book by its cover; however, you must SELL a book by
its cover. Tell us about your book covers and how they came about.
ED: The cover for Albion Academy was inspired by a door that the three main characters come across early in the book and which forms a central part of the mysteries in the novel. I'd known I wanted to feature the door, and especially the symbols emblazoned on it, for a long time before the book was accepted for publication. I liked the idea of having that iconic image presented to the reader before anything else.
ER: How do you feel about movie conversions of books and novelizations of movies?
ED: Movie adaptations can run the gamut from abominable to fair to pretty good to amazing. There are very few I place in that last category and far too many in the first. I always hope for a movie that provides something close to the experience the book gave me. If a movie can do that, it has succeeded in my estimation. Movie novelizations, at their best, are a gift to the world because they allow us to visit the minds of the characters in ways movies don't often have room for. I especially enjoy it when a novelization includes scenes that had to be cut from a film but that add to the depth of the characters and the world.
ER: If one of your books becomes a movie, who would you want cast into which roles?
ED: For Albion Academy, I actually have had a few characters dream cast for years (though not the main trio; for them I would probably want relatively unknown actors). I would cast Tom Felton as Robin Goodfellow, Anna Torv and Cate Blanchett as Vivienne (depending on where we are in the story), Jeff Goldblum as Principal Reese, Colm Meaney as Alamar Stone, Don Warrington as Mr. Cornelius, and Rosario Dawson as Mistress Akachi.
ER: Do you belong to a writers group or any other support/hobby group?
What, how long and why?
ED: I have attended two writing groups hosted by the Chattanooga Writers' Guild for about 2 years now. One serves as an outlet to "talk shop" with other writers and the other as a critique group. The second group actually workshopped Albion Academy over the course of a year and a half.