Name Ed Drury
Age Ed: Older than the oldest person you know can remember.
Where are you from
Ed: I was born in The Dalles Oregon, USA
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Ed: I grew up an only child, though I had step and half siblings who I did not meet until I was an adult. My father was married a total of five times. I attended the University of Oregon in the 70’s, my major was Psychology. In addition to degrees in Psychology I have a BS in Computer Science and associate degrees in Respiratory Care. Not the best background to settle on one high paying career, but pretty good for day jobs while chasing my music dreams as well as fodder for a lot of stories.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Ed: I’ve had a life long love affair with music and for my last birthday I received a lovely ukulele which I’ve scarcely put down since. I’m currently working on a fourth novel as well as a novella length fiction piece.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Ed: I wrote poetry, mostly song lyrics, starting in the late sixties through to today. I’ve always had a love of the creative arts but alas, I am not good at the visual arts. That left writing and music as my primary outlets.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Ed: After a lifetime of people telling me I was a “writer” I finally decided that if I was one it was time to write a novel. In the fall of 2010 I began what was to become the Whale Whisperers Saga. The first book, the Whale Whisperers of Ensorclea was based on a dream I had perhaps ten years earlier. The novel diverged from the original dream greatly. The story of my dream could have been told in very few words indeed, was more of a romantic story, and it was not set in a fantasy world. Still, the basic concept of a young girl from a privileged background falling ill and being saved by a young shaman’s apprentice was the underlying story in my novel as well as my dream.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Ed: I think that I kind of answered that above, but aside from the literal dream to book thing I had always meant to start writing when I reached a “certain age.” I finally asked myself if I was waiting for permission, and if so from whom. Of course, the only permission I needed was my own so finally I just plodded my way into it with the help of a few writing books, some not so objective criticisms from friends and family, and a stubborn determination to tell my stories on paper.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Ed: Growing up I admired a few writers greatly. I identified with their way of telling stories as well as their general world views. Two that come to mind instantly are Kurt Vonnegut and Mark Twain. I am not saying that I write in the style of either, but I do strive to bring humor into my stories often to soften what I call “the big blow.” The big blow is that in the end, all stories do not have a happy ending and the lessons at their core are perhaps not what we might hope for. Reading that myself just now, I realize I sound like I write tragic tales about pathetic losers. Happily, I don’t and hopefully this is where the humor might save me. But then I have a very dry, often dark sense of humor. I should probably write horror, but I don’t have the courage for that. Besides, I’ve seen enough of that in real life.
What I do hope my readers will find are characters they find interesting. I think people will keep their attention on a good character before they will follow a writer telling a tale. I try to make my characters act out my stories as opposed to me telling it. But to do that, people need to first care about the character. It’s a balancing act I hopefully am learning to pull off.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Ed: Ah, of my first book? I needed to describe an indigenous group that believed their ancestors once lived on the land, but fled to the sea and became whales to escape an invasion by aliens. These people were those left behind to try and wait out the alien occupation of their land (Ensorclea). So the ancestors and the current indigenous people left on land communicated with each other more or less telepathically (or through whispering). So the book was about the Whale Whisperers of Ensorclea. Pretty straight forward.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are several mixed messages in the books, some that I’ve been sort of coy about. It has worked out well with most reviewers telling me what they got out of the book and to be honest, I’m a bit surprised by some of it. Some see it as primarily a pro environmental book which I suppose it is. To me it is primarily about family, love, loss, and hope. Maybe I am too close to the characters to see the main message. I am quite fond of them.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I hope all of the book is somewhat realistic. At least as much as a science fiction/fantasy novel can or should be. Your mileage will certainly vary according to what theories about time, space, parallel universes and such can coexist with mine at the time I wrote the book. I haven’t had any readers yet who couldn’t buy into the world I created. It is quite conceivable to me that the world which these character inhabit is merely our world in an alternate timeline.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Ed: Some of the settings are based on real world places and there are bits and pieces of people I know in many of the characters. All are fictional, but drew on my considerable exposure to people and places. I did mention that I’m quite old, didn’t I?
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Ed: I mentioned Twain and Vonnegut, but also Phillip K. Dick, Theodore Sturgeon, and perhaps I should also mention David Brin whose early trilogy I found riveting. I also like Douglas Adams of course. I guess I’m saying I was heavily influenced by Science Fiction writers. The Kurt Vonnegut book that really made me want to be a writer someday was Slaughter House Five, though my favorite by him is Mother Night.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Ed: I’m currently reading a spoof sci-fi novel called Traveling in Space by Steven Paul Leiva and Shadowline Drift by Alexes Razevich.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Ed: New authors are always coming to my attention it seems. I am usually reading two or three books at a time and I’m constantly behind on my list.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Ed: I’m currently working on a paranormal thriller about a psychic medium who does the normal “I’m getting someone whose name begins with an A over on this side of the room” sort of thing. The twist is that he starts getting repeated victims of the same killer stepping forward. I always wondered what would happen if Dexter Morgan went to see Theresa Caputo kind of thing. So I decided to write it out.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Ed: There are numerous writing groups on Facebook that have been extremely helpful. I always recommend people check this out and try to find the right fit. There are so many you can’t follow all of them (although we all probably know a few people who do) and some of them just aren’t a fit. I don’t fit in a romance writing group for example. But Facebook probably offers the most in terms of finding “your tribe” or whatever. And if not there, those groups can get you pointed in the right direction. It is good to connect with other writers in your town if possible. Local book stores, if you’re lucky enough to have them, often host readings and other events. Just “writing out” with my laptop in coffee shops has exposed me to like minded people to compare experiences and bounce ideas off each other.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Ed: I see it as a vocation or calling. Some can make a career of it, but I think everyone should write. It is an enormously helpful skill to have and should be encouraged and nourished. Even a shopping list requires some forethought and skill to pull off well. So yeah, I see it as more than just a career, but an important part of being a whole person. It can be therapy and I know people who have literally saved themselves by making writing a part of their day.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Ed: Probably lots of things and hopefully I’m addressing them all in my next book. I can’t dwell on the past in real life, there is a time when you have to accept your life and your writing as a prologue to what is next, learn from it, and move on.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Ed: The written word always fascinated me. As long as I remember, the concept that someone in a far away place, perhaps from long ago could leave the words I was reading here and now… I still find it amazing.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This is from Medium Rare, my current project :
It is a different sort of feeling when you hear a voice that is not your own and there is no one else around. Given the state of my career at the time, I was sure that I had snapped. Especially when as I thought to myself I had slipped over the edge of sanity, the voice said, “don’t worry, you haven’t snapped.” This was somehow not reassuring, believe me! If I had any doubt that I was drifting off the pier without a rudder, that was all the proof I needed. I decided what was called for was some serious drinking for days on end. When that didn’t make the voice go away, I tried the only other thing I could think of. I started listening. Listening provoked questions so I had officially started talking to myself. It took an enormous amount of practice to keep my questions as mere thoughts and not voice them aloud. Even though I was pretty sure I was completely deranged, I wasn’t about to advertise it to a world which already had labeled me a fraud.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Ed: I struggle at times to get past the blank page. Once I can get started, I roll along well, but if I’m blocked it can be quite a challenge. Sometimes the spell gets broken in the least expected way.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I think Twain is my favorite writer precisely for his sharp wit and ability to be so in touch with his time and place in the world. He wrote with this combination of passion and empathy that really got to the heart of the political issues of his time and place.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet. That would be nice. Really, I so far have based all my books on places I have already been. Whale Whisperers was built extensively on my experiences in Bali and Hawai`i.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Ed: The Whale Whisperers of Ensorclea cover was designed by Valerie Bowen.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Ed: I hit different stumbling points while writing it, but the real work is in the drafts, proof reading, and all the little details that turn a manuscript into a book.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Ed: I learned to trust my characters and give them a chance to guide me. Most of them turn out to be different than I originally thought they were. I learned to allow them to be written rather than write them with a preconceived idea of who they are. Try letting a bad guy do something really pretty nice. You might like him better if he isn’t a stereotypical evil dude. It also may give you a great plot twist.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Ed: Most important, write. Write different ways, literally use pen and paper sometimes, write on napkins, write in public, just try anything and see if it creates that spark. But mostly, just write.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Ed: Thank you!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Ed: I don’t. I remember books from different times in my life to the degree I even vividly remember the room I was reading in, what was going on in my life at the time, that sort of thing. I remember reading Call of the Wild a very, very long time ago. I don’t think it was the first book I read, but it may be the first memorable book I read.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Ed: I’m an old man, pretty much everything. Though I can’t chalk that up to old age. It’s probably more because I’m a simple minded wuss.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Ed: From the past I would have to say Mark Twain. I would love to meet him and ask him about his life. I think the first thing I’d ask him is what really urked him.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Ed: “I told you I was old.”
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Primarily music. I play guitar, keyboards, didgeridoo, drums, Native American Flute and most recently ukulele. I also hike and swim.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Ed: I watch too much TV. My favorite shows are Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, NCIS (all of them), Grimm (Huge Grimster), Big Bang, Mom, and Elementary. But there’s more. They took some of the best ones off. I’m still fuming over the loss of Perception and Forever!
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Ed: I like all foods, I’m easy with that way. Aide from being a vegan that is… I also like all colors, but I’m quite a fan of green to be honest. Music, again with the possible exception of Chinese Opera (or Klingon battle songs) I’m down with most anything from Classical to Electronica.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Ed: I would have liked to been a class room teacher. I do some teaching in music, but to make a career of it would be great. Unfortunately when I had the chance to pursue that career, I thought it would be the worst thing in the world. I guess I grew up too late in some ways.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I have a website at http://www.EdDrury.com
My Amazon Author Page is : http://www.amazon.com/Ed-Drury/e/B005M2HAQ8/