In The Spotlight Today: Ethan Baumgartner!
Tell me about yourself, how old are you and where are you from?
Ethan: I am 28 years old and I am from Dayton, Ohio. I’ve lived in Dayton and/or Kettering all my life. Been lots of other places, but I’m a homebody at heart.
How old were you when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
Ethan: I’ve been writing stories since I was in elementary school. It started when I was trying to get out of typing practice on Mavis Beacon at home, and Mom told me that as long as I was typing for 30 minutes, she would let me do whatever I wanted. So, I opened up a Notepad program, started typing, and 30 minutes later, I had my first story about dinosaurs on an island (I know, original, right?). That’s where it all started, and I’ve been writing ever since.
In 100 words or less, tell us about your book!
Ethan: Masters of the Earth is a series about a group of people with special abilities who come together to find acceptance and encouragement, but they end up being sucked into a much larger, hostile world that has nothing good in store for them. Gathering Courage is Part 1 of 8, and it is basically the introduction of the many characters in the series and opens the door for an epic story later on down the road. The best thing about Part 1 is the focus on the character development, putting them together as a haphazard family and watching them interact.
What inspired you to write this story?
Ethan: This story came out of an overnighter with my little sister, Grace, who was adopted from China. We’ve been a fan of superhero shows and movies for years, and we were talking about what it would be like if our family members had superpowers based on our personalities. The main characters of the story are based on the members of my families, and the theme of coming together as a family from previous backgrounds reflects the adoption aspect that had become a core feature of who we are. It takes courage to be who you were meant to be and use the gifts that God has given to each person, combined with the idea of a world that has hate in its heart for people it doesn’t understand, and the story writes itself.
Which character from your book do you feel like you identify with the most?
Ethan: Obviously, I identify with the one based on my own personality, the character K. Although, I must admit, he is based on a much darker, less savory aspect of my personality. Everyone has things about themselves that they wish weren’t there, and K represents most of the things about me that are…less proper. He has pain in his past and clings to it in a way that isolates him from the others (although it takes until Part 3 for this to finally be fully revealed). Some of that is true for every character in the story, having faults that they either hide from and don’t deal with, or they live out in socially or morally destructive ways. K is that for me.
If your book had a soundtrack, what would the first track be?
Ethan: I actually have a “Official Unofficial Soundtrack” for the whole story so far on my website, www.mastersoftheearth.weebly.com, where you can find all the tracks and buy the books. The music is mostly epic instrumentals from amazing artists, and also includes many tracks from movie OSTs.
What type of books do you enjoy? What are two of your favorites?
Ethan: I enjoy a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books, especially Young Adult literature, but one of my favorites comes from the philosophy genre. I think it would be a copout to say that my favorite book is The Bible, but that would be an obvious inclusion. However, my other favorite non-religious book is probably Two Treatises of Government by famous philosopher John Locke, one of the documents that influenced our Founding Fathers in the creation of this country’s system of separation of powers.
My favorite fiction book would probably be Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy, centering on the protagonists June and Day in a dystopian future. Her three books Legend, Prodigy, and Champion feature some of the best character and plot development I have ever read, and I highly recommend getting your own copies and devouring them over a week or two.
Besides reading and writing, what else do you enjoy doing during your free time? Any other Businesses/Careers?
Ethan: I am an English teacher for Jr. Hi and High School at a private K-12 school in Dayton, and that consumes all of my time. Even as I write this, I’m at the school preparing for one of the summer meetings of On-Guard, the sword fighting and martial arts club I run at the school. Teaching at such a small school, I wear a lot of hats, not the least of which being (obviously) co-advisor of the Creative Writing Club.
Do you have any book specials/giveaways or events coming up for any of your books?
Ethan: Since I am self-published using Kindle Direct Publishing, I set my prices for all of my books, and none of the Masters of the Earth books in the series will ever be more than $15. The first two books are available on Amazon in paperback (printed on-demand) and e-book format, and if you buy the paperback book, you can get the Kindle version for $0.99. At some point, I’d like to see if Amazon will let me bundle my books together to give my readers the best deal on getting a lot at the same time, but I’d prefer to build my library first.
Where can readers keep up with you on social media? Post your usernames!
Ethan: You can find me on Instagram @eebauthor and on Twitter @EEBAuthor
I post updates about books and also about a lot of the other awesomeness my life is blessed with. The website mentioned above already (www.mastersoftheearth.weebly.com) has a TON of material for this series, and if you want to check out my other story in progress, head to www.monstersnovel.weebly.com for a much darker, grittier story focused on only one or two characters. You can email me personally at email@example.com.
Anything else you would like to say?
Ethan: There are plans for about 10 other completely original stories, and several of them are described/previewed in the back of Part 2 – Government Agents, the second book in the Masters series. I want to write things that have a large appeal to a lot of people, not just niche audiences, but all of them will still be of some sort of sci-fi or fantasy variety. Check ‘em out!
Check out Ethan’s book series Masters of the Earth on Amazon! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B2RQH14/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
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