About E.C. (Gene) Ayres:
An award winning novelist, journalist, columnist, critic and film and television writer/producer, I am a graduate (B.A.) of Syracuse University, worked in New York for seven years producing short films for Children’s Television Workshop (“Sesame Street,”) ABC, and Time Life Television, then went on to write and produce for various other PBS television series at stations in Maryland, Arizona, and California.
Moving to Los Angeles, I began writing for commercial television, primarily in animation, and was principle writer for the first two seasons of SMURFS. I fought unsuccessfully to reduce violence in children’s entertainment, worked as a feature development writer at Universal Studios, and was recipient of a Warner Brothers Writers Fellowship in 1982. Since leaving Hollywood in 1989 I have published seven mystery novels including winner of the St. Martin’s Press/Private Eye Writers of America Best First Novel competition in 1992. I was a single parent for more than a decade prior to my nearly three years living and working in China between 2004-2007. There I worked as a freelance editor, writer, and university lecturer in English at Harbin University of Commerce in northern Manchuria, where I wrote my nonfiction memoir Inside in the New China (2011). I am married to a Chinese national, and now live in Seattle with my wife and step-daughter.
What inspires you to write?
I have always been interested in, and concerned by the major issues of our time, and have tried to work many of them into my books, including political and judicial corruption, environmental crime (including the plot of Red Tide), guns, and violence against women. I have found that while I cannot control whether or not justice can be rendered in the real world, I can always render justice in my books, and that’s what I do.
Tell us about your writing process.
I outline, chapter by chapter, including the characters. But I have always found that when I actually start writing, the book flows on its own, and the characters take on their own shapes and personna.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters become people that I know, and I am there with them on the page, but I would prefer to say that I talk through them, rather than to them.
What advice would you give other writers?
Do not be distracted to ambition or expectations. Your book is an end unto itself. Just finishing it is a major accomplishment. You may or may not have much control over what happens after that, but that is an entirely new and much different journey, involving things that writers are not necessarily comfortable with, such as marketing, promotion, and so on.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I entered my first book in the St. Martin’s Press/Private Eye Writers of America Best First Novel Contest back in the 90s, and won first place. The price was a nice advance and a book contract. So that was an easy decision for me, to go with St. Martin’s. More recently, I decided to work with Booktrope because of their unique system of enabling authors to create teams to work with: a designer, an editor, a book manager and project manager and marketing person, all of whom have agreed to work with me.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that while ebooks seem to be dominating the market at the moment, there will always be a place for hardcovers and paperbacks. I certainly hope so. They are tangible, and solid, and I have always enjoyed visiting the library and leafing through books.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: mystery, thriller, eco-thriller, and historical thriller
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.