Spotlight Chat: Novelist Eric Arvin
In the genre of GLBT fiction, one of the brightest stars is novelist Eric Arvin. Indiana born, Eric has been amassing a large fan base for the past five years. His books are always eagerly anticipated and whenever he releases a new title it becomes an event. Beginning with his debut novel The Rest is Illusion, readers saw something special in Eric’s talent. His ability to tell a story pulls the reader in and gives one the sense that he is involved with the characters as they unfold throughout the telling.
Eric’s most recent release is Woke Up In A Strange Place, an e-book that has been selling briskly since its premiere. His other titles include the popular Jasper Lane series, SubSurdity and Suburbilicious, as well as Another Enchanted April and the bestselling Simple Men. Knowing Eric for some time now, he and I have developed a rapport that makes it possible for us to discuss anything. Yet I count myself among his fans as importantly as I do among his friends, for one can’t know Eric and not be a fan. He inspires those around him through his example, his spirit, and his uncompromising determination to live life according to his own terms.
CP: Eric, welcome back. Thanks for visiting with me again.
EA: Thank you for inviting me, Carey. I'm a delight...er, it's a delight.
CP: (Laughing.) You've been making a lot of noise with your latest book, Woke Up In A Strange Place. Why do you think readers have responded so well to it?
EA: Jerry Wheeler of Out in Print recently reviewed it and called it "something unique and uniquely gay." I think that may be as good an answer as any. The novel focuses on a gay man's journey through the afterlife. These are two subjects that one rarely sees in combination. My own spiritual ponderings and philosophies seem to have struck a chord with readers. I've received some wonderful emails regarding the book's message. That means a lot, especially with this book.
CP: Are you planning to do more with these characters?
EA: No. This story has been told. Some tales you just need to let stand alone.
CP: You're working on a new book now, I understand. What can you share about it?
EA: It's called Galley Proof and it's about a writer trying to put together a book and falling in love with his editor in the process. My character's manuscript, however, is not coming along so well and begins to mirror his own fracturing life.
CP: There's also talk of a screenplay for your first novel, The Rest is Illusion. What's the lowdown there?
EA: The script is currently being written by critically acclaimed playwright Michael Tennant. I've seen an early draft and it's very good. An excellent script that captures the essence of the book. It's currently in preproduction and in negotiation.
CP: There was also talk of a miniseries version of your novel SubSurdity a while back. Any movement from that front?
EA: No. I think that's dead in the water. Though I did see previews for a new series on ABC this fall called Suburgatory. Have I started a trend? Am I a trend-setter? Am I...MADONNA?! I just might be. Strike a pose!
CP: (Laughing.) And we have to touch back on Simple Men. That book is still very popular. What do you think is the formula for its longevity?
EA: Simplicity. I set out to write a book that was sweet and simple (hence the title), with no big disasters or evil villains. Even the style, the sentence structure and wording, is more simplistic than I usually write. I think, in the end, a lot of people just want something they can curl up with and that will make them smile. Getting Charlie David (Dante's Cove, Bump!) to do the audio version was a major "get." He did a wonderful job!
CP: What else are you involved in these days that you'd like to share?
EA: I have a couple of short stories out soon. One with Untreed Reads, with whom I published Man Falls Down earlier this year, and one to be included in Richard Labonte's fantasy anthology Exotica Erotica, out this fall. I'm also working on an erotic comic book with Absolutbleu for Patrick Fillion's Class Comics.
CP: How have you been spending the summer?
EA: Inside. Surrounded by fans. And not the screaming adoring kind. It's been so hot.
CP: Are you reading anything good right now?
EA: I'm reading Ink by Hal Duncan. It's the follow-up to Vellum in his Book of All Hours. It's at times confusing, frenetic, very poetic, and absolutely beautiful. The man is either so brilliant he's insane or so insane he's brilliant. Its fascinating stuff, and I think some day he will be considered a very important writer.
CP: How about music? What are you listening to?
EA: New stuff by Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Big Talk, and Dolly Parton.
CP: What advice or wisdom would you like to pass along here?
EA: None. If I gave advice someone might take it and become better than me. I can't have that.
CP: And what are you most proud of these day?
EA: The fact that I can still get up every morning.
CP: Eric, it's always great to chat with you.
EA: Same here, Carey! It's always fun to talk about myself.
Eric’s Blog: http://daventryblue.blogspot.com/