Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Author of Black and Orange Chats about why he writes Dark Fantasy

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Meet Benjamin Kane Ethridge

Benjamin Kane Ethridge is the Bram Stoker Award winning author of the novel Black and Orange (Bad Moon Books 2010). Beyond that he's written several collaborations with Michael Louis Calvillo, one of which is a extreme horror-comedy novella called Ugly Spirit, available soon. He also wrote a master's thesis entitled, "CAUSES OF UNEASE: The Rhetoric of Horror Fiction and Film." Available in an ivory tower near you. Benjamin lives in Southern California with his wife and two creatures who possess stunning resemblances to human children. When he isn't writing, reading, videogaming, Benjamin's defending California's waterways and sewers from pollution. Drop by his site at or tweet him at @bkethridge, or Facebook him at

Synopsis from Goodreads: Forget everything you know about Halloween. The stories are distortions. They were created to keep the Church of Midnight hidden from the world. Every October 31st a gateway opens to a hostile land of sacrificial magic and chaos. Since the beginning of civilization the Church of Midnight has attempted to open the gateway and unite with its other half, the Church of Morning. Each year they've come closer, waiting for the ideal sacrifice to open the gateway permanently.

This year that sacrifice has come. And only two can protect it. Martin and Teresa are the nomads, battle-hardened people who lack identity and are forever road-bound on an endless mission to guard the sacrifice. Their only direction is from notes left from a mysterious person called the Messenger. Endowed with a strange telekinetic power, the nomads will use everything at their disposal to make it through the night alive. But matters have become even more complicated this year. Teresa has quickly lost ground battling cancer, while Martin has spiraled into a panic over being left alone. His mind may no longer be on the fight when it matters most... because ever on their heels is the insidious physical representation of a united church: Chaplain Cloth.

I would like to welcome Benjamin Kane Ethridge, author of Black and Orange to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Mr Ethridge was kind enough to write a guest post for me and here it is below in his own words: 

Why I write Fantasy o' Dark

It happened much like a well-performed magic trick occurs. That is, I never saw it coming, never saw which hand manipulated what and created such a surprising outcome. When I started out to write stories I only desired to write fantasy and science fiction. I enjoyed horror immensely but that wasn’t what I was trying to do with my career. So I started submitting stories and receiving rejections. Submitted more, got rejected more. Submitted more, got an acceptance. Hold up though—this was fantasy, but it was pretty well grim subject material. I noted that and continued on. More submissions, more rejections, and then another acceptance. This one was straight up Horror. Unconsciously I think I wanted to replicate that first sale and it worked.

I got the picture and I’m sure you do now as well. My writing was most successful when I turned up that darkness dial. Thing was, I still wanted to write fantasy and science fiction. But all wasn’t lost because that such a combination is completely viable nowadays. The dark fantasy writer, probably more than the dark science fiction writer, but build a name and you can probably have it anyway you slice it.

So here I was, Benjamin Kane Ethridge, once open to everything speculative, but I'd not been defined. I’d become a Dark Fantasy writer. I have no shame in wearing the Horror badge or the Fantasy badge, but being called one or the other just isn’t at all honest. I write horrific, fantastical things, and that’s what I’ve become. For me this accident was like slipping and springing an oil well because it’s difficult to find your feet as a writer; there is much to read and much to write about and therein lies a decision for every upstart writer. Building a brand means putting your marbles in a particular basket, at least during the audience building stage.

The easiest thing to say was that I didn’t choose Dark Fantasy, it chose me, but that isn’t accurate. I came to a conclusion based on my past successes and my own personal tastes for storytelling, which is how I ended up pulling out free a scale-covered, fang-bearing rabbit from the magician’s hat.

- Benjamin Kane Ethridge Author of Black and Orange
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Coming to Amazon and Barnes and Noble soon!