Dr. Ephraim Bates
Chattanooga, TN, USA
Good morning, Dr. Bates. Welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors. It is a pleasure to have you here with us. Let's get to it.
Q. What have you written?
A. Songs…and a ton of them. My buddy and I are getting ready to put out our fourth album next month.
Oh, and “Boom!!...Killers.” my first foray into the novel writing field (and probably the reason we’re doing this interview right now).
Q. Yes, probably. What is your favorite genre to write?
A. It’s hard to say. I have so many stories that I have worked on in my days as a younger man. Love action, love conspiracy stories, and I really like books that are funny. I guess I love the three so much that I wrapped them all up into one genre: the comedic action thriller.
And that’s what “Boom!!...Killers.” is…funny, full of intense thrill rides, and action by the buckets. And it’s funny. Did I say that already??
Q. Favorite food?
A. Whatever you’re makin’, baby.
Q. That is one of the characteristics of the ideal man in my book. Tea or coffee?
A. Tea…no sugar.
Q. Pizza or ice cream?
A. I have found this new frozen pizza from California Pizza Kitchen, and they – in my opinion – blow all other frozen pizza out of the water…and the freezer.
Q. Where would you like to visit?
A. The minds of my ex-girlfriends just so I can see what it was that they were thinking. But, yeah, just for a visit. Much more than that and I would probably be visiting the psych ward.
Q. I was really going for an actual place, like Italy or Scotland. Apparantly, you like scary stuff. Favorite musical artist?
A. The Outfield.
Q. Do you listen to music when you write?
A. I do.
A. I actually have a soundtrack to “Boom!!...Killers.” Every time I would write, I would listen to that soundtrack…over and over and over again. I have a new one for the sequel, “Bang!!...Assassins.” that I put together, too.
And I listen to it over and over and over…
Q. What makes you laugh?
A. Great one-liners that are both absurd and yet fitting at the same time.
Q. Favorite work of art or sculpture?
A. I used to teach 4th grade so I love those works of “art” that hang at home on the refrigerator. Beautiful, innocent, and pure.
Q. I taught first grade, and in our home I have artwork that my student's gave me, framed and matted and amazingly beautiful. How old were you when you started writing?
A. Overall…I was six. Intelligibly? Probably around 9th grade
Q. Describe your perfect evening?
A. Snowed in and safe with a particular set of friends, and we would sit around the fire place talking about music, politics, movies, life, and faith.
Q. Snow? Where do you get your inspiration?
A. Music, dreams, and the lack of good story telling in other books that I read.
Q. What do you do when you get a writer's block?
A. I put it with all my other writer’s blocks in hopes that one day I can build a writer’s castle.
Q. That would be a useful thing to do with them. I'll keep that in mind. Who is your favorite author?
A. Ed McBain, Solomon.
Q. Last book you read?
A. Mica Rossi’s “Once In A Blue Moon”.
Q. I have that one on my To-Be-Read List! What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
A. Well, I do so many other things: musician, teacher, tutor, etc.
I guess if I had to pick something that would be my dream job besides everything else I do is… Disc Jockey.
Q. Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
A. There is no one person. My life as I know it now has been influenced by a collective of people. To single out just one would be doing a disservice to everyone else that has been just as important.
Q. If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
A. Noah. I would love to know how the whole ark thing worked/was made, and the two of every creature being on it, and how pro-creation went after the waters alleviated after the worldwide flood was over.
Q. What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
A. Have a ton of story ideas in your head before you write your first story. Don’t just go with whatever you come up with first. You will need to follow up with something else pretty quick, and you will need to make it good so that people don’t:
1: Think you are one and done.
2: Think you are a one hit wonder.
That was the same advice Stephen King gave. He said after you finish your first book, start your second one. Well, Dr. Ephraim Bates, you are a real character. I think we'll be hearing a lot more about you! Thank you for stopping by Vision and Verse this morning.