Featured Author: Ethan Nahté
Story: Cajun Critter
State of Horror: Louisiana Volume I
Ethan Nahté spent most of his youth writing fiction and performing music. He eventually received the National Quill & Scroll Award his senior year of high school. He took a break from fiction and performing, entering the fields of journalism and broadcast journalism where he slaved away for many years. The desire to write fiction struck him once more in 2004 when he wrote a story that won first place for the John L. Balderston award. He focused more on screenwriting after that, foregoing fiction once again for another five years, before returning and selling his first piece, a short story, to Yard Dog Press.
Since then Nahté has sold between one to two dozen stories, and even a poem or two, to various anthologies and e-zines. He still works in the journalism field, writing on a variety of subjects.
In addition to his short stories and screenplays, he is currently writing a novel and he has a new author site which is still in its early stages at http://www.NahteWords.com.
Synopsis: “Cajun Critter” from State of Horror: Louisiana Volume I
The year is 1957 and a huge hurricane grips Louisiana from the Gulf of Mexico. What is not known is that an alien sent to explore Earth is caught in the storm and crashes into the bayou. In that same bayou three guys—Sonny, Archie, and Bigby are braving the storm on a quest for moonshine. As the storm gets worse the Archie, Sonny and Bigby face not only issues with the weather, each other, and wild animals, but also with some very hostile Cajun moonshiners. At the same time the huge alien is acclimating to the bayou, having survived the crash. She tests some of the animals she finds in the bayou to see what she can eat, but has a ravenous appetite. The plight of the boys draws her attention. What happens next is a collision course that will change everything. Who will survive?
The wind really began to howl; however a flapping noise could be heard as a force buffeted the trees. A loud crash followed. The sound of a large tree snapping in two and crashing into the swamp out in the distance brought everyone to a halt
Time to Meet Ethan Nahté
Charon Coin Press: What inspired your story in State of Horror?
Ethan Nahté: When I decided to write something for SoH: Louisiana I had nothing really in mind. I enjoy historical fiction so I began researching strange, unexplained events, cryptozoology and such for the Louisiana area. Being born and raised in Arkansas, including a stint living on the Arkansas/Louisiana border, I was familiar with some creatures, not to mention the real-life threats that come from living in such areas. Making up beasts and situations can be scary but, to me, nothing is scarier in horror than imposing aspects from the real world to threaten the characters.
CCP: Is there a reason this particular state appealed to you?
EN: Not particularly. I met Jerry Benns, the editor, at a convention and this and North Carolina were both upcoming anthologies. I had completed research and a basic outline in my head for a North Carolina story in addition to “Cajun Critters” which I submitted for the State of Horror: Louisiana. The NC story is still floating around up there and may come to fruition some day.
CCP: What do you look for in a horror story as a reader?
EN: Although my own writing can, and does, include a lot of gore, blood and guts doesn’t necessarily make for something being scary. I look for a believable plot, even in a fantastic situation; good pacing; some intensity not only with whatever the scary situation may be, but also a conflict with the character(s), be it in their own psyche or with one another; good dialogue and characters (If I read or see one more situation where the hero goes to take care of the problem and some dolt warns them to be careful, or if they are being chased, shot at, etc. and someone says “run” I’ll probably put the book down or turn the movie off.); and something that’s not easily predictable.
CCP: What is your favorite writing snack food?
EN: I tend to write (or edit video) and go for hours (and sometimes days) without eating, not realizing that I’m locked into the zone until 48 hours later when I decide I need food and discover I haven’t eaten in a while. I don’t like food near my keyboard.
CCP: What other works do you have out there?
EN: I have stories with Yard Dog Press, Twit Publishing, Pro Se Press and many more. An anthology of some of my previous work, entitled Of Monsters and Madmen, is coming out soon. This will be seven or eight stories released over the past 2-5 years along with two new stories, all complete with original artwork for each story.
CCP: What is one important thing the readers need to know about you?
EN: I don’t do windows. Honestly, I’m not sure if readers should really know anything about me, but if they are interested in my writing, hopefully they will find my dialogue believable (or so I am regularly told); that I love to pepper my work with lots of facts, including some very obscure bits and pieces; and when I write I can see the scenes playing out in my mind as if it were a movie.
CCP: Who are your favorite authors?
EN: That’s a lengthy list, but a good sampling would be J.M. Barrie, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Allan Poe, Terry Pratchett, Christopher Moore, Stephen King, Marian Cockrell, Joe Lansdale, Robert E. Howard, P.N. Elrod, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Michael Crichton, and the list goes on.
CCP: What drew you to State of Horror?
EN: Just listening to the editor pitching the concept to me. I knew it would give me a chance to bring some local history and folklore into what I would write.
CCP: Do you have a favorite state or state you are waiting to open?
EN: I would like to see my home state of Arkansas make the list. I have a creature in mind from Ozark folklore that hopefully no one else will write about.
CCP: Music or no music when writing?
EN: I love music when I am writing, but it generally needs to be instrumental. If there are lyrics I tend to subconsciously start putting song lyrics into the story. As far as I what I listen to it really depends on what I am writing. If it’s action or horror then my favorite all-time soundtrack is Conan the Barbarian (Basil Poledouris). I also enjoy other film soundtracks such as House of Flying Daggers, Wolf, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc. If writing something with more character development and dialogue I tend to stick with Jazz and/or Fusion (Ritenour, DiMeola, Corea, Dulfer, Hancock, Elliot, Dixie Dregs), Blues (King, Waters, Howling Wolf, Moore), Classical (Mussorgsky, Stravinsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, Grieg, Beethoven, Mozart) and what used to be called New Age (Jarre, Vangelis, Kitaro, Ciani, Tomita)
CCP: If you could go anywhere in the world right now where would you go and why?
EN: A nice tropical island where the temps average 75 degrees and there was very little technology or people to distract me. Who wouldn’t want to do that? Otherwise, I am good with volunteering to go up in space.
CCP: What was the hardest part about writing your story?
EN: The research can be difficult, as well as deciding whether or not to add certain elements. Hopefully the readers will find “Cajun Critters” exciting without feeling that too much is happening.
CCP: Do you have any writing rituals?
EN: No rituals, per se, but anyone who knows me and is around knows that you don’t bother me when I am in the zone. I write primarily at night when most of the world is asleep and there are no phone calls, people knocking on the door and so forth. If the house is on fire don’t tell me about it or interrupt until it’s in the next room. Then I’ll save what I have written, then let me be until the flames are licking the back of my head so I can write a little more then perform one last save.
Want to learn more about Ethan Nahté? Time to visit him at his other haunts. To find him on Facebook visit https://www.facebook.com/EthanNahteCreative. His websites are http://www.NahteWords.com and http://livenloud.net. We would like to thank Ethan Nahté for his visit and invite you to come back for more author spotlights.