The Story Behind ETHEREALHarley Austin
Sometimes stores arise out of odd thoughts that are not necessarily unique, as authors and stories go, but they are unique to me and my own inimitable way of telling them. What makes a great author is not necessarily how well they write, but the stories they tell and how they tell them.
There is nothing new under the sun; and yes, all the stories that can be told have been told, basically. What makes a story unique is how it is re-told.
Ethereal is a not so much a new story, but it becomes new as told through the lens of Harley Austin within the context of the Awakened Universe.
My brother is an avid, dare I say rabid, reader of my stories and novels. He has become my biggest fan and as such my sounding board for thoughts and ideas as they are put to page. As a new story idea comes together, he is quick to come up with the root theme, lesson, paradigm, motif, dare I say “kink”, of what makes the story “tick”.
Ethereal came together during the whole Coronavirus pandemic and I was off work for a period of time. A remake of the venerable story of the “Invisible Man” had just caught my attention. I really liked the new take and storyline of the modern version because it added more to the story than just, “Hey, look, I’m invisible and no one can see me do stuff.” Modern audiences are looking for much more than just the gimmick these days. We’ve more or less seen it all, no pun intended.
Not to give away too much of the story, but Ethereal thus became my take, my version, of the “Invisible Man”.
But as I wrote the story, I had to keep going back and rewriting sections previously written because the story evolved very quickly. I can usually develop a story within the first fifty pages or so and then things are pretty much set. Not so with Ethereal. The story continued to evolve, practically through to the very end and even then, the ending was a surprise even for me. The Epilogue even set the tone for a sequel that will hopefully get written in the not too distant future.
At the end of the day, Ethereal became a joy to write. It was a story that came together in under two weeks. A bit shorter than my usual novels, I’m beginning to wonder if I shouldn’t start trying to keep my stories at under 300 pages? Who knows? A story is finished when it is finished. I try not to track the page count—only tell the story.
There is a lot of history embedded within Ethereal as well. Along with a few interesting surprises.
I hope you enjoy Ethereal as much as I enjoyed writing it.
All the best— Harley