In todays interview we talk to Ephraim Mallery. He’s a very spiritual man who wants you to make love to your life. In this interview he’ll tell us about what he’s doing right now, what he did before, and how he ended up writing in the Engine World. We also talk about his story in the Beyond the Gate anthology, and what Ephraim considers as good storytelling.
You can find Ephraim here:
Hi Ephraim. Great to have you with us today. Can you share a bit about yourself with our readers?
Hey there! I’m Ephraim (Mallery). I help people make love with their lives. Seriously. They discover the sensuality of their joy and transform their entire lives by living from that space. One on one, that includes visualizations, massage, essential oils. We talk about archetypes, relationships, creativity and most of all, living fully and enjoying the moment. I also teach a few classes, both in person and online, and do some phone sessions.
In my off hours, I love to play games, savor stories (visual and written) and indulge in great flavors. Most of my favorite games are also good stories – it’s truly amazing how many mediums we have to express ourselves. I love the sensuality of ideas and creativity. They turn me on, make me cry, terrify me, lift me up. They are adventures that I feel full-body.
Have you written anything for publication before?
I sure have! This is my first published fiction, but for a long time, I wrote for magazines on and offline. Mostly, that was about food – I loved being a food reviewer. I co-wrote and edited the Gabby Gourmet Guide for two years – that was a guide to local restaurants in Denver. All that came from being an editor at Citysearch.com for several years.
What or who are your biggest creative influences?
Stephen King. Jonathon Lethem. Achilles by Elizabeth Cook is one of my favorite books of all time. And I love George R.R. Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice. Okay, fine, Game of Thrones for those of you missing out on the books. Dungeons and Dragons is big in my creative world – building worlds and characters out of thin air and playing with them? Yes please. I still play that and many other games. I find the Cthulhu inspired games to be quite imaginatively stimulating.
Tim Ferris. Johnny B. Truant (he will love being mentioned right next to Tim Ferris).
I love the movies – Dead Man, In Bruges, Stardust, Marvel movies. Marvel really knows how to weave a great, engaging complex story. Great TV, too – Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, House of Lies. Parks and Rec makes me laugh my ass off. Great stories and great storytellers.
I’m inspired by so many things in the world that I doubt I’ll ever write about them all. I keep a running list in evernote of the ones that call out to me.
What is your writing environment like and is there anything you’d change about it?
It’s a clusterfuck mess most of the time, and that really doesn’t help my productivity – although it does inspire me when i write about the battle versus Chaos. I know it intimately. Of course, the mess falls away once i fall into the fires of creation. My body sways and my skin tingles and worlds flow out of my fingers. It’s an altered state.
And, I’ll probably clean it up a little so i can take a picture of it for you. Really good excuse to do that, so I’ll take it.
Do you have a routine for writing? If so, please share it with the readers.
Writing for me is a transcendent experience. I like to let characters and stories brew in me until they bubble over with aliveness. I’ll jot down ideas and scenes and names, and then when it’s ready, I let it flow from fingers into being. I find that the more I let it stew, the more often it’s ready to come out. I let it sit for a bit, a day or two. Sometimes longer. if it’s too long, it’s harder to get back into it. Then, I’ll open it and tinker. The words and ideas draw me in and ask to be more clear – I love that part, too but I also resist it. i imagine it will be tedious, but usually, once I’m engaged, I get lost in the pleasure of it. i don’t have a specific time that i write yet – though i imagine that more often i show up in the same place, the more my muse will be there with a fully brewed story for me to tell.
What made you decide to participate in Fiction Unboxed and write in this shared world?
I love what Johnny, Sean and Dave are doing. They inspired me to pick up my fiction pen again and see if I can make some dreams come true – I’ve planned on being a writer since 2nd or 3rd grade. Writing in this shared world was dusting off that part of myself and seeing what might come out. I’ve also started work with a good friend of mine on a new series based on what they’ve modeled and we’re pretty excited about our ideas.
Tell us about your story in the “Beyond the Gate” anthology?
I really enjoyed writing this – it felt like light and dark meeting and figuring out what do with each other. I think it captures the sensuality of doing what you love and living a full life. It also plays around with the Dark, something that i believe most humans need to do in a positive way. – like writing fiction. Who knows where Colin will go, next…:)
Please elaborate more on your Beyond the Gate story. You mention this Collin person, but who is he and what about him will engage readers?
Colin is a quietly connected, mind-your-own business type of guy. If you passed him in the street, you’d probably just ignore him – or think he is a little odd. He’s too awkward and socially inexperienced to really engage with you – and his past makes him a little wary to talk about what he really wants to talk about – the song of nature he hears around him all the time. I like to think we can all hear it and feel it if we just learn to pay attention. And, like many of us, when we get torn from our little realities, things can go horribly awry.
What do you plan to write next?
Well, the new series I mentioned will be a supernatural, gritty western – I love stories of the West, the frontier, the wild adventures and struggles that happen there. I have several other ideas that I’ll keep under my hat for now. I’m also planning on some nonfiction about how to truly live ecstatically based on my work over the past 10 or so years.
You like good storytelling. How do you recognize it when you see it? Are there critical elements to storytelling that know you have to include in your own work?
A good story holds emotional satisfaction. It draws me in and keeps me there, mesmerized. Characters need to be strong and believable. I need to be fascinated and to care what happens. I want to enter a completely different world, even if that world looks like ours. The key is that nothing inside the story jars me back out of the story. Rules can’t be broken. Worlds need to be cohesive – even if they’re falling apart. I love to be so immersed that I’m angry if something on the outside tears me out – you know, like loud popcorn eaters during the quiet parts. Holy shit, shut up!
In my work, I want to weave worlds where people can get lost, with characters they feel compelled to love and hate and talk about later. I want those worlds to interact and shape reality for whoever reads it. I love the words and scenes and characters that have been written in my soul so deeply that I can feel them. I can only hope that worlds I create can inspire people that way as well.