Eric Coley, late thirties military vet. Writing and art have been a passion as far back as I can remember. In a life of pursuing tangible things I’ve learned honing in on one’s own skills is the best thing one can do. Exploring who one is, loving that and expanding on those things despite everything around them. These are things which get us farther in life in the most healthiest of ways as an individual. Without this as key in portions of my life I could not see my true potential. With it though, I glimpsed the direction which allowed me to be able to finish stories and produce art which laid unfinished in storage for twenty years. But here and now, this is only the beginning of my story which you are being introduced to.
Describe yourself in five words
Calm Cool Collective Motivated Restless
What fact about yourself would really surprise people?
Just how quiet I actually am around people I do not know.
How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
Over-think things at times while I call on God in other events which are just too great.
What scares you the most?
Might sound funny but God. I don’t much have any fears concerning real life.
What makes you happiest?
Knowing that something I did helped someone else.
Writing is one of my oldest passions. Some of my earliest memories were writing.
It has always seemed as if it was something I was meant to do just like art. I honestly have so many thoughts in a day I could produce series of books just on memoirs alone.
Have you always enjoyed writing?
Yes, I have always enjoyed writing. At an early age I began writing poems. I used to fill folders up with them, draw on the cover and give to a friend. Once I wrote enough poems I started writing rap songs. And by the time I was about to graduate from high school I moved on to producing rock songs. All the while I was storytelling developing worlds of fantastical characters I daydreamed about one night.
What motivates you to write?
Several things all at once. On one end, it’s as if it has to come out and since I am so quiet how else would it? On the other hand, I sense it’s something I have to do and I only have my own time to do it.
What writing are you most proud of?
The writing I am most proud of is Last Destiny. It represents a time so long ago now in my life which never let go of me even though I let it go. I started producing it originally over twenty years ago. I was a teenager then and didn’t quite understand at all what I was doing. I produced these stories which were dead serious and comedic all at once. I drew as much of their world as I could understand at the time. Then as I grew older I distanced myself from them. When I got back into writing them almost a year ago it was a breath of fresh air. I reworked the stories but it wasn’t problematic it actually was as if the characters and their worlds grew with me. I understand how to evolve their story.
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
At this moment, I am most proud of my problem solving abilities concerning storytelling. To me it’s very rewarding being able to correct something and make it make sense. By the way, I am neither married nor do I have children so I only have my own accolades to be proud of.
What books did you love growing up?
When I was a child I grew up reading comic books. I actually was given hundreds of issues of great value before I was a teen. The books were a generational gift. I had possibly thousands before I was an adult. I was a superhero fanatic. But also Frank Herbert’s Dune series left a lasting impression on me. I would go on to collect the entire series by the time I was a young adult.
What do you hope your obituary will say about you?
All that I think anyone can ask for their obituary to say is that they lived a good, whole life.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. I actually lived in Sacramento, California for a brief period in my early adolescence. I currently reside in Mobile, Alabama. But I also served in the military and have worked military contracting which has allowed me to travel all over the world.
How did you develop your writing?
I developed my writing by being actively spontaneous. Trying to push as many boundaries while telling stories which take place in other universes with characters who couldn’t exist how we do. At least, that’s how I have tried to go about it. Plenty of times though the stories I produce are grounded in our reality, just not our particular time period.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
I would have to say getting published is the hardest. I, myself, chose the Amazon route for getting my books published. Otherwise, I do not think my books would have gotten published or that something would have been forced to be changed which would have rendered it not what I had in mind. The writing was very rewarding for me. The hardest part of the writing to me was getting started. Now marketing has been hard. It’s a new job in and of itself and I personally was not ready for it. Slowly,though I am adapting.
What marketing works for you?
Honestly, I am still learning but doing things like interviews, ads, etc seems the best option. Exposure to getting it out there because I really am proud of what I produced. Also, because there are more things which I believe I can do with what was produced.
Do you find it hard to share your work?
No, I really don’t but I did over the years leading up to now. When I first came up with these stories I actually shared them a lot but I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going with them. I actually had multiple book companies which offered to produce my books back then when I was a teenager. I didn’t read into any of them as I should have.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
Family and friends have always been supportive. But they are distant at the same time. These are things I am used to so I motivate myself.
What else do you do, other than write?
Well, I am also an artist who learned how to produce digital art last year. I work in several mediums and plan to expand into more. Currently, I am a student learning new skills toward my future. Also, I am a military contractor.
What other jobs have you had in your life?
I have worked various jobs throughout the years of my life. Retail, shipyard and military. Each one has their flaws and their rewards.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
If I could study any subject at a university it would be to read. I enjoy reading to such a degree it is a passion in and of itself. It allows me to learn so much about the literal world we live in.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
At the moment, the answer to this particular question is home. Mobile, Alabama, as a military contractor it benefits me financially to travel more so than to live at home. If only it were the other way around.
Tell us about your family?
My family consists of two elder brothers, two elder sisters and the youngest is myself.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
As I mentioned before, I am spontaneous with it. Anywhere an idea may come to me I attempt to write it down for later. When I am ready to put it all together, though, the laptop and desk (bed or couch) is the destination.
How much sleep do you need to be your best?
Due irregularities in my sleep patterns while early on in the military, not that much. In an average day probably five good hours and a workout is all I need.
Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
The Most High, my Mother, siblings and close friends.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
Success in writing to me only entitles the ability of the writer to entirely support themselves off of their earnings from books.
It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
This is my first marketing campaign and it hasn’t been easy. I have been learning as I go. I can read about how others have done it but doing it myself and taking notes is the best way for me to develop my own formula. The portions which work I will definitely utilize again.
Tell us about your new book? Why did you write it?
Last Destiny is the title. They are the stories of other worlds, defined by different laws. Where the characters find themselves on journeys which continue to unfold beyond their comprehension. While this is occurring we witness how they everytime figure out a way to pull themselves together and save their world (or their self). Last Destiny was produced almost as a love letter to my childhood. A farewell to it actually.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
When I read this statement, Marvin Gaye was the first individual to enter my mind.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I like to relax by laying down in the bed with everything off.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
Hopefully, my words can spark a sense of joy in them which allows them to smile in the moment. Every story does not have a good ending but they all should hit the mark for which I had in mind when produced.