I first learned about E.C. Myers back in January, when I was sent an ARC (advanced review copy) of his wonderful Young Adult sci-fi fantasy novel, Fair Coin.
A fantastic read about a young boy who finds a coin that grants wishes or destroys lives based on the flip, it is easily one of my favorite YA reads this year. The sequel, Quantum Coin, is due out in October. Even though I’ll likely get a review copy in the mail, I still pre-ordered the hell out of it. You should too.
A few weeks ago, I ran into him in the Rittenhouse Barnes & Noble at a writer meet-up. And now, here he is as Geek of the Week. Read on to learn more about the local YA author, his book, and how he’s enjoying life in Philadelphia.
So tell us a little bit about yourself, E.C. Like, what’s with the E.C.?
Obviously I’m a big fan of the old EC horror comics, like Tales from the Crypt! Actually, I am, but that didn’t influence my choice in pen name; my initials are really E.C., so it was just a beautiful coincidence. I decided not to use my given name, Eugene, in print primarily because when I first began writing science fiction and fantasy short stories with the goal of building a literary career, the only Google hits for “Eugene Myers” were a fictional author in another novel who was supposedly writing about the future history of America. I was worried that would confuse my potential fans.
I also like that initials are gender neutral, which can be a strategic advantage for writers depending on their intended audience. Readers often make assumptions about the text based on an author’s gender, and I would rather my name didn’t influence how or whether they approach my fiction before they read it. I suppose knowing the author’s gender is important to some people; I came across a French review of my book recently, which in Google-translation began with, “E.C. Myers, who is a boy…” Personally, I take it as a compliment whenever a reader tells me she thought a story I’d written with a woman’s POV really was written by a woman.
I publish all my fiction as E.C. Myers, but I use my real name for nonfiction articles. It just happened that way when I started blogging TV and film reviews; I never intended to make that distinction, but it seems appropriate.
Now this book of yours, this YA novel. What can you tell us about it?
You know, the basics: It’s called Fair Coin, it was published by Pyr in March, and it’s now available in the usual places and in that newfangled ebook form. It’s about a 16-year-old boy, Ephraim Scott, who finds a magic coin that seems to grant his wishes whenever he flips it — as long as it lands on heads. As you can imagine, a teenager can get into a lot of trouble with something like that.
There’s plenty more going on than Ephraim realizes, but that’s all you’re getting out of me. I don’t like spoilers, and this book can easily be spoiled. But I can say Fair Coin has appeal to anyone who likes fantasy and science fiction, and I hope readers will give it a chance and keep an open mind. (more…)