1. Who is the plot based around?
The plot of “Black & Orange” is broken into two main storylines. You have the two Nomad characters, who are essentially the good guys, and then you have the Church of Midnight characters, which represent the bad. There are a couple brief subplots that revolve around other characters with proximity to the main ones, but essentially in this novel you have two large trains moving toward a connection spot.
2. What is the main idea of the plot?
For the Nomads, the plot centers on them working toward finding the Heart of the Harvest, a sacrifice they are bound to protect every Halloween. Recently they have run into a series of complications, the largest of which is that the character of Teresa has cancer and doesn’t want to do anything about it. She just wants to continue doing their job, but her partner Martin can’t accept that, so when he has a chance to help her, he goes after it.
For the Church of Midnight, the plot centers on the relationship between the ambitious Paul Quintana and the Priestess of Morning and all the things he goes through to have her. Paul’s only real goal is claim her physically. He and the Priestess both become powerfully bound to each other through an attraction they cannot explain. Things go too far with them at one point and he decides he’s willing to do anything to get her back, even if it means working with the enemy.
3. When does the plot take place?
I tried to make the actual date and year ambiguous, but with some the technology used, it has to be considered the 2000s.
4. Where does the plot take place?
Southern California. In a small city called Colton.
5. Why did the plot develop the way it did?
I always wanted to write a novel about a cult from the point of view of a cultist. Most I had read or seen in movies always had the cult characters relegated to corny little subplots and there was little substance. As I wrote “Black & Orange” I realized that I had my good guy story, so why not have a bad guy story too? Why not give them equal space in the book? The plot flowed from that point and with the help of the characters I’d created, the events that they took on and the choices they made seem to propel the overall story towards its destination.
6. How did you come up with the idea for the plot?
For the Church of Midnight plot, I had a lot of material to work on from having obsessive relationships and seeing some of my friends and family have obsessive relationships. I knew how those stories tended to roll out. With the Nomads, I’d also unfortunately seen my fair share of loved ones with cancer, as well as experienced certain stubborn natures from the pool of people I knew—so I had an idea what somebody with cancer, who also happened to be pigheaded, would add to an already stressed-out relationship based on obligation. For me, it’s the characters that created the idea for the plot. Once I knew them, I knew the story, and the plot followed.
Benjamin Kane Ethridge is the Bram Stoker Award winning author of the novel BLACK & ORANGE (Bad Moon Books 2010). Beyond that he's written several collaborations with Michael Louis Calvillo, one of which is a novella called UGLY SPIRIT, available in 2011. He also wrote a master's thesis entitled, "CAUSES OF UNEASE: The Rhetoric of Horror Fiction and Film." Available in an ivory tower near you. Benjamin lives in Southern California with his wife and two creatures who possess stunning resemblances to human children. When he isn't writing, reading, videogaming, Benjamin's defending California's waterways and sewers from pollution. Say hi and drop a line at email@example.com or tweet him at @bkethridge, or Facebook him at www.facebook.com/benjamin.kane.ethridge