Ethan Talbert


Although most people know him as the history teacher with the contagious smile, Ethan secretly serves as the chief commander of the royal Melenorian air fleet—a fierce warrior in the sky as well as on the ground. He excels in the art of slaying evil giants and uncooperative printers. On top of his successful military career, Ethan finds time to write. The strength of his writing is well-known throughout Melenoria (although an anonymous source notes his reckless–and sometimes lacking–use of commas and semicolons). Nevertheless, he wields his pen skillfully, creating suspense, generating emotion, and prompting laughter.

When it comes to Melenoria, your best bet of survival is to be on Ethan’s side. If you are, you will never want for comic relief, writing counsel, or a friend.

Ethan’s Writings


  • Winner of Melenoria’s 2016 Writing Challenge


Below, you will find the questions I have devised for Ethan. (Also below, you will find ample proof of my complete and utter failure at mind reading. Alas. Perhaps someday…) May you be blessed with a greater understanding of his person and, thereby, his writing.

What are some of your favorite novels?

Holli’s guess: Lord of the Rings, Till We Have Faces, Harry Potter

ET: Screwtape Letters, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Crime and Punishment. You’re spot on with Till We Have Faces. 

Who is your favorite poet?

Holli’s guess: (Optimistically assuming Ethan has read enough poetry to have an opinion)  My guess is Alexander Pope.

ET: Probably Shakespeare. I mean it’s hard enough to make a poem that follows all the sonnet rules. But to make it actually say something profound? and to say it well? Although George Herbert, is up there.

What was your first favorite movie (as a child)?

Holli’s guess: Peter Pan?

ET: The Silver Chair (from the horribly corny and OLD Narnia movies). Yes, it’s a bit embarrassing.

What were your favorite things to play pretend as a child?

Holli’s guess: All kinds of war

ET: Yeah, what Holli said.

What are your favorite movies?

Holli’s guess: Inception, Lord of the Rings, Gods and Generals, Jason Bourne

ET: The Hunt for the Red October, Henry V (Kenneth Branagh version), Batman Begins (or Inception). Anything by Christopher Nolan is good.
UPDATE: I think I need to add Darkest Hour to this list. If you haven’t seen it, you need to.

Which subject did you hate the most in school? Which was your favorite?

Holli’s guess: Math; English–oops, I mean history 😉

ET: They say math is the language of God. I sincerely hope not. Favorite subject? English wouldn’t be bad if they could stick to the literature side. Sadly, grammar rules spoil everything. So yeah, history.

Who is your favorite historical figure?

Holli’s guess: Stonewall Jackson

ET: This is a hard question. Favorite in what way? As a hero? As an awesome dude to study? ‘Cause those are very different. As heroes go: Stonewall Jackson, John Wycliffe, Martin Lloyd Jones, George Washington. As people who are fun to study: Napoleon, Edward III, Queen Victoria, Alexander the Great, Saladin, Genghis Khan, etc. (this list could go for a while)

If you had to be born in a different time period, which would you choose?

Holli’s guess: Ancient Greece

ET: Medieval Europe, no question. Not that I would actually want a 70% chance or whatever of dying before I turned 20, but seriously: castles, swords, longbows, armor…these things are too cool to ignore.

If you could have any superpower you could dream up, what would you choose?

Holli’s guess: time travel

ET: It’d be hard to argue with time travel. Though the ability to feel what anyone else is feeling would also be pretty amazing.

Who are your favorite fictional characters?

Aragorn, Tom Sawyer, Aslan

ET: Hermione Granger, The Doctor (Dr. Who), Taran (Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander)

What are the top 5 places in the world you want to visit?

Holli’s guess: Scotland, Machu Picchu, the Great Wall of China, Italy, Tennessee 😁

ET: Israel, The United Kingdom, Peru (Macchu Picchu, but why limit myself when I could put the whole country?), Kenya, China. (BONUS: New Zealand)

What is your greatest obstacle to writing?

Holli’s guess: lack of time

ET: Laziness, and low self-confidence.

What most often inspires your story ideas?

Holli’s guess: music

ET: Frequently music. Good stories will do that too. My mind kinda thinks in stories, so fiction tends to open up my philosophical and creative thinking quite a bit.

Where is your favorite writing spot?

Holli’s guess: At the very peak of Mt. Everest with the amber glow of sunset sparkling in the air all around–so magical and inspiring–and his trusty pen frozen like a glimmering, crystal stalactite to his frost-bitten fingers . . . yeah, maybe not. I have no idea.

ET: Anywhere I can shut the door and be left alone. Preferably with the sunlight shining through a window.

What was the subject of your first novel attempt? How old were you at the time?

Holli’s guess: the Great War between the Asian Elephants and the pirates of Kenar; he was probably like 3–child prodigy

ET: A historical fiction story about a boy who joins the American Revolution and fights at the Battle of…well, fights in basically every battle. Never got past chapter one. My second attempt was about an invasion of monsters that came through some tunnel in a bedroom wall. The main characters were gonna kill off all the monsters by dropping bricks on their heads. Sadly, I never finished the first page.

Oh, and kudos to Holli on knowing about Kenar. It is my “made up country”.  I actually went, but no one believes me, ’cause I’m the only one who can travel (E-Atoms only allow people named Ethan to travel–scientifically proven, people).  They sensed my inherent greatness and made me Kresident (King+ President). Unfortunately, I can no longer go there without fear of getting arrested by my own people–but that’s another story.

What are your hobbies besides writing?

Holli’s guess: reading, attending Dan Forrest concerts, listening to Beethoven, playing video games

ET: I should clarify that “hobby” is a very loose term the way I am using it.

Preaching, Reading, watching documentaries, hiking/going on long walks.

I do love Beethoven and Dan Forrest. Along with John Williams they are the greatest composers…pretty much ever. I don’t actually listen to a ton of music (you know how some people have a green thumb, and some people have the musical version of that? Well I don’t.) BUT, I do like music when I listen to it. Mostly classical. Pop music annoys me (with a few embarrassing exceptions which I shall not mention).

Also, I think it would be AWESOME to compose music.

What is an element that you would like to include in a fantasy story?

Holli’s guess: a state of matter between liquid and solid that has the consistency of jello, but the strength of steel. It can absorb light and glow up to five hours. People spread it on the bottom of their feet before walking on liquids.

ET: Um, a giant sword-swinging battle, orange floating ghost flies, warm rain, green water (I’ve got a whole document of these).

Readers’ Questions

No doubt this exploration into Ethan’s person has left you curious. He generally has this effect on people. Not to worry. You may post your own questions below. And if you’re lucky, he may answer. 🙂


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