Monday, April 06, 2009

Interview OLTL: Michael Easton Wants to Steal Your Soul (Kinda)

(Michael Easton, and the back of my head, at Super Soap Weekend November 2008)

Since 2003, Michael Easton has played the frequently tormented (and once presumed dead) John McBain on “One Life to Live.” If you are a true fan of the show, and of Michael, then you also know that Michael is a poet and a novelist. His book of poetry, “Eighteen Straight Whiskeys,” is currently in its third printing. And in June 2008, he released his first graphic novel, “Soul Stealer.”

Michael is proud of his novel, and with good reason: It has been very well received and has garnered numerous glowing reviews. He explains: “This is one of the things that I’ve ever done where I feel like I’ve done something beautiful and pure. It’s the closest I’ll ever come.

“The way it came about was I started asking a lot of questions in my life, like: Have you ever lost somebody, and how far would you go to get them back? So, out of that came this character Kalan, who is sort of this Etruscan warrior-poet, and he develops the ability to bring back souls from the afterlife. He uses this to wander the earth, searching for his one true love, who has been taken away from him.”

Aside from the suspenseful and heart-wrenching story line, the “graphic” part of the novel is lush and beautiful in its own right. Michael says: “The book is beautifully drawn by an artist named Christopher Shy; his artwork is incredible. It’s a really beautiful book and one of the things I am truly proud of. We’ve had a great response, and it’s very kind of people to check it out.”

Once you sink your teeth into “Soul Stealer,” you won’t have to wait long to continue the adventure. “We also did a sequel, ‘Soul Stealer: Blood and Rain,’ which is scheduled to be released this year (in the spring).”

And if you just can’t get enough of Michael Easton the author, you have yet another book to look forward to. Michael shares the scoop: “I also wrote a graphic novel with the novelist Peter Straub, who co-wrote two books with Stephen King, ‘The Talisman’ and ‘Black House.’ And he’s also written many great books on his own. Peter and I wrote a graphic novel together called ‘Tales of the Green Woman,’ and that will be out at the end of 2009 for DC Vertigo (an imprint of DC Comics geared toward the late-teen/adult audience).

“On a strange side note, he occasionally appears on ‘One Life to Live’ as a character named Pete Braust. ‘Braust’ is ‘Straub’ jumbled around. He plays my father’s partner in Atlantic City.”

So, with the great reception Michael’s books have received, should John McBain fans fear for his future in Llanview? Would he ever quit acting to be a full-time author? “It’s a good side thing, so I don’t get too obsessed with what’s going on over at ABC. But both jobs co-exist pretty well right now. It gets a little tricky switching from my day job (at ‘OLTL’) to writing, and sometimes the dialogue blurs over from one to the other. Especially if I’ve had a couple of drinks,” he adds jokingly. “But I think I’m good right now.”

Look for “Eighteen Straight Whiskeys,” “Soul Stealer” and soon-to-be-released “Soul Stealer: Blood and Rain” and “Tales of the Green Woman” online or at your local bookstore.