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Meet Ethan Marek


Ways to Reach Ethan Marek

Contact him through his website:

Instagram: @Ethan_Marek

About Ethan Marek

EM: I'm a nineteen-year-old author, turning twenty in April, with two self-published books. I'm a dream chaser, and when I have something to chase, I will focus on that goal every minute of the day, and that's not an exaggeration. I live with my parents in New Prague, Minnesota. I'll be graduating from my accelerated entertainment school in Florida called Full Sail University. I'll be earning my Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. One other thing that I love just as much as writing is hockey, and man, do these goals of mine make me emotional.



HS: What type of writing do you do? Do you have any published works?

EM: I am in love with writing prose fiction, specifically strange fiction. Screenwriting is another one of my top skills, although, I'm not too fond of it as I was in the past, at least TV writing that is. I am almost completed with my hockey horror trilogy. THE PENALTY trilogy can be located on my website at

HS: Why did you start writing? When did you start writing?

EM: I started writing in high school when I was a film addict. When I was in tenth grade, I wanted to be an astrophysicist, or so I thought. But I studied myself because I was so curious as to why I wanted that as a profession. Being my dream-chaser self, I took physics in high school to get the ball rolling, but the thing that persuaded me to want that profession was the movie Interstellar. It was the story that captivated me, not the profession inside it.

HS: Who are your inspirations? What are your favorite books/genres?

EM: I don't have a lot of inspiring people I look up to, but I love both Suzanne Collins and Jennifer Lawrence. I encountered their names with the popular Hunger Games series. Suzanne Collins inspired me to study her stories for two years, which I still study to this day on my own time. Jennifer Lawrence captivates me through her risks as she has taken many, moving away from home to become an awesome actress.

HS: How do you overcome writer's block?

EM: One of my favorite professors at school (who worked on the Blair Witch Project) told me that writer's block wasn't a thing, and I agreed. Writer's block is a lazy excuse, but too much on your plate can be another thing, and that thing is called stress. School stresses me when I'm loaded with homework. So, the only way I can overcome this stress is finding ways to relax, and I relax by stepping away from the computer. I watch movies, exercise, or wait a few days. Patience may be needed.

HS: What do you wish someone had told you about writing?

EM: Write your first book. It's going to take months and maybe even a year, and when you have completed your first book, throw the whole thing away (a.k.a. hide it in your sock drawer). My first book is rough while I continue to strive for success, and it's probably going to be my only book I'll be wanting to redraft and rewrite.

HS: How do you get into the "mood" of writing?

EM: The best way for me to get into the mood for writing is to find a soundtrack playlist from a movie that fits the theme of my story. Those cinematic moments in movies are super emotional with the music, and this drives me to fit my scenes to the music.

HS: When starting a new book, what are your first steps?

EM: Craft the book out first in a notebook. I don't layout each chapter. I actually layout about fifteen steps with Hollywood's fancy format for movies. It helps keep my story organized, and it's an easy adaptation going from books to scripts.

HS: Briefly tell us about your works

EM: THE PENALTY was my first book. Liam, an eighteen-year-old hockey player, struggles in the midst of his high school drama while The Barn (the arena) taunts them with a mystical haunting. Every building has feelings, and if you hurt it, it may hurt you back. RETALIATION, book II, takes Liam to a hockey camp in the middle of the summer. This camp isn't normal though. The camp is meant to discipline kids by turning their fears against them.

HS: Anything else to share?

EM: To be an author is to be more than you've known before. I didn't understand who I was till college; that's when I became homesick, and that's the time I realized I lost what I have loved all of this time. Hockey. But the depression became my fuel for my succession, and I realized every Hero has to suffer to succeed. If you want to be successful, reaching the dream you've always wanted, be prepared to suffer. I'm in the middle of that stage, but the story is unfolding itself. And even if I reach the current dream I have with the sport, I wouldn't see it as the end but the new beginning because there's a whole lot more of life to live.


Mental Health

HS: Describe your mental health experience.

EM: I'm not diagnosed with anything because my family and I don't like to put a cover on my character, but I suffer with an eating problem called Selective Eating, and with that comes along anxiety. Depression in itself is a mental illness that the devil has created, but at the same time, I accept it as a gift because life wouldn't have happinesses without raining tears.

HS: If you yourself suffer from a mental illness, how do you deal with it each day? What are some of the methods you use?

EM: The only "medication" I find helpful isn't drugs. It's a goal. I'm bouncing back into hockey, ready to take on the task to keep moving up in the leagues, and better myself as a player. That's my ultimate goal. And when I didn't have a goal with what I truly loved, that's when my life felt like toxic waste. But when I got that goal set in place, my life turned into a beautiful story itself, and it's in the middle of the writing stage as I note this. I'm not writing it, life is doing that for me.

HS: Why are you or why do you want to be an advocate for mental health?

EM: I want people, and especially children, to understand that life is going to be filled with pain at some point. When you're young, you probably won't realize how bad it is at first, but the emotions will always find a way to rebound back. I don't want anyone to think they're alone. You need to find someone out there to be your mentor. You'll have many mentors in your life. You just need to have faith in yourself. We are born on this Earth to suffer so we can discover our own spirit.

HS: How are you trying to end the stigma of mental health?

EM: I think it would be unnatural to end someone's mental health because that makes them who they are. I wouldn't want anyone to change, but I want them to understand why they may be unique in their own ways. I deal with food anxiety everyday, even when I was younger, going to a simple sleepover scared the heck out of me. What was I going to eat? What would I tell others about my eating problem? How would they react? Why am I the only one on this planet who doesn't try food? But all these questions made me realize that I'm unique in my own way, and being different, standing out from normality, is just what a hero needs.

HS: Why should mental health be talked about within the community?

EM: The technological universe craves to destroy our true communication with one another. Social media has helped me in many ways, but in the end, my emotions are the same. I think we need to toughen up and figure out how to talk with our loved ones around us. Time will tell when we're ready to tell our close friends and families the truth, but until then, learn to live in the real world.

HS: Anything else you'd like to share?

EM: Life has been a struggle for me. While in middle school, I had to move to three different houses within four years, a hotel room for a week, an apartment for two months, and the house we live in today after the financial crisis of 2007. My parents were forced into giving up the house, which they blame themselves for, but I wouldn't put an inch of burden on them. Then, within the family conflicts that happened living with my grandparents during that time, I thought I was back to normal life again. But when I went to college down in Florida for a year, I realized I lost hockey from my life. I was devastated. I thought that was the end. So, that's when I wrote THE PENALTY. Those emotions kept somewhat controllable while writing a story that connected with hockey. This couldn't be the end though. How could I keep moving with the sport? Well, the only answer was to go home and to get what I wanted. So, here I am today, training for Juniors hockey to possibly get scouted to another college, but the thing is, this is my one and only year to make a Juniors team due to age eligibility, and guess what, in my first month of training for that goal of mine, my wrist decided to severely sprain itself from shooting too hard and too much. I didn't even know that was possible, but right now, I'm in my FIFTH WEEK with the injury. I haven't been able to train since. I might get that MRI next week, but if you want to stay updated, please check out my daily-updating blog at We're always in conflict when we're young, but eventually, as we grow older, things will get more peaceful like the tweeting of birds after a war.


Mental Health In Writing

HS: Do you generally write about topics related to mental health? If so, how does this form of expression affect your ability to deal with your or your loved one's mental health struggles?

EM: I don't necessarily write topics based around mental health, but I do include traits in my stories' characters, having them impact each other and the readers through their troubles, which may relate with mine.

HS: If you personally struggle with your mental health, do you find that writing (about mental health or just in general) helps you cope with it?

EM: Personally, I need a settled brain to write, and if I'm stressed, I won't look to writing, but writing is something that makes me happy and proud of myself. And that's important because it builds confidence in myself.

HS: Does your or your loved one's mental health get in the way of your writing? If so, how?

EM: Yes. Stress and depression and eating anxiety and school and other problems all add onto my plate, basically making me stuffed. But patience is the biggest key to pass through the darkness. You have to experience the suffering and balance it with the experience of happiness.


His Work


The Penalty


It's Liam's senior year in high school, and it's his last time playing high school hockey. His team has never made it to the state tournament, but he wants to make this year different, especially with a new coach on the team. But after the first game of the season, the blood flows down the drain and into the darkness. Someone has committed the ultimate penalty. ​ While the boys struggle in their high school drama, Liam suffers an unexplainable haunting. He has nightmares of his father, and his team is on a downward slope, but then he realizes the hauntings connect back to his home rink. Liam must solve the chilling horror to bring order back into his team. He wants the boys back, and he really just wants to play hockey.

Link to story


HS: What was the inspiration for writing this book?

EM: My homesickness in Florida at writing school made me realized I lost something I truly loved. I needed to find away to bring hockey back into my life, and during this time at school with no car and no hockey gear, I decided to write a story with it.

HS: When did you start writing this story?

EM: The fall and winter of 2019.

HS: Why did you write this story?

EM: I needed to write this book for my own mental health, to reach my goal of writing a full story, and I needed to show kids that they need to stick together as a team. They can't lose each other. Kids need to stop fighting each other with stupid drama and learn to work with one another.

HS: What are some of your goals for this book?

EM: My goal is to get this book's screenplay finalized and submitted for contests at festivals. I'm going to get these scripts sold in Hollywood.

HS: What are some of your accomplishments for this book?

EM: I've broke over a hundred sales by marketing the trilogy's self-published books all by myself. Word of mouth is nice from my loved ones too.

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