Aaron Smith is the author of over thirty published stories in various genres. His novels include the spy thriller NOBODY DIES FOR FREE and the vampire novels 100,000 MIDNIGHTS and ACROSS THE MIDNIGHT SEA.
Aaron will debut his horror title CHICAGO FELL FIRST later this year. The zombie tale explores science and civilization in a race for a cure to a zombie outbreak wiping out Chicago. Can one man’s illness be another man’s blessing? Coming in October from Buzz Books. More information about his work can be found on his blog at http://www.godsandgalaxies.blogspot.com
1. Do you have a favorite place to write?
I do most of my real writing in my basement office, where I have my computer and bookshelves. I stay away from the TV when writing and only rarely have the radio on. But some writing or at least the assembling of ideas can happen anywhere. I’m never far from a notebook. One place I’d really like to try writing someday is the airport. Anytime I go there to drop someone off or pick them up, I find it fascinating to watch all the people from different parts of the world coming and going. I wonder who they are and what purposes bring them to their destinations. I keep telling myself that someday I’ll just spend the day there and let my observations and imagination work together and maybe go as far as plotting an entire novel just from what I see and think there.
2. What do you love most about writing?
Writing is one of very few activities or professions that combine the best of the child part of all of us with our adult capabilities. The imagination and sense of wonder that many people, unfortunately, lose when they have to live in the so-called real world is something that writers not only never have to let go of, but truly need. I once said that being a writer is like having a big box of action figures and getting paid to play with them. We create whole worlds and the characters that populate them, and then we get to share those dreams with others. What could be more fun and fulfilling than that?
3. What is the hardest and easiest part of the writing process for you?
Coming up with ideas for stories is easy. They just seem to pop into my head and I never run short. The actual writing comes pretty easily too, as long as I don’t let worrying about silly stuff interfere with me following my instincts.
The hardest part is the waiting between writing and getting edits back and going through the manuscript again and then waiting for publication. When I finish writing a story, I desperately want to move right on to the next one. But publishing is a business that often moves at a very slow pace and the long spans between writing and completion of a project can seem torturous.
4. What five words best sum up your personality?
Passionate, over-analyzing, goofy, ambitious, intense.
5. Other than writing, what else do you love to do?
I read a lot, both fiction and nonfiction. I watch a lot of movies and the genres usually rotate to match whatever I’m writing at the moment. I also love getting into deep conversations or debates that border on arguments but remain just civilized enough to allow both sides to still really listen to each other and hopefully get their points across.
6. Describe your perfect day.
I find that the best days are usually filled with the unexpected. The little surprises that throw a monkey wrench into my plans (in good ways) are what make days special, so I can’t really describe it, because it’s the things I don’t anticipate that make those days perfect.
7. Do you have a writing schedule?
When I’m in the middle of a story or a novel, I write a thousand words a day without fail. It doesn’t have to be all at once, it might be 500 before my day job and 500 after, or a few hundred here and there throughout the day, but I make 1,000 my minimum every day until the draft is done.
When I’m not working on a story, which is rare, I try to complete one big writing-related task each day, like an interview, a blog post, or some kind of promotional activity.
Of course, there’s no schedule for jotting down ideas. I do that anytime one comes to mind. Some of them turn out to bear fruit later, and some never get past the note stage.
8. What are your past, current, and/or next projects?
I have too many past projects to list here, so I’ll stick to recent ones. This summer, I had several books come out. I wrote one of two novellas in a book featuring the classic adventure hero Allan Quatermain; my second vampire novel, Across the Midnight Sea
was released (that’s the sequel to 100,000 Midnights), and my first spy novel came out. It’s called Nobody Dies For Free, and I’m happy to say it’s received some of the best reviews I’ve ever had.
My next release will be the zombie novel Chicago Fell First, from Buzz Books, which should be out around Halloween. This is the first book I’ve done that I consider a true horror novel, as opposed to stories in other genres that contain elements of horror.
Currently, I’m working on a comic book script, which is the first one I’ve done in years. After that I’ll probably dive into writing my third spy novel. The sequel to Nobody Dies For Free is done and at the publisher already, and I’m eager to write the third installment in the series.
Find out more about Aaron here:
Blog: Gods and Galaxies
Thanks, Aaron, and best wishes for your Halloween release!