Today’s interview is with Aaron Brinker. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself.
My wife and I make our home in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. She works at a non-profit (Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge) and I am currently unemployed and looking.
At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I wrote my first story in the 7th or 8th grade, and actually have it in my backlist of projects to publish. It needs a lot of work, but has a lot of potential. I had a downward spiral into depression a few years ago. During that plummet, I wrote a few poems and showed them to one of my college professors. He sat down with me and told me what he thought. He asked me what I was majoring in and told me whatever path I chose I needed to write.
Tell us about your writing process.
I have found that outlining works best. I still lend enough to variation and creation. I will outline a novel scene by scene and basically write a few words of what the scene is about. i.e. character x and character y have a discussion at such location. Personally, this makes it easier for me in the sense that I don’t focus on a word count but a scene or two a day.
What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?
Reading and writing I prefer a variety of genres. Mythical, fantasy, horror, biographies are all genres I love. I was a big fan of the Narnia series growing up. Ted Dekker is one of my favorite authors. When it comes to writing, I love writing paranormal, horror, historical fiction, Christian fiction and fantasy. I am planning hopefully later this year to start penning my autobiography.
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about writing, helping out where I can with my wife’s employer, fishing, gaming, and reading.
When you are not writing, what do you do?
Read, play video games, hang out at my wife’s work, editing, proofreading, brainstorming, and numerous other activities.
What sort of research do you do for your novels?
If anything comes up that is beyond my knowledge I try and research to get a better idea to add credibility to whatever project I’m working on.
Do you have a special place where you write?
My wife and I have a spare room that we made into an office.
What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishing?
No long waits and having to write numerous letters to see if you’re novel will be published.
Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?
Knowing where they can improve with mechanics of their craft.
With the number of self-published books increasing by such a huge rate, it is really difficult for authors to make their books stand out. How do you go about this?
Marketing and promoting take a lot of time and it can be devastating at times. I try and stay positive knowing that all it takes is the right person reading and sharing via word of mouth for something to take off.
Who designed your book cover/s?
My wife designed my book covers.
Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that?
I believe there are plenty of self-published authors that could hold their own against some of the best traditionally published authors in the industry. Quality editing is one of the major keys to getting a story to a higher standard.
Do you write specifically for a Christian audience? Why or why not?
I do not. I believe Everyone (Christian and Non believer) can benefit from moral lessons within stories.
What are some of the special challenges of being a Christian writer?
Some words don’t have as big an impact. In On Writing: Memoir of a Craft, Stephen King said something along the lines of, “there are some instances where vulgarity is best for the impact intended.” I’m struggling with this in my current project. The main villain in the “Redemption” Series could have such a darker aura if I were able to use vulgar words in his dialogue. With the “Redemption Series” being categorized as Christian Fiction, I have to stray from not using certain language within the story. In a way I kind of enjoy the challenge of how to make a character more sinister without the use of vulgar language. My go to is body language and pauses between dialogue.
Do you feel that Christian writers should focus on writing really great story or on presenting the gospel clearly in everything they write? Or is it possible to do both?
I believe that an author can pen a really great story, yet keep the gospel tied in somehow. In Mane of Redemption I focused on one lesson that was the theme throughout the story. I think a person can have an underlying moral lesson within a story and still produce a very intriguing story.
A prime example would be the “Narnia” series by C. S. Lewis. There are a lot of parallels between Lewis’s stories and Christian teaching, but due to the quality of writing the reader is focused on the story and not the obvious lessons they are learning along the way.
How do readers find you and your books?