Hi, Aaron! Thank you for joining us today! How long have you been writing? What inspired your quest to become a writer? I’ve been writing my whole life, really. At least as far back as I can remember. I’m not quite sure exactly made me want to write, other than my father was a writer, and we did some stories together early on. We never finished them, so I wanted to. I was pretty much hooked after that.
Tell us a little bit about the Hand of Adonai series! At first, Lauren Knowles is thrilled to wake up in Alrujah, a digital fantasy world she created with her best friend, Oliver Shaw, but the exhilaration of serving as a magical princess fades when she senses a demonic force lurking in the shadows. Though they designed a world of wondrous beauty, blue-leafed forests, shimmering silver rivers, and expansive medieval castles, Lauren and Oliver soon find their secret realm to be an ever-changing land of dark oppression and deadly sorcery. With the help of Aiden Price and Erica Hall, two friends from their high school in North Chester, the four teens must find a way out, a way that can only be discerned from the dusty pages of the ancient leather-bound tome, The Book of Things to Come. Faced with questionable allies, invisible enemies, and increasingly dangerous levels of difficulty, the four must learn to work together, to trust each other…or be forever lost.
What is the greatest praise you’ve received about your writing so far? Good question. I think Lori Roeleveld has said some really nice things about my writing, but I liked award-winning author Ann Tatlock’s praise for Who is Harrison Sawyer. “Aaron Gansky’s characters reach out from the pages and grab with a literary fist, taking readers along on a roller-coaster ride of mystery and conspiracy. [The novel] left me wanting more from this talented author. Definitely another winner!”
Describe your writing style in three words. Character-driven, detail-rich, emotionally-powerful. I hope hyphens are OK. 🙂
What is your favorite thing about writing? What is your least favorite? My favorite part of writing is imagining new worlds and characters. My least favorite be the tedious editing process. Some parts of editing I like, other parts are simply draining. I usually like editing less when I’ve gone through the same work multiple times.
Your most creative ideas come when. . . I allow myself to daydream. I actively participate in mindless activities (doing dishes and the like) to allow myself some time to think and dream.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Stop aspiring and start writing. 🙂 The only thing keeping you from writing is you. Once you commit to writing, you’ll get better and better. Also, READ. That is all.
Can you give us a teaser about your WIP? I don’t want to say too much, but I will let you know that I am, again, writing outside my genre (of course, every time I do that, I add another genre to my resume– this is something my dad has done numerous times). This time around, I’m trying my hand at a sci-fi.
The one item you would take into a zombie apocalypse is. . . My laptop. There are bound to be some slow times when I can get some writing done. Like, when the zombies are shambling toward me at their top speed of, oh, say, one mile an hour.
In addition to being a loving father and husband, Aaron Gansky is an award-winning novelist, teacher, and podcast host. In 2009, he earned his M.F.A. in Fiction at the prestigious Antioch University of Los Angeles, one of the top five low-residency writing schools in the nation. Prior to that, he attained his Bachelor in Arts degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from California State University of San Bernardino, where he studied, in part, under Bret Anthony Johnston, now the Director of Creative Writing at Harvard University.
His first novel The Bargain (2013, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) was a finalist for the Selah Award for debut novel. Two years later, The Book of Things to Come (2015, Brimstone Fiction), the first book in his Hand of Adonai YA Fantasy series, won the Selah Award for YA Fiction. He has written two books on the craft of fiction; Firsts in Fiction: First Lines and Write to Be Heard (with Diane Sherlock). 2016 saw the publication of two more of his novels, The Blood Sword: A Hand of Adonai Novel and Who is Harrison Sawyer, an emotionally-evocative mystery/political conspiracy thriller.
In 2013 he began his Firsts in Fiction podcast with Steve McLain. Shortly after, Heather Luby joined the line up. Lately, he chats with his father, novelist Alton Gansky, about elements of the craft. Each week they dispense practical, in-depth analyses of how to write powerful fiction. If you want to chat with him, you can find him at aarongansky.com