This week I’m glad to introduce author Aaron D. Gansky
to my readers. Aaron is the author of young adult fantasy and
shares his writing wisdom on his podcast series Firsts in Fiction.
His newest book, a novel entitled The Bargain, launches today.
Be sure to stop by http://aarongansky.com and check it out.
Welcome to my blog, Aaron. Congratulations on your newest book! Tell my readers a bit about yourself.
I’m a father, husband, writer, teacher, editor, mentor, and podcaster, so I’ve got a full plate, but they’re all things I love doing, so it works out. Idle hands, you know …
What inspired you to become an author?
My father is a writer, and many of my earliest memories involve the weaving of tales. I wrote my first book in second grade. On long trips, our dad would help us create a story together as a family, and as a family, we spent a few nights huddled around an old word processor as my father hammered out the words to our book. We never did finish (life got pretty busy, and, as kids often do, we lost interest). I remember, sometime later, in high-school, taking the bones of the story we’d assembled so many years before, and trying to craft my own book from it. However, I didn’t get serious about it until college. That’s when I buckled down and started writing full stories, and even finished my first novel.
Tell us how you have grown as a writer over the years.
I’m almost as good now as I thought I was in college. Funny how, the more you learn, the more you realize you’re not nearly as good as you thought. I made a lot of “rookie” mistakes in my early writing, but was blessed to have some incredible teachers and mentors throughout my education who loved me enough to brutally shred my fiction. But I learned, grew a thick skin, and tried again. Now, I spend my days trying to lovingly steer others away from the mistakes I made early on. That’s one reason I started my Firsts in Fiction podcast, which you can find on my website (aarongansky.com), on iTunes, and on Stitcher.
You have a YA fantasy series out called The Hand of Adonai. What is it about, and what do you hope young adult readers take away from this series?
Right now, I’ve put the first book online (free to all). Not sure how long that will last, because I have a couple different publishers looking at it, and I’m hoping they’ll pick it up. If they do, I’ll probably have to take it down (so get over to aarongansky.com/hand_of_adonai/ now and get it while it’s free!).
The basic concept of the series is this: Tron meets Narnia. It’s about a group of kids who design a role-playing video game, then wake up in a world of their design. The rest of the series is about them trying to get home, but they soon learn there’s more to their world than they originally thought.
Besides enjoying the read, I hope my readers find some good friends to accompany on an exciting adventure. Ideally, they’ll gain a little self-confidence, and maybe even a new perspective on the world in which they live. Maybe that’s hoping for too much, but as long as they enjoy the journey, I’ll be happy.
You’ve written both fiction and nonfiction. Do you have a preference, and why or why not?
Fiction is my first love, though my non-fiction is about writing fiction, so it’s only loosely non-fiction in that way. I actually enjoyed putting together my books on craft, and I love doing the Firsts in Fiction Podcast. There’s something about the art, about the craft, that resonates in me, and I can’t stop talking about it. That said, there’s nothing like the art of creation, of crafting words into images and experiences. Give me fiction any day of the week.
You’re a writing mentor, as well. What is the best advice you can give a struggling new writer?
Keep writing. Make mistakes. Learn. Repeat. Flannery O’Connor talks about developing the “habit of art.” That’s the best advice I could give anyone: write, no excuses. Create time, protect that time, manage your time. Once you’ve done it long enough, it will be habit, and that’s when the magic works.
What other works do you currently have published? Where can we find your books?
I’ve got a short story called An Affair to Forget as well as my books on writing. They’re all available on Amazon (and cheap). Reviews are always nice. Just throwing that out there.
What new projects are you working on?
I’ve been hard at work on my Hand of Adonai series. Currently, I’m about to wrap up Book Three. Once I do, it’s on to Book Four. I’ll likely put together a few more small books on craft before Book Four.
How can we learn more about you and your work?
I’m online. A lot. Everywhere. Start at aarongansky.com, then check for me on Facebook and Twitter. You can hear me on the Firsts in Fiction podcast (available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio). Bottom line, I’m not hard to find. Drop me a line. Love hearing from readers and listeners.
In addition to being a loving father and husband, Aaron D. Gansky is a novelist, teacher, and editor of The Citron Review, an online literary journal. 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. He is the author of Firsts in Fiction: First Lines and (along with Diane Sherlock) Write to Be Heard.