Welcome everyone. Today, we have the mysterious Aaron-Michael Hall visiting. Aaron-Michael, why don’t you get us started with a little bit about yourself, and where you’re from?
- I was raised in a very small town in the Midwest. Being the youngest of eight left me out of the decision making when it came to selecting television shows or a radio station. It was not a democracy. Instead of fighting with my siblings, I would join my mother and read. She would usually have an Andre Norton book out on the sunporch where the chaos inside was barely noticeable. It is there my love for fantasy grew.
What part of the Midwest?
With that type of chaos, how did you get into writing?
- I first began writing as an escape of sorts. I cannot count the number of poems and short stories written over the years. The first I remember is when I was six.
- It has always been a part of me.
Do you have an instance that you can point to and say, “there! That’s when I became a writer.”?
- That is an interesting question. To this day, I refer to myself as a storyteller. I do not follow the rules of “writing.” Instead, I allow myself to get lost in my words. Oft times, I will sit at my computer with my eyes closed, writing the scenes playing out in my mind. Whatever I see and hear gets typed just as it is received. I have always written, but never called myself a writer.
That sounds eerily familiar. Do you remember the spark that started you on your writing journey?
- Actually, it was the mundane. I love sci-fi and fantasy. However, it appeared all the fantasy characters were the same. The protagonists looked and sounded alike. I grew weary of not seeing any diversity in the peoples inhabiting these elaborate and wonderful lands. Surely, there was more. When I could not find it, I created it.
Since the characters narrate for you, and you have sought to bring some diversity to the written word, do you have a specific style that you write in?
What about realism? Do you deliberately incorporate any, or does it just happen?
- It just happens. I think a good deal of realism can be found in my novels. In every tale, there is reality. The Rise of Nazil trilogy is no different. There is a lot of dialogue and life altering events.
Do you draw from your own experiences?
- Not intentionally, no. Albeit, each story is a part of me. As such, my experiences and observations no doubt bleed into every word written.
Can you point to any books that have influenced your life, or writing choices?
- I knew I would have to answer this question at some point. The truth is I have none to list. I have read interviews where authors list five or six great influences. That is not the same for me. I have read many genres over the years and I would have to say all of them had some influence over the “writer” I have become.
Surely there’s one or two that stand out as favorites, or ones that you look up to as mentors.
- Michael Moorcock, Octavia Butler, R. A. Salvatore, and R. Scott Bakker perhaps.
Any new authors who have come onto your radar?
- I have seen a few that I am following. I ordered several eBooks and will delve into them as soon as time allows.
Sounds like you’re busy. Are you at a point you can share any of your current news or projects?
- My first epic adult fantasy novel, The Rise of Nazil released in August 2015. The second in the trilogy, Seed of Scorn released in February 2016.
- The final book in The Rise of Nazil trilogy, Piercing the Darkness is on preorder now (May, 2016) on Amazon.
- The second trilogy, The Shifter is complete. The first novel in the trilogy, The Shifter: Blood of Oisin is currently with the editor. It is set for release February 2017.
- I am constantly working with illustrators. It is my plan to have all of the major character’s profiles complete before the year’s end.That works, thank you. I’m intrigued by your title. Do you have a method to select them?
- It just came to me as all of them have.
What about your covers? Did you do those yourself, or work with someone?
- I have two great illustrators, Predrag Ivanovic and Losmanto Lo. I design all of my covers, and they create them. Predrag is a saint for putting up with me. I will continue to work with him for years to come.
Please give them my complements. The artwork is stunning!
If you had to start the journey over today knowing everything you know now, would you change anything in your work?
- No. My completed work was over 1,200 pages. I have edited it down to just under 700 (after formatting 550). I have made all the changes I am willing to make. It must now stand on its own.
That’s a phenomenal accomplishment by itself. Does that leave you time to read?
- I read often and beta read for many indie authors.
When you’re writing, do you weave messages into your work for the readers to find?
- There are many. However, I will let the reader decide which is of importance to them.
With your series progressing, how do you feel about writing as a career choice?
- Had you asked me a year ago, that would have been an easy, no. However, much has changed. That is a possibility now where it was not a thought before.
Do you have a support group beyond your family to help with any rough spots?
- My friends and my sister, Nina most of all. She is an amazing cheerleader and does not hesitate to offer her opinion of my characters. She keeps a list of those she would like to find death and the method she would desire.
What challenges did you encounter while writing your book, and what did you learn as you over came those challenges?
- The scope is large. There are many multidimensional characters with their own sub-plots. Most are intertwined with the main characters as well. I tend to be very verbose and it is a challenge to lessen the dialogue between them.
- There are several scenes depicting some heinous events in book I. Violence is never used arbitrarily. If the scene is in the novel, it was integral to the plot and characterization. Those are very difficult scenes to write. Other than that, creating the language was arduous yet enjoyable as well.
- [I learned] too many [lessons] to list! Writing is a wonderful escape and creating worlds is fascinating. Preparing your work for publishing is an extensive process. I had to learn to “give in” and listen to the professionals you trust and hire to assist you.
From where you are now on your journey, do you have any advice you’d pass down to other up-and-coming writers?
- Write. It does not matter what anyone may say or think about what is in your heart and mind. Do not allow them to deter you from being true to yourself. Continue to express yourself in the manner that makes sense to you. Not everyone will like what you have written and they do not need to. Be true to yourself.
Aaron-Michael, thank you so much for coming over today. As we wrap up, any final words for your readers?
- Yes. Thank you. There are thousands of authors. I appreciate each and every one who has taken the time and interest to read my work. I am honored tremendously when someone tells me they have enjoyed one of my books.
Agreed, Aaron-Michael. Agreed. Thank you again, it was fun having you over and clearing up some of the mystery about you.
If you enjoyed the interview, and would like to connect with Aaron-Michael Hall, you can find him through his Website, Twitter, and Facebook. And if he’s managed to perk your interest in his books, I’ve linked his Amazon page Here for your convenience.
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