Interview with Aaron Blaylock

When did you first start writing?
The first thing I ever remember writing was in the third grade. Our teacher had us do writing assignments and then bound them in books that we illustrated. I think one of the stories was about me and my two best friends and a werewolf and a haunted house. I should see if I can dig it up and make it an ebook as I'm sure it was a literary triumph. As an adult I've played around with writing since 2000 but began in earnest to hone my craft (that sounded obnoxious) in 2010 writing regularly on my blog.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Rejection, massive rejection. That's the comical answer (and the truth) but it was my little brother actually. I was talking with him one night about an idea I had for a children's book that I submitted to a literary agent that had been rejected. He suggested that I connect with an artist and try again. Instead I illustrated it myself and sent it out to fifty or sixty some odd literary agents. I basked in the glow of their, often polite, rejections over the course of the next several months before deciding to publish what I had created to share it with my children and as a tribute to my brother's belief in me. It was so easy I thought 'why don't I do that again?', so I did.
Describe your desk
It's cluttertastic, but organized in a not quite feng shui kind of way. I've got various nicknacks and pictures of family and friends spread about the place. I've got maps on the wall (I love maps) to a couple of places that I am either writing about or plan to write about. Let's see, what else? I've got an autographed Kyler Fackrell poster right above my 23' LCD monitor. Also a clock that I never look at (who uses a clock anymore?). There's a phone and several post-its and at this very moment an apple AND a banana, which is a first for me. Last but not least is my water bottle which I fill and empty at least six times a day. I consider this my fortress of solitude, if instead of a cool alien ice cave in the artic you can accept a L-shaped desk with a laptop and a stress ball as a fortress.
What do your fans mean to you?
This is a difficult question for me. One, because I'm not sure I have any "fans" and two, because my relationship with complements is complicated. I write to share with others and hope desperately that others enjoy what I've written and like it enough to talk about it with people they know. I like to read feedback via comments and social media even if the feedback is negative as long as something I wrote made them think and have a reaction. I actually trust negative feedback more than I do a glowing review. When someone is complementary to me or about my writing I have this sickness where I question the sincerity of the complement immediately or I feel embarassed when I believe it is sincere. Really what I'm saying is I'm a neurotic mess who can't or won't enjoy the fruits of his labors. Still a fan? No? I understand.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I like to create something that wasn't there. Whether it is a story that didn't exist or an idea or a character who I brought to life. That is a miraculous thing when you think about it, writing something that didn't exist in the world but once someone reads it then it becomes a thing not just something in your mind but I thing that can be talked about and shared. It is now something real. It's pretty cool.
What is your writing process?
Generally it starts with an idea that comes to me just before bed or why I am taking a shower or brushing my teeth. I obsess about this idea for some time and lose sleep over it, then I open up Microsoft Word and start typing. I try not to stop or go back until I'm pretty sure I've said what I wanted to say. Then I begin to read it over and over making corrections to grammar and punctuation and filling in any holes I might find that were lost in the transfer from my brain to my fingers. I do this over and over until I can go through my work without making any corrections or changes. Then I show it to my wife. She points out all the spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors that I missed despite my best efforts and doesn't laugh at any of my jokes. After several seconds of self loathing I make the corrections and publish my work.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My family. I live for my family. My wife, Lola, and my four children are the motivation behind nearly everything I do, except for writing funny enough. Writing I do for me. I write to them and about them and sometimes for them but always I write for me. Everything else though I do for them. I kind of love them a lot.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Mesa Arizona but I came of age in Northern California and on an LDS mission in Jamaica. All three of those places have had an impact on my writing in a way but it is the who of those places rather than the where that have influenced my writing most of all. I like to write about people. Those people of course inhabit places but it's the people that interest me most. Having said that my next two writing projects are centered around two very unique places that take a larger role in the story. No spoilers you'll just have to wait and see.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Honestly without Smashwords I would have never published. I don't mind good old fashion work but if something is overly complex or difficult it is off-putting. Smashwords made it so easy to publish that even a relatively lazy author such as myself could figure it out. There's a testimonial for you Mr. Coker, you're welcome.
What are you working on next?
I've got a book in the works that is nearly fifteen years in the making although I've really only started writing it since the early part of 2013. It's a historical fiction that follows a character that I like to describe as a man born into an existence parallel to my experience following a path not chosen. Confused? Good. Now stop prying, that's all you're going to get out of me.
Published 2013-11-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Gorge
Price: Free! Words: 18,790. Language: English. Published: December 30, 2014. Category: Fiction » Adventure » Men’s adventure
This is the true story of a Venturing Crew's harrowing journey through Hellsgate Wilderness and down Tonto Gorge. Follow a well-meaning youth leader as he and his boys set off on a backpacking trip that quickly pushes them to their limits and ultimately forges a bond for life.
It's Called Helping...You're Welcome
Price: Free! Words: 43,440. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2013. Category: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
It started out as a desperate cry for attention and grew into an online cathartic therapy session on the World Wide Web. IT’S CALLED HELPING…YOU’RE WELCOME is a compilation of posts from a blog (don’t stop reading) I kept for a couple of years with a sprinkling of notes and articles that I wrote on various topics related to the human experience.
The Very Best
Price: Free! Words: 50. Language: English. Published: January 22, 2013. Category: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals
The Very Best is a story about doing your personal best and not focusing on the talents and abilities of others.