Interview with Aria J. Wolfe

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use my iPad for everything.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Word of mouth, contests & giveaways on my website, secret "extras" that a special code unlocks. Keeps the buzz going.
Describe your desk
It's generally portable. I use Office 365 which is cloud-based so I can access my work in progress from anywhere. I always have my iPad with me. When it gets into my editors hands and it needs revising I only use my laptop on my desk which is uncluttered. The cleaner the workplace the clearer I can think. I have a scented candle that I never light (it's for aromatherapy), a stuffed bear with a scented bag inside of him (for the same purpose as the candle), several things to drink (bottle of water, mint tea and Pepsi) and a pink neck pillow that I use when I need to slouch and be comfy. Oh, and my iPad & laptop of course.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small, quiet town in beautiful British Columbia. A river ran through the town which influenced my need for the sights, sounds, & smells of water. The Coalition's setting is a small town with a river running through it, then later an underground city with a large man-made lake and waterwheel. The sights and sounds of water have a great effect on me. For tranquility as well as creativity. I also crave space. I live in a very large house and write in an area of the house no one else uses. I believe growing up in the small town influenced me to desire space and solitude.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first short story in grade 3 and had a teacher rave about it. (She was a snarly old bat so that was something in itself) I wrote my first novel in grade 5. A fan-fic novel based on the characters from The Chronicles of Narnia. But I first started writing poetry when I was in grade 3 and every contest I entered (I entered 3 province-wide contests) I won. I went on a lot of train rides and helicopter tours that year.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The short and simple answer is: identity. How often do we conform to others opinions of us? We are shaped by the world we live in in some aspect or another and Shai and Aliah are no different except for the deepest sense inner that they are somehow "different." For Shai, being different is safe. But for Aliah being different means exposure if anyone finds out who they are. So he commits to keeping Shai safe from the truth about herself even if it means sacrificing his own desire to know who he is.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Time. It takes months to get an answer back from a publisher and even though my novels are timeless, my message is urgent. I believe at the core of every person who hurts and bullies another is a deep desire to know who they themselves are. If they could unlock their own identity, their self-loathing (at worst) or selfishness (at best) they would no longer be a slave to opinions or circumstances. As a man thinks, so is he.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords had enabled me to utilize time effectively. I despise wasting time above all else (it's one of the precious things we can never get back). So, instead of waiting months, even years, for an answer from publishers I 'used' (spent) the time I saved to invest in creating other books. I want to change the world, one mind at a time. One heart at a time. And my tongue is not in my cheek when I say this.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
People. Many authors write for themselves. A simple self-satisfaction or singular accomplishment (Yes, I feel the same way yet I'm driven one step-further). I write FOR the people who are my readers. For the disillusioned youth who fight the system's control, for the passionate teens who are lost while trying to find themselves amidst a thousand voices telling them who they are. For people who have a deep sense of "there is something more" but feel displaced in a world that doesn't understand them or labels them as 'rebellious.' I write for YOU. Who wants an escape from the pressures of this world all the while trying to make sense of it.
What do your fans mean to you?
I should really say, refer to my previous answer. I couldn't write if I didn't have an audience. I have read The Coalition 9 times ( 4 times straight through) and while I LIVE it's message, writing for me doesn't go very far. If I don't have readers, or fans then I may as well not write. It's like someone claiming to be a leader, but when they look behind them and find that no one, not even the dog, is actually following them are they really a leader?
What are you working on next?
I am working on Book 2 of The Coalition Series due to be released in the fall. It's called The Outerlands.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have so many. Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins, Orson Scott Card, James Dashner, Scott Westerfeld... I could go on.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Being alive. Knowing I have a purpose. I love people. I love life. And life is bigger than me, yet I have influence as we all do. My life is like a pebble. It seems insignificant in itself, but when it's thrown into a pond it creates a thousand ripples that eventually reach the opposite shore.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading. I also blog. But most of all I love to spend time with my family. They are the ripples closest to me. If my life touches their, and their lives touch others and so on, eventually the whole world will be touched. I can't help but think this way. Thinking any other way is thinking too small. This isn't arrogant, this God-fidence (meaning with God, nothing is impossible).
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I watch blogs, subscribe to websites that talk about what's trending and I am a part of Goodreads and LinkedIn and Smashwords, as well as Amazon who keep me informed about what others are talking about.
Published 2014-03-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Outerlands (Coalition 2)
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 65,210. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Paranormal
Shai is sent to the strange, high-tech world of the Outerlands where she agrees to trade her personality and memories for implanted ones in order to capture Ava. But her old life keeps resurfacing; interrupting her mission and twisting her perception of what's real and what's not. Who can she trust when she can't even trust herself?
The Coalition (Coalition 1)
Series: The Coalition. Price: Free! Words: 79,450. Language: English. Published: April 15, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Paranormal
It's just a harmless necklace. Everyone wears them, like a talisman. At least that's what sixteen year old Shai Eli has always believed. But why does her community enforce a law that keeps people from removing the necklaces? When a book, a key, and a vision begin to unravel the sinister secret behind the necklaces, Shai discovers the guy she's falling for may not be who he says he is.