Interview with Aaron L. Fuller

How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I love 21st century digital media. Smashwords is integrated on an amazing level that simply wasn't possible even two years ago. Look at the simplicity of adding an ISBN to a book! Furthermore, the horizontal integration of genres means I can not only publish my works but support other authors.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Telling a story I've always wanted. Take my science fiction novel, Dark Veil. We've all seen countless "aliens invade the Earth" movies and read the same, but creating my twist on the genre is source of immense satisfaction.
What do your fans mean to you?
Being a life-long teacher, I've inspired and been inspired by hundreds of students. To see their excitement about reading and then the follow-up conversations is priceless. On the other hand, writing is still a secondary activity, and I dream of having enough fan support to write full time.
What are you working on next?
Great question! Vampire of Niagara is my first horror novel. Each year I'm choosing a different novel to explore the art of writing. 2015 was science fiction with Dark Veil. 2014 was teen adolescent fiction with Shashi Bora, Teen Witch. Growing up in the classic era of Stephen King, I devoured his book faster than the main character in Thinner could eat twinkies! Vampires of Niagara is a science fiction vampire novel. Check me out on Wattpad later this year for a sample chapter :)
Who are your favorite authors?
Pulp fiction novels like all the classics of the 1920s era were my bread and butter growing up. Edgar Rice Burrows, Lovecraft, etc... I graduated from them to fantasy. We were fortunate to live near a 1/2 price bookstore in the 1980s, that great time where series of awesome books rolled off the presses. Glen Cook comes to mind as a master of fantasy/military fiction. Katherine Kurtz's Deryni series too was a staple. I think I got started with the Xanth series and Blue Adept---talking unicorns, anyone? For science fiction, I've chewed through the old masters as in the Foundation Series and Dune. I still love reading Star Wars novels for light sci-fi fun!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Destiny. A feeling I have just begun life. Two wonderful children, a loving wife, and a cat help also :)
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am a Latin teacher full time. The Romans and their language provides a comprehensive framework to understand so much of the modern world, and I am not only talking Harry Potter magic spells! Video games, that constant vortex of 'ya gotta see this game,' sucks its fair bit of time. Traveling to Italy and cooking round out the clock.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I follow links and links and links... I think of ebooks as the wonderful hole for the Mad Hatter of inspiration to channel his energy.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was a science fiction story back in the 1980s about SAAB aerospace. The SAAB company earned a contract from the UN to develop some atmospheric fighter craft which could reach to the moon and back for near-orbital planetary defense.
What is your writing process?
I read writer's blogs, take notes on them, then follow through. Practice makes perfect. I write one page a day, minimum, regardless as a form of writer's disciple. On my iPad I use a mind map app to fill map out plots, names, and ideas. Definitely worth it there! I then keep multiple folders and stuff them with Word files of random bits for each novel. Long walks with friends then are my editorial process. Bouncing and refining ideas while we walk until what remains is the spark for something written ...
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
No, I don't to be honest, but I loved watching all the classic TV series such as Battlestar Galactica, Twilight Zone, Star Trek. I've only started writing in the last few years, so twenty years of teaching have clouded what first stories I've read. One series which made a difference in my appreciation of writing is Thieves World with Robert Asprin. Each novel was a series of chapters, each of which was written by a different author. Amazing fodder for point of view, creativity, and action. I recommend them to anyone interested in classic fantasy literature.
How do you approach cover design?
I have a friend, a former student, named Grizelle DeSouza. She is an expert in graphic design. Grizelle takes a few chapters, reads them, and then works with me on the cover.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Asheville, North Carolina. In Dark Veil, I use beaucoup southern imagery. In fact, the main scene is set in Fort Knox. I love the South, all the people, the food, and the charm. Outside of Asheville, in Flatrock, is the Carl Sandburg homestead. One day I'll use that area as a setting for an epic fantasy novel.
When did you first start writing?
About three years ago...
What's the story behind your latest book?
Vampires of Niagara is set in the future...America has fallen to a weird combination of global warming, the rise of autonomous AI, and the genie of genetic manipulation escaping the bottle. A rogue lab experiments on cows with a virus which mutates, crosses species, and infects humans with what is actually scientific vampirism. The book opens with the protagonist watching a holoreel of his father, the very man who was responsible for stopping the virus, but failed. The son traces the first outbreak to Niagara Falls, Canada, and decides to leave his SZ (safe zone) and explore the QZ (quarantine zone).
What motivated you to become an indie author?
As a Latin teacher, I totally love the old school way of doing stuff. Couldn't we use a few more aqueducts in California to bring water from Lake Michigan? Then you look at traditional publishing. Don't get me wrong, I'd die and go to Mordor simply to have a book published in print, but look at the stats... Now we have 300 million people plus in the country! There is so much literate talent and so many stories to tell that the traditional publishing world has not caught up. The economy of scale of being an indie publisher is poised to explode more and more, and I'm grateful to Smashwords for making 21st century digital publishing part of my reality.
Published 2015-07-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Shashi Bora Teen Witch
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 90,390. Language: English. Published: July 23, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Adventure » Travel
Coming of age in a remote village isn't all that exciting. Boredom, chores, provincial life, and the mundane aren't for this apprentice witch. Armed with her curiosity, advice from her mistress, and a magic curry pot, Shashi Bora befriends a wandering ambassador. Where will her adventures lead? What monsters will she fight? Are her magical powers enough?
Dark Veil
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 110,980. Language: English. Published: July 23, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Military, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Dark Veil is the story of alien invasion. Hungry for metal, Centaurians prepare their dropships on an unsuspecting planet Earth. Unaware that their invasion fleet has been discovered, the Centaurians fall into a trap laid by General Lester McNare. Using the allure of Fort Knox and a mountain of gold, the United States military conceals their military assets for the battle of the 21st century.