Interview with author Aaron Dennis

Why don’t you start out by telling us a little bit about yourself…?

I’m 29 and I started writing in early 2011. My first piece was a short, Eudora, which can be found for free at Smashwords.  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/171429 This is what started me on a writing path. Up until then, I was in and out of college, constantly switching majors. I never really knew what I wanted to do with myself. Apart from living life and enjoying it, there was no job that interested me.

 What’s your idea of a relaxing day..?

I wouldn’t know. I’ve done three-day kayaking trips down the Suwannee river, skydived (skydove?), and sat before the T.V. with a video game. In the end, I can still find something to irritate me. It’s this state. I don’t like where I live. Guess it’s a good thing I write. I can leave for hours at a time.

What was your families’ reaction when you told them you wanted to be a writer…? Were they supportive or did they think you were crazy…?

Originally, after completing Eudora, I showed a few people. I told them it was a neat story I had found on the internet. I wanted a real reaction to what was written. I then did the same for a more pieces before coming clean. They knew I had something but never guessed I’d try to make a career out of it. Only one person was truly supportive. My family, which is rather small, felt I should still be wasting my time and money in college. Naturally, I went off and did my own thing.

What’s your favorite: Author…? Film…? And TV Show…?

Carlos Castaneda is my favorite author. His works have had a drastic impact on my life as a whole. Whether or not one believes his stories to be true is irrelevant, he provides more than ample explanations for everything in the universe.

I don’t know that I can pick a favorite film. From Bad Boys 2 to Dark City, I like a lot of different aspects in film. Army of Darkness might be the one I’ve seen the most times. Good ole’ B.C.

Favorite show huh? The Men In Black cartoon. Way better than the movies. If you’ve never seen it, see it. Seriously, drop this interview and go watch it on youtube. 

Have you ever read a book, then later saw the film, and thought “Oh man, they screwed it all up…?”

Off the top of my head, no. I did see Dream Catcher then read the book and thought good gravy, they changed everything.

Tell us about your book…?

Lokians: Book2 They Lurk Among Us is the second installment of the Lokians Sci-fi series. It’s scheduled for release November 1st and picks up a few months after the end of Book1 Beyond the End of the World. What we have is a former Naval Officer gone AWOL after the defeat of the Lokians, an insect-like race of aliens, in subspace. Riley, the former officer, joins with The Bureau, an organization devoted to extra-terrestrial research, and yes, they are reminiscent of the M.I.B. but with my own spin. With the Lokians seemingly out of the picture, Riley is tasked to investigate the Gray Agenda. This projected was heralded by the Grays, the common, big-headed aliens we’ve all grown to love. By using some UFO lore, I created an intricate design involving abductions, alien hybrids, government infiltration, etc. This book, They Lurk Among Us, has less action than the previous but a great deal more suspense and intrigue.

Tell us a bit about the main Character… Is he/ she based off of any one in particular…? What inspired you to create this character…?

The main character is the former Naval officer, Riley O’Hara. He is not based off anyone, though word is, he looks like Taylor Kisch. Riley’s a bit stuffy but has his comedic moments. He cares deeply about his friends, family, and the universe. After his tour with Earth Navy and receiving a cold welcome in the previous novel, he joins The Bureau in order to continue the fight against alien threats. Nothing really inspired the character, like all my others, I just pick a name out of a hat, no really, it’s a bowler, and provide a loose description, a unique mannerism or two, and a subtle difference in the way he/she will form a sentence. So Riley was born and off he went to kill some aliens.

Where did you did you get the idea for your book…? What inspired you or caused you to say “Ah ha…”

I have weird dreams… like really weird and detailed dreams. More often than not, they involve some alien world, alien people, or alien technology. Where it all comes from is beyond me. So, many years ago I had a dream that I was with a military crew. We were working with some aliens to unfreeze some other aliens to aid us in a fight against a third race of aliens. If you’ve read Lokians: Book1 Beyond the End of the World, you know what I’m talking about. None of the aliens in that dream were overly intriguing so I pieced together a few other dreams. I modified their appearances for story-telling purposes but the basic premises are there. The story was and is easy enough to write. I imagine, so long as I keep dreaming, I can keep pumping out Lokian novels.

What was the most difficult part about writing this book…?

This one, They Lurk Among Us, was a little rough because I took a different approach. Normally, most novels are written from one perspective but I wanted to do something like Dan Brown did with The Lost Symbol. In essence, the story is told by two points of view, the good guy, Riley, and the bad guy, President of the NAU, Montrose. The constant shift was a bit disorienting in the development stages because I needed to make sure all the time, which transpired, was equal on both sides. By then, I was more than satisfied and my “beta” readers enjoyed it.

Let’s chat for a minute about your writing process… Do you outline, or are you one of that that just sits and starts writing by the seat of your pants…?

Both, neither, wait… Ok. There’s no set answer. It depends on what I’m writing. My first short was easy. I just sat down and wrote it. Other shorts, for instance the compilation, which grew into Shadowman, was a bit different. I didn’t outline but I did provide myself with several alternate options for my protagonist to follow. I wasn’t really sure how he was going to develop across four different shorts but in then end, everything worked out. My first novel, Lokians: Book1 Beyond the End of the World, took some serious editing but I basically wrote it from start to finish. I ended up changing the end, which allowed me to make some new decisions in the body of the work. I kept a log of who was where and what they were doing throughout. It condensed into the “Supplemental” at the end of the book, which every Lokian book will have. Now, with the sequel, They Lurk Among Us, I had several scraps of paper and the Supplemental but still no serious plan of action. With the third one, I’m still working on, Book3 For War and Glory, I actually did a storyboard because I have a daunting task before me but I won’t talk too much about it yet. It’s a long way from finished. The stories are already there, I just have to figure out the best way to get them down. I don’t think we can call this thing a ‘process’. I just write. I can always change it later. Furthermore, there’s always the possibility that getting to the end of a story allows me a better transition from one act to another in earlier portions. Maybe, in a few years, I’ll have something more definitive, until then, I’m just putting words on a screen.

Do you write in the morning, evening, or are you a graveyard writer…?

A bit of all of those, though my most cogent work is early in the morning. Edits are better left for the evening and nights are for the crazy things that wind up in the story. Usually it’s some strange idea, something that makes the story unique. In Book2 They Lurk Among Us, I came up with NOAHH, a Non-Organic, Alien, Human, Hybrid sometime in the wee hours of early morning, 2-3 am-ish. Without him, I don’t think Book2 would be as good, and I definitely would not have had the ideas for Book3. 

When you write, what are the biggest challenges you encounter…?

Not judging myself. I have to just get the story down and worry about what it sounds like later. Otherwise, I’m liable to be stuck on one paragraph, a setting, some dialogue, etc. If (when) I can get the story down, I take a break from it. After a week or so, I go back in fresh and tackle it one sentence at a time, then one paragraph, one chapter, etc., until the story reads in a manner I enjoy.

Do you know much about your characters when you start, or do you get to know them as you go along…?

I know zero, they’re just a name and a basic look. I let them do what they do. Sometimes they die, sometimes they don’t go where I want them to but it makes for an exciting story. Once, in They Lurk Among Us, I found a bit of a whole in my story. It was very minor but I don’t like holes so I needed to find a way to smooth it over. While staring at the screen, with no ideas, Lt. Swain decided to remove a Lithium Ion capacitor and short circuit a locked door. From there it was cake. I didn’t have to do anything.

If you could write in a genre different than the one you are writing in now, what would it be and why…?

Well, Sci-fi might be my staple but none of my shorts are Sci-fi. Eudora is horror, and Shadowman is four shorts in the Dark Fantasy genre. I completed a new piece, Expedition, also on Smashwords, and it’s Fantasy. I’m fine with what I write and have no wish to change. However, should something happen in my brain, and I decide to write say… Romance, I’ll do it, no sweat.

What novel (stand alone or series) would you recommend that everybody read…?

Uh, Lokians, read the Lokians series. It’s going to be more than a series of books. This will take me a lot of time, money, and effort, but I predict that in a few years, barring some unforeseen tragedy, I’ll have something special. So get a leg up on the crowd. Start reading Book1 Beyond the End of the World.

Who stands out as being your favorite writer…?

I don’t believe there are any writers that stand out over another, with the exception of Castaneda, whom I’ve already mentioned. Everyone is pretty much great in his or her own right, or in one aspect or another. 

If you had the chance to sit down and talk to any writer dead or alive for one hour who would that be and why…?

Well again, it would be Castaneda. I have to know if what he presented in his books is truth or entertainment. Either way, I can attest to some of it being truth but I won’t go into details.

What can we expect next from you…?

Lokians: Book3 For War and Glory, a gritty, battle from the trenches, temporal disturbance, mind job. You won’t be the same after reading the series.

Tweet me @authaarondennis

Find me www.dennisauthor.com (everything is here anyway including buy links, trailers, other authors/bloggers, etc.)

I have three blogs: www.towriteawrong.blogspot.com www.authaarondennis.wordpress.com and the third is a secret. If you can find it you win a prize. *Disclaimer, there is no prize.

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