Friday 25 April 2014

Interview With Author Aaron Galvin

Today I have another interview for you, with new author Aaron Galvin. He stops by to talk about writing, his debut book, Salted, and his other passion, filmmaking. Enjoy.

Interview With Aaron Galvin

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.
I remain wonderfully confused at both who I am, and who I am meant to be.
The larger part of me will always be Peter Pan, yet becoming a father has forced me to grow up somewhat. I’m a country boy who can pass for a city guy when/if needed. The actor in me enjoys being the center of attention, while my author side prefers the quiet escape of a hermit’s existence.
My wife is a saint for tolerating me.

Can you tell us about your debut book, Salted, a YA urban fantasy novel?
Definitely! Salted follows a crew of Selkie slave catchers charged with recapturing an elusive runaway. When their target leads them to deeper, darker secrets, the Selkies face a moral quandary. Secure their own freedom, or return empty-handed to face the grisly consequences.
It also features a unique take/twist on mermaids. Most books I've seen about Selkies and mermaids are of the paranormal romance sort. Mine has little/no romance involved. I wanted to write a story about merfolk and Selkies that male readers could enjoy too.

Why do you find most appealing about the fantasy genre?
Anything is possible. You can go to Hogwarts and learn magic, journey to Mordor with hobbits, elves, and dwarves, or even transform into a seal and swim in the realm beneath the waves. Fantasy has always been my favorite genre. I don’t see that ever changing.

You also dabble in writing thrillers and horror. What difference and similarities do you find between the three genres?
That’s a great question. The easy answer in how they’re different is fantasy contains magic, paranormal, and/or an imaginary world/universe. Thrillers promote suspense and/or excitement. Horror is, well, scary.
I’m not fond of breaking them down like that, however, because I think it’s limiting. I especially don’t like the stigma associated with the horror genre that it must contain gore. Gore can be frightening, sure, but to me it’s often thrust into a story like an annoying kid trying to draw attention to themselves. The best horror lives with you after the book/movie is finished. Better yet, if you couldn't finish because it scared you that much. 
As for their similarities, I think the best stories contain a blend of all genres. No one does this better than Stephen King. Take my favorite King novel, The Stand, for instance. The idea of Randall Flagg embodies a twisted blend of fantasy/horror. Flagg also makes you nervous for the characters aligning and defying him, which builds the suspense all the way up to the final glorious end.
That’s the kind of writing I aspire to create.

Can you tell us about your writing process? Where do your ideas originate?  Do you have a certain writing routine?
I’m not sure where my ideas originate, honestly. I could be out to dinner when a new voice pops into my head, or even rocking my daughter to sleep. Ideas come to me all the time. The trick is learning which ones to pursue and which to let go. Most times I don’t have a choice. The voices demand to be heard.
As for my writing process, I like to script a loose outline first. It could be a single sentence, paragraph, or even thirty pages, but I almost always need one in place.
That doesn't mean I stick to it. Sometimes a new character’s voice will become stronger that takes me into unknown territory. My character Chidi (pronounced Chee-dee) for instance. In my initial outline, she was a background player only. As I continued writing, however, I found that I couldn't contain her spirit. She burst onto the pages until I gave way. I can’t imagine the story without her now.
For routine, I like to make a fresh pot of coffee. Then, I reread the previous chapter to get me in the right mindset. If nothing is happening, I stare at my computer screen until something does.

What is your greatest challenge as a writer?
My prose. I’ll improve, but no one will ever consider me the next Cormac McCarthy.

You've also worked in film, as an actor, producer and writer. Do you find the two creative endeavors (novel writing and filmmaking) complement each other? Are there certain aspects in common to both disciplines?
They’re both great creative outlets, but two very different animals.
I love filmmaking because it physically brings your ideas to life. The tradeoff is you lose autonomy. Unless you’re James Cameron, (and even he probably experiences this), there will be others who have say in the final product. Now, not only are you trying to do justice to what the characters in your head want, there are physical voices added into the mix; the director, producers, and actors who bring their own insight to the characters/world you've created.
Filmmaking also limits you with budgetary constraints, schedules of the players involved, and length of time you have to tell the story.
When I produced an indie feature film, I was frustrated at times by how long everything took for completion. I had to accommodate other’s schedules. As an author, I only have to look in the mirror if something isn't being done and needs changed. It’s all on my shoulders to sink or swim. I enjoy that freedom immensely. 

Who has inspired you as a writer and author?
Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, J.K. Rowling, and George R.R. Martin have all been major inspirations to me as an author. I've also been inspired by J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Vince Gilligan, and I am in awe of how well David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have translated GRRM’s Song of Ice and Fire series into HBO’s Game of Thrones.

What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on Taken With A Grain of Salt, the sequel to Salted. I’m around 10k words in and it’s flowing well. I can’t wait to share the story with readers.

About the Author:
Salted is Aaron Galvin's debut novel.
He first cut his chops writing original stand-up comedy routines at age thirteen. His early works paid off years later when he co-wrote and executive produced the 2013 award-winning indie feature film, Wedding Bells & Shotgun Shells.
He is also an accomplished actor. Aaron has worked in Hollywood blockbusters, (Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, and Clint Eastwood’s Flags of Our Fathers), and starred in dozens of indie films.
Aaron is a proud member of SCBWI. He lives in Southern California with his wife and daughter.

You can find more on Aaron and his writing at these sites:

Salted is available here:

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