It’s been a good few days, and welcome to September! It is a new day, and a new interview. Today I bring you an interview with Aaron Hodges. He’s a pretty cool guy, from the part of the world where we associate with the hobbit houses. Good old New Zealand!
Check out some examples of my SPFBO interviews by clicking on the book covers down below!
First of all, tell me about yourself! What do you write?
Well my name is Aaron Hodges and I’m from all the way down in New Zealand! I’ve been writing fantasy and scifi novels for just over three years now (wow it goes fast!) and I am currently living in Buenos Aires!
How do you develop your plots and characters?
Hmm, well they generally just come to me if I’m honest! Well, no that’s not quite true. I get a lot of inspiration from the places I visit and hearing the history and stories about different countries and cities around the world. I travel A LOT, so there’s a lot of history to choose from!
Tell us about your current project.
I’m currently working on the sequel to my SPFBO novel – Daughter of Fate – and I’m still enjoying exploring the humanity of my characters in this series. In the first book Pela’s mother is taken by religions knights, which more or less sets off the whole chain of events for the entire trilogy!
Is this your first entry into SPFBO? If not, how many times have you entered?
This is my second time I THINK! I may have also entered a novel in my first year publishing when I didn’t know up from down XD
Who would you say is the main character of your novels? And tell me a little bit about them!
In Daughter of Fate, Pela is probably the main character – I write from multiple POVs. As I mentioned, she’s on a quest to free her mother, but this is her first time really venturing outside her village, she’s never picked up a sword, and she generally hates interacting with other people. It’s going to be quite a mission for her to put her family back together!
What advice would you give new writers on how to delve into creative fiction?
There’s the old saying – follow what you know. And while that’s not necessarily all of it, it’s a good place to start! One thing I enjoy in my books is thinking about how a landscape would have been created, since that was a large part of my studies as an Environmental Scientist. But the key is not to stop there. Go out and do research, travel, read. Each new place you explore is another layer of wealth for your stories.
What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the worldbuilding within your book?
Well a lot of my cities are actually based off places I have visited around the world, especially in my fantasy novels. For instance, the town of Skystead in my latest book is based off the tiny town of Kotor, Montenegro, which I visited in the Spring of 2018!
What inspires you to write?
I love using my imagination. My best characters come alive in my mind and then all I have to do is follow where they lead me. That is really what inspires me, to create this person who is almost real to me (and hopefully to my readers) and see what happens.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
In this book, a ne religion has been created in the void left by the departure of the Gods and magic. That was hard, especially being able to balance the struggles of the people as well as showing how that religion is also being used and manipulated for people’s own gain.
What is your routine when writing, if any? If you don’t follow a routine, why not?
I try to write every weekday, usually from about 12pm to 4 or 5. I take spanish classes in the morning, so the two keep me fairly busy throughout the week!
It’s sometimes difficult to get into understanding the characters we write. How do you go about it?
I find I get to know my characters as I go along, and by the end of my first draft I have a pretty good idea about who they are. Sometimes they take me by surprise along the way, but I’m always trying to think what would be logical for this person to do? One of the reasons I only write one series at a time is so I can really get into each characters mind.
What are your future project(s)?
Finishing off this series is the only plans so far. I have a few other ideas in mind, but we’ll see how this one goes first!
What is your favorite book ever written? Who are your favorite authors?
David Gemmell’s Druss the Legend are my favourite book and author. It tells the story of a young man who sets out to save his wife from bandits, and becomes a hero along the way.
What makes a good villain?
Someone with some kind of logical motivation, even if its only logical in their twisted minds. Thanos and his plan to wipe out half the life on earth is the perfect example – why not just double the resources right 😉 But power is also important. My bad guys are usually light years away from the powers of my own characters, and that means they have to find another way to win.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
All sorts, but I love the outdoors and in any given month you can find me at the beach or skiing in the mountains.
If you couldn’t be an author, what ideal job would you like to do?
Haha I already tried being an environmental scientist, I’m not going to try my luck imagining what else I could be at this stage 😉
You can travel to any planet or moon in the Solar System. Where would you go, why and what would you do there?
Eh never been a big space fan if I’m honest. I’d rather see all the amazing places we have to visit here on earth!
Finally, what is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, here on Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?
I’m on both Facebook and instagram, and those are the best places to follow me if you’re interested in my everyday life. If you’d like to hear more about my writing, I recommend subscribing to my newsletter – especially since it’ll also give you two of my books for free!
My new book is called Daughter of Fate and can be found on Amazon: