This week’s #SPFBO Author Interview is with Aaron Cross. According to family lore, Aaron learned how to read (or knew, actually) at the ripe age of two years old and proceeded to devour - figuratively, of course - every book he could get his hands on like a literary toddler-aged Galactus. He continued to read and expanded his reach to writing when he was in middle school, creating a piece of work that makes him physically upset any time he reads it. Seriously, the 'working' title is This Will Never See The Light of Day, and that is the point.
Thankfully, he grew out of it and now writes reasonable-quality work that seeks to entertain, with his first book, Robocopter Ski Patrol, blending Doctor Who-style time manipulation with Archer-style humor and moderate to severe vulgarity at times, his second book, Untitled Spy Story: A Novel, creating a world where roundhouse-kicking the Secretary of State on top of the White House after a mescal-fueled dance sequence is possible, and his third book, Ruben's Cube Alaska: Bullet Point 2: Judgment Day: This Time It's Real, exploring what it's like to be friends with a semi-immortal Russian with a direwolf and a second, violent personality in your head all of a sudden. In addition to writing books, Aaron now is working to achieve his MFING DOCTORATE, YO, is very much single (ladies), and has a Moleskine filled with ideas and concepts for dozens of new books. Video games, the Internet, and a good appreciation of fine beer and scotch completes him.
Why did you enter #spfbo?
I have several writer buddies that have either won or have had careers spurred on by the contest and when in Rome, you know? Also, because I do want my books to get a wider audience and I think that SPFBO offers a remarkable opportunity to help create just that.
Your Main Character walks into a bar, what kind of bar and what happens?
For the main character in Robocopter, he walks into what is likely a decent bar, has his friends visit, they get into a drunken fight, and things get broken. Both people and objects.
If a genie granted you three wishes, what would they be? (You can't ask for more wishes)
I've thought about this more than is likely healthy. First, I want the ability to refill anything I want with whatever I want. That means fancy scotch if I want it, my bank account gets loaded up...you name it. Second, I want the ability to have the 'hindsight' in the time it would be useful (e.g., instead of 'I should have asked her out!' after the fact, I'd actually think of it and ask the person out). Finally, I want the ability to make personal cosmetic changes any time I like (better body, nicer clothes, etc.). Those seem different and not crazy at all.
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten?
Oh, so much. Bone marrow, beef and duck tongue, boudin noir, rabbit kidneys, pig's ear, foie gras...I like weird meat, what can I say?
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
With my books, I have no idea what the readers want. That frees me up to create them however I like, which is usually completely off-the-wall, which is enjoyable to write and hopefully read.
What is your favorite childhood book?
From when I was really like, The Island of the Skog was huge. After that? Probably Redwall by Brian Jacques.
What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?
I owe them appreciation for helping give me inspiration. Also, I probably owe an apology to one person in particular who takes the brunt of a lot of pretty savage joke insults in the books.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Each book is designed to primarily be its own thing, but each of them has something that affects the other books and is tossed into some of them. Several references and characters won't fully be explained for a while yet. It's one big universe.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Hah! Oh, way too many to count. I'd say upwards of a couple dozen half-finished books, with another several more with outlines and notes to work on them later. There's a lot there.
What does literary success look like to you?
To me, it's honestly just having people read and enjoy my books, leave reviews, and even talk to me on Facebook or Twitter. Knowing that I've had an impact on even a few lives means I've done good work.
To learn more about Aaron, check out these links: