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Friday’s Interview with Aaron Craig

Good morning, everyone. Today we have with us Aaron Craig, a new children’s writer with a unique perspective on the world and his place in it. 

Claudsy: I want to thank you so much for being here with us, Aaron. Would you begin by telling us what writing means to you and why? 

Aaron: It is a pleasure to be here, Claudsy. Thanks for inviting me. Well….. Writing is just a part of who I am. But more so, I see everything in stories… I see each person as a living story. And I see stories that people write, or display in other mediums… into parts of their souls that they choose to show us. In my short life I have experienced many things that have affected my soul, and I want to share these with the world. 

Claudsy: I know that your reading and writing interests gravitate to the SF/Fantasy genre, whether for children or adults. Care to explain what the fascination is for you? 

Aaron: Aaah…. I could write a whole library of books with this question alone. There are several different ways I could answer this… when I was a child, the idea that I could either have superpowers, or travel through space and time, or have an alien as a friend liberated me. And (it) made me feel like I could escape and have a holiday from real life for a bit. (I never wanted to escape it all together.)

Now as an adult Science Fiction and Fantasy reminds me how to remain childlike and keep the sense of wonder in my life. Of course, now, I do have superpowers, I can travel through space and time, and I know alien……. Oops! Am I saying this out loud? …Maybe we should move on to the next question. 

Claudsy: Maybe you’re right. If you had only thirty words to describe yourself and your platform, what how would you use them? 

Aaron: I explore stories. I interpret stories. I tell stories. I create new stories and rediscover old ones. I connect stories. I know The Great Story. I am a story.

Claudsy: You’ve had a passel of obstacles in your life, like many of us. What drives you to overcome adversity or by-pass the hurdles? Or do you, instead, learn to accept and make the hurdle work for you?

Aaron: Yes, I have developed over the years an ability to turn lemons to lemonade. The trick is to do so without becoming a “sour” puss. On a serious note, I wouldn’t have made it through if it wasn’t for my Faith and Relationship with Jesus Christ, and the support of my family and church family. 

Claudsy: I can understand that reasoning. I know you’ve taken writing courses for quite a while now. How much help do you think such courses help the student to understand the business of writing and how would you rate them? 

Aaron: Well, I have taken courses and workshops on writing. The stuff that I have learned has helped me to develop not only my craft and teach me about the business, but (it) has also helped to develop the content of my writing. However, I do find it challenging when my assignments box me in with too many requirements. I think the more individualized the course or workshop the more helpful it can be for the student. 

Claudsy: That’s could be true for workshops that cater to only a few students at a time, I agree. What project are you currently working on? 

Aaron: I have a few irons in the fire. But the only one I can really tell about at this point is a short story of a friendship that starts between two teenagers in a private school. It might serve the story in the end to make them aliens from two different planets. But it may not, either. I’m going to experiment with both ways and see which works best.

Claudsy: If you could write a magazine column in any magazine, what would it be about and for which magazine would you write it?

Aaron: I would love to contribute to a fan magazine. Like maybe Enlightenment (L….. http://www.dwin.org/article.php?sid=6 ) . A fanmag for the popular British Science Fiction show Doctor Who (L….. http://www.dwin.org/article.php?sid=9 ) published by the great people at DWIN (Doctor Who Information Network.) (L….. http://www.dwin.org/index.php ). I would love to write reviews for them.

Claudsy: I know that you’ve just begun your social networking. Is it helpful to you to talk with other writers and get their feedback? 

Aaron: There is an old saying, “Defend yourself, and have a fool for a lawyer.”

I think this applies to writers as well. Sometimes I think as writers we can get so subjectively connected to our projects that we don’t see what is right in front us – whether positive or negative. Feedback from another writer can help with this. 

Claudsy: Have you had good luck with critique groups and how important do you feel they are the any writer?

Aaron: Critique groups have been a real blessing to me over the years. I sort of answered why I feel critiques are important in the last question, but I will elaborate here by saying that one of my favorite historical writing groups that I love to study about is The Inklings.

This was the group that was founded by JRR Tolkien (Lord of the Rings) and CS “Jack” Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia). Tolkien said that Lord of the Rings would never have been completed if it weren’t for the encouragement of Lewis. And Lewis once commented that Narnia would not have had as rich of a history if it were not for the help and assistance of Tolkien. It is very helpful when your projects can be seen from a different lens.

Claudsy: Lastly, Aaron, I know that you write primarily in the children’s genre. What is your hope regarding your contribution to children’s literature and what is the most important quality you hope to relate to children through your work? 

Aaron: Truth be told, I don’t write primarily in the children’s genre. As a matter of fact, I don’t like being pinned down to any one genre or format. I love stories that you can’t really pin down what genre they belong to. But I do enjoy Young Adult literature. Especially in the SF and Fantasy areas.

I like the notion of a young person of maybe 10, 11, or 12 getting caught up in a series of events which changes him/her and then in a series of novels grows up and discovers who they really are. That is the type of character I want to write about and develop.

So I think that is why a lot of my writing tends to slant towards the YA. I am currently taking courses at the Institute of Children’s Literature which tends to keep me focused in that department as well. As to the question of what I hope to contribute to Children’s Literature, I just want to pick up where the storytellers that came before me left off; pick up the torch, so to speak.

And hopefully in the future there will be young people out there that are inspired by my work enough to pick up the torch from me. As for what quality I hope to relate. Faith — The ability to see things from a different reality, and then bring it into your own.

Claudsy: Thank you so much, Aaron for being a wonderful guest and for taking the time to be with us today. 

Short Personal Biography: 

Aaron Craig took much of his educational training through Malaspina University and Capilano College as well as theology courses at Pacific Bible College. He has numerous writing courses and workshops sprinkled throughout the last ten+ years, too.

This single guy has just begun his sojourne in the networking by placing his web thread at: http://portalwriter.spaces.live.com Feel free to drop in and say hello, sit down and talk to this lively young writer to talk space and story ideas. He has lots of them to share.

Remember to leave your comment about this interview. Tomorrow, as usual, I will take some aspect of this interview for a commentary. I hope all of you will stop by again to read and comment on it.

But, if you can’t make it tomorrow, keep in mind that on Monday my guest will be Arthur Slade, full-time writer and steam punk enthusiast.

Have a productive and creative week everyone and feel free to stop by any time to just say hello, and hopefully, learn something new.

A bientot,

Claudsy

 

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