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Author Interview: J. L. Aarne

1. What inspired you to become a writer?

I was into drawing and art as a kid and as I got older, my drawing started to become illustrations for stories I made up in my head. Eventually I had a ton of illustrations for a lot of stories that hadn’t been written. I started trying to write them then. I don’t think I even thought of myself as a writer until much later.

2. What's your favourite book of all time?

I have many favorite books. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Peter Pan and Wendy are the first that come to mind. Far as adult fiction, I love The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

3. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

A lot of people are going to not believe in you when you say you want to be a writer. If it’s something that you love and really want to do, don’t listen to any of them.

4. What is the most frustrating thing about being an author?

Wanting to write and not wanting to write at the same time. Oh, and having the best ideas when you’re in the bathroom without a pen.

5. What's your favourite movie?

I have two. The Island (2005) and Wall-E (2008).

6. What's better, dogs or cats?

I don’t think they’re better, but I personally prefer cats. I have two and I love them very much.

7. If money was no object, how would you spend your life?

I’d travel to other countries. There are so many beautiful places I’d like to see.

8. Do you draw from personal experiences when you write?

Sometimes. I write mostly science fiction and fantasy, so it can be hard. I think it’s a combination of personal experiences and imagination, especially when it comes to developing a character. It seems to me that it’s almost impossible to not put some of yourself into everything to you write.

9. What is more important? Strong characters or a strong storyline?

I believe that the two things are interconnected. You can have one without the other, but the best stories have both. If I had to choose, I would say character though, because you can make a reader care about a story that isn’t great if they care about the characters, but a great story with uninteresting characters can be boring.

10. What advice would you give to first time writers when submitting their work to publishers or literary agents?

Oh, wow, I’m completely out of my depth here. I honestly don’t know because I’ve been self-published until I joined this current project. Todd and Davene wrote up the query letter and synopsis for Arc City Stories I believe. I was pretty surprised by how quickly we got a couple of responses for it because from what I understand from talking to other writers, it usually takes quite a while and only after many rejections first.

Check out J. L. Aarne's latest title, Arc City Stories by clicking here.


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