Today, I welcome Mr. Aaron Safronoff on my blog for an interview. He is the person behind this adventure novel titled Sunborn Rising. This blog tour was hosted by Lola’s Blog Tours.
Aaron: Stoked to answer questions for Book Huntress’ World! Thank you for the invitation.
Book Huntress’ World: When did you first consider yourself a writer? Are there any experiences that inspired you to write?
A: Honestly, I don’t think about it much. When I was a chef, I never introduced myself as such, and the same is true of my career in game design — these are things that I do, not necessarily who I am. I’ve been writing for longer than I can remember, and I don’t think any one event triggered my desire, but reflecting on the subject as an adult I continually return to the notion of seeking meaningful connections with others.
BHW: Do you see writing as a career?
A: I write, fervently searching for connection. I write, passionately, desperately to manifest my thoughts so that I can see them from the outside. I write. Whether or not my writing provides a livelihood for me is entirely up to the audience. Today, I’m lucky enough to author stories for a living, and I strive to keep that going.
BHW: How do you find or make time to write?
A: I like to write more than most other activities, so before anyone ever paid me to write, it consumed large portions of my down time. I guess I’d equate it to finding time to read, you know? Burning through pages into the early morning hours, or through the weekend because you need to know what happens next? Sometimes, instead of reading, I write.
BHW: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
A: Emotionally driven? 😛 I’d love to say my writing has a rhythm, but I’m afraid I’m flattering myself. It’s a goal at least. I imagine that readers who sub-vocalize experience my style differently than those who don’t. That’s probably the biggest challenge for me: riding the line between clear informational narrative and multiple meaning musicality.
BHW: What inspired you to write this book?
A: Playing in the dirt, climbing trees, and swimming. That, and a huge quantity of Sir David Attenborough’s programs.
BHW: How did you come up with the title? Did you consider other titles?
A: I considered several titles, I think well over a hundred, and Sunborn Rising conveys so many elements of the planned trilogy that it fit best, and I loved the sound of it. Beneath the Fall, as a subtitle for volume one came more quickly, and fit immediately. Could have been luck to find it early, but also, I think it was easier to find the sweet spot after settling on the series title. Also, our company was coming together at the time, so I had no shortage of feedback.
BHW: How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?
A: The world existed in my mind and I shared it with my friend and colleague, Dane Glasgow, who wanted to hear more and eventually do more with the concept.
BHW: While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?
A: Always! Honestly, that’s how I write. Each character exemplifies some facet of my personality joined with experiences, friendships, and encounters out in the world.
BHW: What was the hardest part of writing this book?
A: With my first three books, I solicited feedback from a spectrum of friends and a professional editor, and my game design experience, which was heavily feedback driven, helped me interpret that feedback. No one can tell you how to fix your writing, but they can absolutely tell you when they are confused, bored, or exhilarated. For Beneath the Fall we significantly upped the ante with hundreds of early readers, and multiple editors, and merging that volume of responses to form a complete picture of the audience experience was the hardest part, and it was totally worth it.
BHW: What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
A: Cover, illustrations, and music. This project has afforded me the privilege and opportunity to work with exceptional people. Creative and talented artists and musicians collaborated to build a book as a work of art in its own right. There’s a soundtrack!? Yeah. I know. Still blows my mind.
BHW: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
A: My goal was to write an adventure for my friends and family to enjoy with their children. They tell me they like it, but I don’t know if I can trust them. Yes? 😛
BHW: Did you learn anything writing your book and what was it?
A: I learn so much with each writing endeavor that it’s difficult for me to pinpoint or even remember one discrete item. My vocabulary improves everyday, and I frequently look up words that I think I know, and find new meanings in them.
BHW: What did you enjoy most about writing your book?
A: Reading the story out loud to our Neoglyphic family. Beginning with only a few of us, before the company existed, I read a chapter a week as though I was telling stories by the fireside. There was no fire, and we certainly weren’t camping, but there were blankets, amazing home cooked meals, and even dessert. Later, after the company had grown quite a bit, I read the entire book to the team on a weekend: an unforgettable experience.
BHW: Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?
A: It’s hard to know the impact my favorite authors have had on my writing, but I like to believe Philip K. Dick, William Gibson, and Vladimir Nabokov all played significant roles in my development. The funny thing to think about is the number of authors I haven’t read, and how the lack of exposure to say, Nora Roberts, has impacted my writing. It’s just as much what I’ve seen as what I haven’t.
BHW: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp? Do have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
A: If I’ve done my job well the answer to the first part of your question should surface in the novel ;-). For my readers? Thank you for sharing some time with me, I’ll do my best to make it worth your while. Cheers!
BHW: Thank you Mr. Aaron! Cheers! 🙂
Aaron Safronoff was born and raised in Michigan where he wrote his first novella, Evening Breezes. In his early twenties, he moved to California to attend culinary school. He fell in love with the Bay Area and has never considered leaving, although he did eventually leave the school.
During his ten years in the games industry, he worked at various levels and for several disciplines including quality assurance, production, and design. All the while he was writing a novel, short stories, plays, and poetry. His career in design introduced him to amazingly intelligent, fun, and creative people, many of whom he considers family today.
Safronoff self-published, Spire, in 2011, and won the Science Fiction Discovery Award for the same in the summer of 2012. By the end of that year he decided to drop everything and free fall into fiction. In the following three months he completed work on the sequel to Spire, Fallen Spire, edited Evening Breezes, and published both.
Today, Safronoff is co-founder and Chief Storyteller of Neoglyphic Entertainment and working on his fifth novel, the second book of the Sunborn Rising series. In his spare time, Safronoff enjoys reading a variety of authors, Philip K. Dick, Cormac McCarthy, and Joe Abercrombie among them. He enjoys living near the ocean, playing and watching hockey, and video games. He has a deep love of music and comedy.