The campfire crackles in the cold night and a shivering figure emerges from the forest. It’s Aaron Hodges, the epic fantasy author from New Zealand. Unlike his homeland that is now enjoying the fruits of spring, the camp is in the grip of winter. We pull up a stool next to the fire and chat.
- Hi Aaron tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to write?
Well I’m a fantasy author from New Zealand and I have to say I’ve always been inspired to write. I think in a similar way I love to read fantasy, writing gives me ability to go off into my own world for a while. I really love having that ability to escape real life for a bit—and especially when I get to share it with others!
- What appeals to you most about the fantasy genre?
I think that it can both give us an escape from real life, but also that it often mirrors the same struggles we have in the real world, albeit in a simpler way.
- Tell us a little bit about your latest project and the challenges you’ve faced putting it all together?
Well my latest project is a series set in a fallen world, where humanity is at war with the inhuman Tangata, creatures with superhuman strength and speed, which are determined to destroy humanity. I’ve just about finished off the third book, Age of Gods, which is due to be published on the 8th November. In this book, the two main characters are completely separated, and their individual plots and discoveries about the past are both quite complicated. That’s made it really difficult to keep everything in line in my head, and I just hope I’ve managed to write it so that I bring the reader along!
- What type of characters do you like to write the most and how much of yourself do you put into them?
I love characters that are able to rise above their circumstances. I often have characters based in normal settings, without any particular special ability or skill, but who are determined to lift themselves up, to face the challenges of the enemy and save the world. I’m not sure how much of that they get from me though 😉
- For any wannabe writers out there what’s the most useful thing you’ve learned?
The value of time management. I really force myself to have fixed times that I go and write and work on my advertising etc. I’ve found without that strict schedule, I don’t get half as much done, and would never be able to keep on track with my releases! Equally, making sure I give myself time off is important too—something I got out of the habit of doing during the pandemic, since I got bored without my work!
- What writing tricks do you utilise to hit your deadlines and keep your stories on track?
I know about how much time each phase/edit of my work takes, so I pencil in a release date when I first start a project—usually about 3 months from when I start. Then I just use the time management I used above to make sure I am working on it and keeping to schedule!
- Are you a plotter or a pantser (make it up as you go)?
A bit of each, I generally write a general plot outline, then pants the bits in between as I go!
- What plans do you have for the future? A new series or perhaps a dip into other genres?
I am considering dipping more into the scifi genre soon, after reading Skyward by Brandon Sanderson and really enjoying it (before I really had no interest in space ships!). I’m still brewing the story in my mind, but it would be based on a planet where humanity is enslaved by a technologically superior race of aliens!
- With the world the way it is at the moment what sort of tales do you prefer? Ones with heroes where good triumphs over evil or ones that take a darker approach?
Gotta enjoy the good triumphs over evil, but not without sacrifice. Nothing good in this world comes easy.
- What’s better, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?
Latest series: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08653PM1L/
(Book three is out now!)
Thanks for taking part!