A warm welcome to my guest blogger, Aaron D. Gansky, author of The Bargain, The Blood Sword: A Hand of Adonai, Firsts in Fiction, and Write to be Heard.
Tell us something about yourself as a person and as a writer.
- I’m a family man. So when I’m not writing, I’m home hanging out. We like to watch movies and shows and play video games.
What do you do to relax or blow off steam?
- Other than sleeping? I’m a huge football fan, so I like to watch whatever games I can. But my year-round hobby is Magic: the Gathering. It’s a fantasy-themed strategy card game. It’s become incredibly popular of late, and I’ve even dedicated enough time to the game to become a judge, which is more challenging than you might imagine.
When do you have your devotional times with the Lord, and what do you do during that time?
- I do these in the morning. Usually I find a devotional on my smart phone. I read it in my quiet classroom, then I send my wife an e-mail about what I read and what I think of it. It helps me stay connected to God and to her. I’ve been doing that consistently for the last two years or so.
Tell about a favorite family ritual.
- One of my favorite family rituals is dinnertime. We all sit together, no television, do a short devotion together, and then talk about our days. My wife and I are intentional with what we want to teach our children, so we ask everyone the same three questions each night: How was your day? What was your favorite part? And how were you (insert particular characteristic here, such as kind or helpful or patient)? Knowing we’re going to ask those things every night, we all live the day intentionally looking for opportunities to practice our positive traits.
What books have you written?
- The Bargain, The Blood Sword, and The Book of Things to Come. I’ve got another book releasing this October, and I hope to have at least one out next year. I’ve got two books on the craft of writing, Firsts in Fiction: Firsts Lines and Write to be Heard.
What do you love most about writing?
- I love my fictional characters. I’m a discovery writer, so I seldom know who my characters are when I begin, nor what the plot will be. I enjoy discovering who they are and what they’re up against as I move along. I think it brings me closer to my readers in a lot of ways. I’m experiencing as I’m writing, and they’re experiencing as they’re reading. The ability to go instantly to any other time in any other place is magical. Also, I really like exercising the unique creative talents God has given me. I think creating is one of the ways I draw closer to Him, to understand him as a creator. It deepens my love for Him.
What do find most challenging about writing?
- Making the time to write. I’m meticulous about planning time to write, but there’s always something popping up. Once I start writing, it’s a challenge to stop.
Share one of your most rewarding moments connected to your writing.
- I’ve written some pretty powerful short fiction pieces. When I go back and read them, I still get the chills. There’s something about the short form that allows for great power. I think some of my best writing is in those stories, and I connected very deeply with the situation and the characters and their sorrow. I can’t say I wrote myself into tears, but it’s probably the closest I’ve come to it.
Name one thing that’s on your “bucket list.”
- Visiting Ireland.
If you could be any fictional character, or star in any movie, which would it be and why?
- Spider-Man is the first thing to come to mind. Who wouldn’t want to be him?
What’s your favorite holiday tradition, and why?
- I think it’s reading the Christmas story on Christmas Eve before opening a gift. The family time is priceless.
Thanks again for sharing with me and my followers, Aaron!
In addition to being a loving father and husband, Aaron Gansky is an award-winning novelist, teacher, and podcast host. In 2009, he earned his MFA in fiction at the Antioch University of Los Angeles, one of the top five low-residency writing schools in the nation. Prior to that, he attained his bachelor of arts degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing from California State University of San Bernardino, where he studied under Bret Anthony Johnston, now the Director of Creative Writing at Harvard University. Aaron’s first novel, The Bargain (2013, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), was a finalist for the Selah Award for a debut novel. Two years later, The Book of Things to Come (2015, Brimstone Fiction), the first book in Aaron’s Hand of Adonai fantasy series, won the Selah Award for YA Fiction. He has written two books on the craft of fiction: Firsts in Fiction: First Lines and Write to Be Heard (with Diane Sherlock). His podcast Firsts in Fiction can be found at aarongansky.com.