Aaron Shaver is unashamedly a product of the TV generation.
He found his love for storytelling at a young age through books as well as cartoon shows on Saturday mornings and preachers on Sunday mornings.
Aaron earned his undergrad in theatre and a master’s degree in public relations. Which means he’s always telling a story. And sometimes, they are true.
He and his wife, who performs and teaches theatre locally, reside in the Nashville area with their wild clan of four children. Their house is a very loud house.
1. Will you tell us about your most recent published work?
This is my debut novel called Furious: The Berserker Heritage. It’s the first in an urban fantasy series I’m writing for fans of Norse mythology. A young husband and wife and their 4-year-old boy are living in the city and trying to make ends meet. But, they find themselves running from vengeful trolls who want something that belongs to their family. Along the way they meet berserkers, a troll hunter, and an Appalachian hide-away that is full of trolls and humans living side by side in secret.
2. What personal challenges do you face as a writer?
Time is the biggest challenge. For me, I have to balance a full-time job and a wife and 4 children that I love. So, writing and marketing happen in the early morning or late night hours.
3. What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Netflix! I love it but it sucks away so many hours. Unfortunately, we are also living in a “golden age” of television and you can find so much good material for writing inspiration. So, it’s really hard to just say no to those hours spent watching TV.
4. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Two things changed after I published Furious. First, I realized that I am a plotter; I like to have already planned all the plot points, threads, and twists before I really start writing. Second, there was a mind-set shift. I proved to myself that I really could write a novel… it didn’t seem so impossible anymore because I had just made it possible. Now, it’s even easier for me to imagine doing it again and again!
5. How many unpublished or half-finished books do you have?
I have one half-finished book as I’m currently working on the sequel for Furious. But, man oh man, I have at least 4 different ideas in my head for series that I want to write and publish including a supernatural thriller involving angels and demons, a space-pirate adventure for fans of Firefly, and a vigilante justice thriller. So many ideas, so little time.
6. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I have read my reviews… fortunately they’ve all been 5 stars so far. But, I know that a professional mentality needs to avoid reading the reviews. Authors need to get feedback from their editors and other trusted author/friends. Reviews are meant for readers – not authors.
7. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Well, I’m kind of new to being an author myself and I actually don’t have many other author friends. I’ve just started to reach out to my fellow authors at Wordcrafts Press to see what I can learn from them. But, I have several long-time friends who just happen to be in story-telling industries like narrative marketing or copy writing… and my wife is a published playwright too. So, I’m surrounded by folks that know how to craft a good story.
8. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Start earlier! Start earlier! I just published my first novel 8 months ago. I wish I had started this series 8 years ago.
9. What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Every writer needs a good editor. So many aspiring authors want to tell a story they are passionate about but often aren’t prepared to take any criticism. Spend the money on a good story editor or find an objective friend who works in a story-telling field and let them be brutally honest about your work. You would rather take the advice of a professional editor now than hear about it from 1 and 2 star reviews later.
10. What’s the best way to market your books?
For new or first-time authors, think small. Find your niche. And think out of the box. Paid ads on Facebook or Amazon may be a strategy to try after you’ve built a series. But if you’ve got only one or two books, start with Facebook groups that have similar interests coinciding with your book. For me, I’ve started following Instagram accounts and Facebook groups focused on Norse mythology and Viking lore. I like and share and re-post their stuff and, every once in a while, I remind folks that I wrote a novel they might like and provide a link to the Amazon page.
11. What is your favorite childhood book?
There’s a series by Bruce Coville called My Teacher is an Alien. I remember that being the first chapter book I devoured and had to get the next one immediately. That series also deals with a side character that starts out as a bully and has a redeeming arc. I think it was the first time a book made little 9-year-old Aaron see life from someone else’s perspective.
Contact Aaron at firstname.lastname@example.org