Thursday, September 16, 2010

Writers Talk with Aaron M. Wilson

Aaron M. Wilson lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A. where he attempts to understand life, others (including his two cats – one good and one bad), himself, and especially his wife – in that order. He earned his M.F.A in Writing from Hamline University located in St.Paul, MN. He writes about books, stories, movies, and his experiences as an adjunct instructor of English, Literature, and Environmental Science on his blog: Soulless Machine.

His fiction has appeared in eFiction Magazine: The Premier Internet Fiction Zine, Pow Fast Flash Fiction, The Hive Mind, and he has forthcoming works in Eclectic Flash (September 2010), Twin Cities: Cifiscape Vol. I (August 2010), and The Last Man Anthology (October 2010 – also featuring stories from Barry N. Malzberg, C.J Cherryh, and Ray Bradbury).

You can get a sense of Mr Wilson's writing by reading an excerpt from his novel in progress (working title: Solar Capital) on the Writers Talk blog.

When did you first realize your identity as a writer?

I think that I’ve written about this elsewhere, but I’ve always been a liar and a storyteller. I exaggerate when there is no need. Just ask my wife. We play a strange game where I’ll relate some happening from the day, and she’ll stop me and ask, “Did that really happen?” Then I’ll have to admit that it didn’t. I don’t know why I exaggerate. I just do it. I’m just glad that I’ve found a partner who will not only put up with my crazy but enjoys it. 

Describe the creative process involved in any one piece you’ve written—this could be book, a story, a poem, an essay, etc.

I’m in love the process that produced my story “Spilling Sunlight” published in August by Evolve Journal. The editor contacted me thought Twitter and asked if I would like to write a story for their August issue. The catch: The story had to be inline with Evolve Journal’s theme – the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The assignment, it was an assignment, had my interest.

I quickly wrote a short story of about five thousand words and shot it off the Evolve Journal’s editors. The editors were interested, but they suggested a few fixes. From that point, the story started to change as we went back and forth a few times. I’m very happy with final product, and I enjoyed their comments and watching my story improve through feedback.

Could you describe your relationship to the publishing process? (this can be publishing in any form, from traditional book publishing to blogging, etc)

I blog. I Tweet. I’m thinking of getting into Scribd. Right now, I post some of my fiction on my blog and on others around the web. I’m excited about the #TuesdaySerial community where authors post flash-sized segments of a longer story on their own blog or website. On Tuesdays, a link list opens at Inspired By Real Life, and authors link their stories for the community to read and comment on during the week. When I’m finished posting my contribution, Bike Mechanic, I think that I'll publish it via Scribd.

My interest in Scribd started with the publication of three short stories and an author feature in the June issue of eFiction Magazine. Doug Lance, the editor, has been able to create a dynamic and beautiful publication and post it using Scribd. To my surprise, Scribd is being used by a diverse and talented group of writers and artist. I really wish that I had an eReader to make better use the technology.  

However, my hope to find my way into the traditional book publishing biz. I’ve managed to get my big toe in the door. I have stories in two upcoming anthologies: Twin Cities: Cifiscape Vol. I, a collection of Twin City authors speculating possible futures for the metro area published by Onyx Neon Press; and The Last Man Anthology published by Sword and Saga Press in celebration of Mary Shelley’s novel, The Last Man.

How has being a writer affected your relationships?
Positive: I’ve met many individuals both in person and online of like mind. Also, my wife, Jessica Fox-Wilson, is a poet and artist, and we practice, inspire, and support each other. I’ve also sought out and put together a writers group to help enforce deadlines.

Negative: The more time I spend writing and working on a story, the more time I want alone to write. I’m constantly pushing people away to find time to write. It is like Nirvana’s song Lithium, “…I'm so happy 'cause today / I've found my friends, there in my head...” It is not that I always prefer characters to “real” people, but the characters in my head demand to be let out on to the page. 

How would you describe the community of writers you belong to—if any?  This may be a “real” or “virtual” (in more than one sense) community.

I participate in both “real” and “virtual” writing comminutes. My “real” writing community is the most reassuring. They keep me on deadline, and I need deadlines to maintain my writing. We turn writing into each other once a month, and we get together, in person, to workshop stories, poetry, whatever. However, my “virtual” writing comminutes keep me motivated by sending through links to contests and journals excepting submissions. Through Twitter, I’ve found @TuesdaySerial, Pow Fast Flash Fiction, eFiction Magazine, Evolve, and other journals with motivated and charismatic editors that have become important to my writing practice.     

What are your future goals in terms of writing?

I’m always working on novel length ideas that end up truncated in short stories because I burn out on the idea, or I chase the new shinier idea that I just imagined. I really want to complete a full-length novel. To that end, I have started yet another novel length idea. My goal is to complete a novel length work of one hundred thousand words.

Bonus Question: If your writing were a musical instrument, what would it be?

Auto-Tune. (Don’t ask.)


  1. These interviews are so inspiring, John. Another excellent one! (Auto-tune was cute.)

  2. I enjoyed this chat with Aaron. He sounds like a really interesting person to just hang out with. I am given to "hyperbole" on a regular basis in my real-world interactions. I don't make things up necessarily, but I certainly do exaggerate for effect. Actually, I suppose I do that in my virtual-world interactions too - at least some of my posts are a bit hyperbolic.

    I've not heard of Scribd, but it sounds intriguing.
    Twitter is a great tool for meeting and developing writing relationships. I only wish I had the time to keep it up right now.

    Best of luck, Aaron with your novel goals.


  3. P.S. John, I think your latest "follower" is a spammer who jumped on two of my blogs (I blocked him) and latched on to some of my friends. If you check him out, you'll see he has nobody following HIM and his stuff is all travel-sales related.


  4. You can find Cifiscape Vol. at

  5. Willow, I used to play the bass recorder. In a moment of house cleaning, because I felt guilty for neglecting it, I gave it away. However, I don't feel that instrument describes my writing.

    Kat, when it is possible, I am a fun person to hangout with. : ) Thank you for the well wish for my novel. I need to put some words in on it soon, before the narritive escapes me.

  6. Hi Willow, Kat, Anonymous & Aaron

    Willow: So glad you're finding these inspiring!

    Kat: Blocked him! Thanks for your great comments re: Aaron's interview.

    Anonymous: Thanks for the info

    Aaron: Thanks for doing such a great job with this! Wow, the bass recorder is a seriously cool instrument!


Thanks for stopping by & sharing your thoughts. Please do note, however, that this blog no longer accepts anonymous comments. All comments are moderated. Thanks for your patience.