# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
I am Aaron S. Jones, author of The Broken Gods trilogy which currently includes Flames of Rebellion and the recently released Paths of Chaos. I write fantasy novels, often in the grimdark genre and when not writing, I can be found teaching in a primary school in Kent, UK. I also write reviews and articles for Grimdark Magazine.
# What inspires/inspired your creativity?
Listening to different genres of music is really helpful. Often I will turn to certain genres for certain types of scenes that I am writing to help me create the mood and the atmosphere. Music usually puts me in a creative mood and helps shape my writing.
# How do you deal with creative block?
Music. Ranging from heavy, fast-paced rock to atmospheric film soundtracks. The Lord of the Rings and Interstellar soundtracks have really helped me when I have hit a bit of a brick wall creatively. I also try to read as much as possible, of course. I try to read as widely as possible though I am always drawn back to fantasy. Playing games, watching films and listening to podcasts always help me as well. I’m never in a creative slump for too long. There is so much inspiration to be found.
# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Trying to force something or just write for someone else. Write for yourself first and foremost. If you don’t enjoy your own story, why should anyone else care about? I think another easy mistake is to worry over every little detail. Get the book done first and then use the editing stages to shape it into something special. Too many people give up part way through as they worry too much about each word. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Finish the book and then take a breath. Editing is where the story comes to life.
# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
Ensure the cover and title really do convey your story appropriately. It needs to be spotted by people who like the genre you are writing in.
# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
Even the greatest books throughout history have had people who don’t enjoy them. It’s a part of the work we do. I try to learn from anything constructive but otherwise I just try to focus on the positives – at least the person reviewing has read the book!
# How has your creation process improved over time?
At first, I wouldn’t spend too much time planning or outlining the novel. I would dive right in and then the characters would guide me and though there would be scenes I’m proud of, the plot would often get quite messy as I was pulled in different directions by threads that I enjoyed writing the most. Now, I take a bit more time planning though I do still allow the characters to drag me in different directions.
# What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
The best part is how active and welcoming the writing community is. I have been able to interact with so many authors I respect and admire and it is uplifting to hear their words of encouragement. Seeing reviews by complete strangers around the world is amazing as well. The worst is the steep learning curve of having to format books and ensure everything is perfect before release. The most surprising would be how emotional it can be when killing off characters that I have spent years writing about! Should have expected it, but it can still feel like a dagger in the heart…
# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I go for personal satisfaction at first to ensure I enjoy what I am doing. Then the hard work comes when I’m shaping the novel into something that a wider audience will enjoy. I try to balance the two by listening to my readers and also learning from better writers.
# What role do emotions play in creativity?
Emotions are important in the moment of writing. They really can help to get a feel of the mood of a scene or chapter. When editing, it is important to try to look at the writing and the scenes from a more analytical point of view and ensure that there is still logic within those scenes.
# Do you have any creativity tricks?
Surround yourself with things that inspire you. Books, films, music, people. Anything that gets the creative juices flowing.
# What are your plans for future books?
Book three in the trilogy – End of Days will be out at the start of 2022 and then I will hopefully be releasing a brand-new fantasy novel set in another world towards the end of that year. It is one I am extremely proud of and I can’t wait to get it out into the world!
# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I am obsessed with Final Fantasy games and anything to do with comics. I grew up in Hall Green, Birmingham only a short walk from where my favourite author J. R. R. Tolkien lived and was inspired to write The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings which are both huge inspirations. I also lived in the Middle East teaching for two years before returning to the UK.