Author Interview: Daniel Aegan

a cup of coffee, a lit candle, a jumper, three sweets and a laptop corner on a brick counter; text says: 'author interview'

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1.      Paperback, hardback, audiobook?

I prefer paperbacks for their portability. Hardcovers look cool to have on your shelf, but they feel too bulky to hold while reading. I don’t read audiobooks myself, but I don’t discount it as a good way to read.

2.      Pick a genre, any genre!

This is tough as I’m always trying to mess with multiple genres. If I had to pick a favorite, though, I’d have to go with sci-fi.

3.      What is the first book you remember reading?

Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman.

4.      What book shaped your childhood most?

Probably Where the Red Fern Grows. It taught me to be wary of books with dogs.

5.      When did you first start writing?

I dabbled a bit when I was in high school, but gave it up. Didn’t start again ’til I was 33. 

6.      What made you want to write? Does it still hold true?

I wanted to read the story that was in my head, but I came to the realization that I’d have to be the one to write it. It does still hold true today, as I still love the stories I’ve created and plan on creating.

7.      What book/poem are you most proud of creating?

The Blood Drive series for sure. That one little idea about vampires heisting the Red Cross turned into a whole trilogy that concludes this coming autumn!

8.      Did you publish your first book or is it for your eyes only?

My first book was self-published and then unpublished later on. And no, it will not ever get a re-release.

9.      How many books/collections have you published so far?

Nine so far with the tenth one out in June (Trash Rat).

10.   What genres do you write in (or hope to)?

I’ve written in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. Most of the time it’s with humorous themes. I’ve taken to writing villainpunk books like Reign of the Unfortunate and have some more stuff planned in that particular genre. 

11.   Do you do research for your writing or is it all in your head?

Both. Most of what I write doesn’t take place in the real world. I have a huge space in my head called the Aegan Multiverse where it all happens. When I do write things based in reality, I do my research as I’m writing or in the second draft to make it sound more realistic.

12.   To plan, or not to plan your plot?

I have to plot everything out. I can’t write a thing if I don’t know how it ends. I don’t always stick to my outline, but it’s there in case I get lost.

13.   What route of publishing have you chosen? Do you plan to stick with it?

I started self-publishing after a not-so-fun dive into the querying process. I discovered that agents and publishing houses aren’t looking for me or my stories since I break from the norm so often. One agent even told me to copy the Amazon top sellers if I wanted to land an agent, but I couldn’t bring myself to simply copy what other writers were already doing. So, I figured I was too hot for traditional publishing, and I’ve enjoyed the freedom that self-publishing has given me to tell my own stories. Writing isn’t my day job, so I don’t need a huge contract to do it. I love doing it, and this keeps me going. Besides, if I ever got big I know it would go straight to my head and turn me into an egomaniacal asshole.

14.   If you could live inside another author’s universe, which one would you pick? (Ex: Middle Earth, Narnia, etc.)

Middle Earth would be pretty sweet, but I’d need to have an ATV or something to get around.

15.   Do you currently have a WIP?

Yes. I’m currently writing my third villainpunk book called My Good Friend Dr. Debaucherous, which is a fun non-linear story about a young man who wants nothing more than to be mentored by a supervillain. I won’t give away too much yet … 

16.   Tell me about the character you’ve created who is dearest to your heart.

That’s a tough one too. I’d have to say Almond from The Adventures of Trash Rat. He’s so small and adorable and on an adventure that’s so deadly and dangerous! 

17.   What do you consider your *current* magnum opus?

It’s really a stretch, but I wrote a story called Who The Fuck is Rocky Phantasmic?! that is a cosmic horror / comedy that popped in my head out of nowhere. It’s so zany and whacky I can’t even put into words what happens in this book. Anyway, it’s not due to be released till 2024, so there’s going to be a bit of a wait.

18.   Do you have a favourite romance in your books? Or, if yours features no romance, tell us about your favourite character friendship!

I don’t do romance well. I’m not wired for it, I guess. I’m better at writing break-ups honestly. The best “non-couple” might be Dr. Everything and Osprey from Reign of the Unfortunate. The book takes place long after their break-up, and they’re trying to do their best work as supervillains while tiptoeing around their past romance. It’s a pretty fun dynamic to have for queer villains. The best friendship I’ve concocted is probably the vampires Christian and Evan from the Blood Drive series with their odd couple relationship.

19.   Do you listen to music as you write? Recommend a favourite writing song.

Nope. White noise is the way to go for me. 

20.   Do you have any character art for your books, whether by you or another artist? (Be sure to credit/link if you can!)

I did the characters for the Reign of the Unfortunate cover. I’m not an artist, so it took forever to do them with my graphics program. I hired Zack Loup to do Almond from Trash Rat for me, and it came out awesome. You can see him on the cover and my avi on twitter.

21.   If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

I say it all the time, but get a thick skin. No matter what you write or how good you do it, you’ll always have trolls hounding you to piss you off solely for the clout, especially if you’re writing queer stuff. I’ve been called a certain new slur now that the world is going backwards again, so you need to learn to shrug it off or figure out how to best troll the trolls back.

22.   Have you entered any writer contests? Tell us about your experience!

I have in the past, but not recently. Most of what I do is submitting to magazines, but I can never seem to get anything into the proper word limit. Even my short stories are too long to be considered short stories.

23.   Who are your top 5-10 favourite writers?

In no particular order: Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher, Richard Adams, Sara Kjeldsen, Carmen Loup, etc.

24.   Link us to your book/twitter/goodreads or wherever we can best connect with you!

Best place to find me is twitter: @Daniel_Aegan or @StonedTarot. My website is here, and you can find my blog, my book list, and all my Stoned Tarot stuff there!

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