An Interview with Aaron Kite
By Sandra Enriquez
What made you decide that writing was a passion/hobby/career for you?
I'm big on the whole idea of storytelling; I like the notion that we can learn something about ourselves through the actions of fictitious characters. It's an opportunity to share ideas with other people; kind of a “This is something cool I noticed,” sort of thing.
The fact that writing is one of the cheapest hobbies in the world, also helped get me started. If you're on a budget and are looking for something to sink a bunch of time into, writing is an ideal choice. ☺
How do you come up with your story ideas? Do they contain elements of your life or personality?
The stories always involve things I care about to some degree. I used to suffer from aphenphosmphobia--a fear of being touched. In some ways that influenced Gwen's character in A Touch of Poison. When we're unable to do something, like the simple act of touching someone, it tends to become a focal point for our lives. I wanted to craft a story that embodied that sort of distress in a way that was relatable to other people.
Do you outline the story before you start writing, or do you write and let the story develop itself?
I think I'd die without an outline. I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to my stories, so I absolutely need to know what's going to happen in it before I write word number one. I don't think it's the only way to write a story, but for me, it's the best way of ensuring that the overall message is communicated successfully.
What was your favorite story or character to write on Wattpad?
Vincent has always been my favorite character to write about, just because he's such a smart-ass sometimes. That, and he's so incredibly smart and insightful in some ways, but frightfully stupid and clueless in others. It's something I can relate to.
How have the comments from your fans changed or inspired you and your writing?
Well, the overall storyline never changes as a result of fan input or what people suggest should happen, but the comments definitely help me gauge how well I'm communicating what I want. The feedback also inspires me to keep writing some days. If nobody's reading your stuff or letting you know how good they think it is, finding reasons to keep going can be pretty tough.
What advice would you give a new writer on Wattpad?
Proofread. Learn your craft, and constantly try to figure out ways to improve. Spelling mistakes and bad grammar are things that bump your reader out of the story and disrupt the flow, which isn't what you want. One of the best ways to proofread your work is to load a chapter or two into a text-to-speech program on your computer and have your story read back to you. It may sound halting and slightly robotic, but when you're listening to the story you can sometimes pick up on mistakes/errors that you miss while reading it.
How would you suggest they develop their fans on Wattpad?
Really, just write the best possible story you can. Write a book that you would want to read. If you don't care about your own story, it's unlikely that other people are going to care.
If you could go back and change anything about your writing career/hobby, what would it be?
I would have started earlier. For some stupid reason, I thought you had to go to school and learn how to write in order to put a book together. So not true. If you read a lot, and are passionate about good storytelling, you don't need a “Bachelor’s of English” to craft a good story.
Who are your top three favorite authors, and how has their writing impacted your own?
Spider Robinson, Steven Brust, and Dave Duncan. I love how well they can tell a story using an informal narrative style, where the main character is communicating real, unfiltered thoughts/feelings to the reader. I've always liked characters who act and think like real people.
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island, what one book would you want to have with you?
How to Survive on a Deserted Island, by Tim O'Shei.
What prompted you to start a writing group?
I didn't actually start it, I was just one of the guys who was there at the very beginning, when it was all coming together. A bunch of us were starting to get serious about writing, and wanted to push ourselves a bit to see what we might end up doing. One of my good friends, Mike Plested, was a part of that group as well, and he's gone on to do some pretty impressive stuff, both in his writing and in his podcasting.
Community is such an important thing for writers, because there's certain problems/hang-ups you encounter from time-to-time that non-writers can't really understand. Sometimes talking to someone who has been in a similar situation can help you figure out what you should do.
Have you started the sequel to A Touch of Poison; your most popular book to date?
Outlined, mostly; started, no. I've got two other books to finish before I begin working on the sequel to A Touch of Poison (ATofP), but once those are done, it'll definitely be a priority.
What was it like to participate in the Watty Awards 2012?
The whole experience was pretty fun. I was seriously blown away to have done so well, and the final results were pretty gratifying. While I likely don't have any work that would qualify for 2013, I'm definitely planning on participating in the Watty Awards again sometime. ☺