We had the opportunity to interview Aaron Daniel Behr about being a writer. His book “The Husband” is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Synopsis of “The Husband”
Insults play on repeat in The Husband’s brain. He has been bullied and abused. An affair by The Wife, the one person The Husband loved the most, leaves him standing in a dark basement with a homemade noose around his neck.
As The Husband struggles silently through the anguish of betrayal and divorce, he turns inward to face a host of past tormentors, and confront The Creator. One way or another, The Boy inside him will stop the pain.
This raw, redemptive memoir is now available on all major markets from Columbus Press. Search or ask for it from your favorite book retailer.
Q: How do you rank your writing compared to those you admire?
A: I’d give myself a solid 5 out of 10. I’m an average writer, good, but not to the caliber I admire. I don’t know if I will ever be as good as my heroes, Palahnuik, Hawthorne, Atwood, King, Moore, and so many others. I think that is indicative of a writer to never be completely satisfied with their own work. We just have to let it go and be bold enough to put it out there. If I were to let my limits as a writer dictate the value of my work, I’d never write.
Q: How long do you have to write for each session before you get “in the groove?
A: Not long. I usually jump right into the groove. I write a lot of things that will never see the light of day. Most of the stuff I write is rubbish. I find it’s best not to get too emotionally involved. Hemingway was said to write two complete versions of every story he wrote with the second being the one we read. This is kind of what I do. I’ve always got an outline or two I’m working with, a few short stories, a novel, and plenty of editing. I’m also not afraid to read instead of write.
Q: Where does your inspiration come from?
A: I don’t really know. It’s not often I read a book or watch a movie and go, “Let me do that.” I’m sure my writing has some overlay to other people’s ideas. A lot of my characters come from personal experience. The events they go through are often ones I experience to some degree. The book I’m presently painstakingly editing borrows from my time in college even though it is not autobiographical. I also spend a lot of time day dreaming. I’m always in my own world. This can be problematic when it comes to listening. Ooo and never discount people watching!
Q: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
A: Find a Tabatha King. I love Stephen King. He is golden. Behind this great writer is a woman who believed in him, sacrificed for his dream. I’ve only ever found women who wanted the opposite. I don’t know if they were operating on antiquated ideas of gender roles or something else. I just know I spent more time defending my dream than living it. I wish I would have waited for that spouse that believed in me before I was published and despite all the rejection letters. However, my younger self was pretty ornery so chances are he wouldn’t have listened.
Q: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
A: Developmental Editing! I’ve been to writers conferences, have a liberal arts degree, and paid for those speed dating sessions with agents. However, the greatest investment was developmental editing. When the editor read the first draft of “The Husband” he suggested a completely different angle. I followed his advice and I honestly believe that made the book publishable. The second version was improvement but my publisher had his own edits. I know it can be harrowing to hear how much one’s hard work doesn’t make the mark but it is invaluable. To have someone familiar with the business of publication tell me what I needed to do to get published was invaluable. I can’t express this enough. Hire a good developmental editor!
Q: If the universal super being came down right now and said, “I give you two choices. One, I will give you 100 million dollars for your work, but no one will ever be able to read a word you write, or two, you can never ever benefit even one dollar ever off of your work, but 100 million people will read every book you ever write. Which one do you pick? (Considering that you are donating the first 200K to the Salvation Army, I know which option you would pick, but it’s a fun question.)
A: I’m not in this for the money. I love writing. It’s the only time I feel whole, complete. To do anything else feels like a waste of my life. I also have a drive to help others. I’d love it if my books touch people in a helpful and self reflective way. I’d also love for my books to make money so that I have the freedom to not only write but help others in need. The first 200K of my royalties will be going to the Salvation Army. I’ve worked with them for years. I attend their Sunday services. My brother is an officer. I really believe in their power to reach people. While I’m not always suited to be that beacon of hope in my community, I can help this organization be one. Whether I volunteer or donate, I know it is time and money spent directly for the cause I care most about. I can’t take the money with me and I’m in this to tell exceptional stories.
Q: When did you know that writing was what you were going to make your life’s work? Or is it?
A: I knew at a young age, probably around 4th grade. I still have some of my hand written short stories from grade school. They are hysterical! I went to college with that goal in mind. The problem is/was that I had no idea how hard that dream would be to achieve. I also struggled with confidence as those rejection letters rolled into my mailbox. I finally came to that point where it was “write or die” and that is where I am now. Life is too short to sell it for a paycheck. I’ve done that for years. I know I’m good enough to make money as a writer.
Thank you to Aaron for answering our questions! We wish you the best of luck!
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