I spent my youth between the Magic Mitten and the Old South, but now reside at 9,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains.
The great lake and sandy shores gave me a love of the beach, but high mountain summits are now my favorite places to watch the world. Cold streams flowing with snow melt and wild trout bring me simple pleasures and long relaxing days in the wild throwing feathers at fish. But it's my love of the South that follows me wherever I travel: sweet tea, y'all, yes ma'am, BBQ, and SEC football. As you might guess hiking 14ers, fly fishing and college football are the major distracters to my writing. A Cubs fan from since my youth, I've watched games on WGN before there was cable TV.
Many things influenced my imagination as a kid... X-Men comic books, The Twilight Zone, Star Wars, E.T., Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Stephen King, and art by Brian Froud.
I have degrees in journalism and management from the University of Arkansas. Woo Pig Sooie!
I spent most of the last 20-plus years in some form of journalism or communications/public relations which provided a writing outlet. But it was two other authors who continued to ask, "What are you reading" and "What are you writing" that sparked my muse to write creatively. A talent my wife says she knew I had from the beginning. One of her first gifts to me was a writing journal. Now, several years later I have a few manuscripts completed and a novel to soon be released.
1. What do you enjoy the most about living in Colorado?
I live at 9,000 feet on the edge of Pikes Peak, it’s like I’m on vacation almost every day. There is great river fishing for wild trout and hiking trails up 14,000-foot peaks that are only short drives from home. These are the places that are dream vacations for some people.
2. What is your ideal weekend?
Spending Saturday morning on the summit and maybe catching few trout on the way home. Then a nice dinner and bottle of wine. Sunday, hanging out with the family and maybe writing a few pages.
3. How many fourteeners have you climbed? Which climb do you remember as the most adventurous?
I have summitted 36 of the 58 Colorado 14ers, but I’ve hike several of them numerous times for a total of 76 summits. I’ve also hiked 40 13ers.
Too many adventures, each hike is different. Midnight hike up Quandary to see a lunar eclipse only to summit in a dense cloud. Winter hike from Democrat to Bross that lasted into dark, but I saw an awesome sunset. My first climb up Kelso Ridge to Torreys. Any number of routes that took me over several peaks.
4. You’re a prolific writer. What is your time-management secret? Are you a plotter or pantser?
Time-management: keep a note book for ideas and write them down. Then it’s easier to jump back on the laptop to write that scene. It’s like you’re always writing in your head… the next step is typing. And my wife says if I’m writing I don’t have to do chores.
I’m both. It’s like taking the Alphabet: A, B, C, D… I’ll know certain plot points or scenes, but not how each scene moves to the next. So take out half the alphabet, randomly. The letters you still see, that’s the plotter in me, the events I know must happen. The missing letters, that’s the pantser, I have to fill in the story line as I go. It’s fun to be both because I don’t know the entire story, which makes it a joy to write.
5. How much research have you done for THE COLOR OF GOTHIC? Why did you choose that particular time period as the setting for your story?
I read a book, and skimmed several others, about the mining history in Colorado. And one specifically about Crested Butte, which sits near the ghost town of Gothic today.
I wrote the first two chapters of the novel and it wasn’t going well. It was a contemporary story, modern times. I moved on to something else. Then sitting in a session at a writer’s conference, someone said something about wanting to see more weird westerns. The muse struck and I changed the time period, but not the character. The story flowed. That’s when I picked up the history books.
6. If you were offered to witness a supernatural manifestation, travel back in time, or take a ride in a UFO, what would you choose?
I’m assuming they options would all be spectacular… so I’ll go with a supernatural manifestation.
Visit Joel Q. Aaron online:
The Color of Gothic
Release Date: August 24, 2016
Pre Order Kindle for only $.99
Convicted murderer, Jonathan Blair, conditionally trades his death sentence for a job as a court-appointed bounty hunter to bring in the members of his former gang—dead or alive. Now, only two weeks remain to find the last man—the man who killed his family. If he fails, the gallows await instead of a pardon.
Blair locates the gang member in the Rocky Mountain coal mining town of Gothic, along with a growing number of dead miners with bloodless neck wounds. The fearful townspeople turn to folklore to explain the gruesome slayings. Blair uncovers the truth behind the mysterious deaths. Demons.
An angel, seemingly more foe than friend, pushes him toward a never ending clash between good and evil. The town’s survival depends on Blair abandoning his chance of a pardon, and putting his trust in his pistols. But the thing that scares Blair the most, he and the demons have clashed before. And they’re eager for his tainted soul.