1. Where did you get the inspiration for your characters in The Bargain?
While I borrowed some story ideas from the news, most of the characters came from other short stories I’d written in college. I’m a discovery writer, so many of the characters revealed themselves to me over the course of the novel. I had a lot of fun figuring out who they were and what made them tick.
2. Are you currently working on any new novels?
I’ve got several novels in the works. Currently, I’m polishing up the first book in a Young Adult Fantasy series I’m putting together called The Hand of Adonai. It’s quite a bit different than The Bargain, so the experience has been fun and unique. I’ve also started another novel more along the lines of The Bargain, but have some other contracts I have to honor before I can complete that project.
3. What is a typical day like in your life?
Depends on if we’re on summer break or not. I’m a high school teacher in addition to writing. On work days, I’m up at five (sometimes before), and at work by a quarter after 6. I use the morning for a quick devotional and last minute prep work for my classes. But once the final bell rings, I put on my writer hat and work diligently in a quiet classroom until my children are done at school. Then, I put on my “daddy” hat, and spend the evenings with my family.
4. Does your wife help you in your writing process?
She serves as a sounding board. She’ll often help me work through sticky plot points and come up with ideas to deepen characters. Mostly, her contribution comes in the form of her unwavering confidence and support.
5. Do you share any similarities with the main character of The Bargain, Connor Reedly?
Other than being writers and loving our respective wives? Not so much. I rarely travel. I like to stay home, and prefer fiction to non. But we both like our coffee.
6. Have you traveled abroad to do research for your book? If so, are these some of the experiences Connor relates in the book?
Hailey is loosely based on a small town I drive through each day, in landscape only. The people, of course, are not nearly as scary as those in Hailey. The history is strikingly similar. But, because the town is so close to me, I can’t say that I’ve traveled “abroad.” However, I have widely traveled the high desert of California.
7. Is there any particular message that you would like to share with your readers?
Of course there are, but I’m a firm believer that the work speaks for itself. Anything I add to it at this point would be superfluous, I think. Does that make sense?
8. How did you come to be a writer? Was there a particular event in your life that led you down this path?
My father is a writer, and he’s always encouraged me to write. That, more than anything, is what kept me going, and made me realize I could do it, too. Seeing him realize his dream was a pretty formative moment in my young life, and it gave me the drive to continually pursue my passion, even when nothing was being published because of the economic downturn.
In addition to being a loving father and husband, Aaron D. Gansky is a novelist, teacher, and editor of The Citron Review, an online literary journal. In 2009, he earned his M.F.A in Fiction at the prestigious Antioch University of Los Angeles, one of the top five low-residency writing schools in the nation.
He is the author of the novel The Bargain (2013, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) as well as Firsts in Fiction: First Lines and (along with Diane Sherlock) Write to Be Heard.