Author Hugh Aaron doesn't have to look far for stories worth writing about. At just nineteen years of age, Aaron found himself in the South Pacific as a member of a Seabee battalion during World War II. We thank Professor Aaron for joining us at the Book Pound to share some of his wisdom about writing and about life.
You've written works in many different genres. Do you have a favorite genre? Do you find writing in some genres to be more natural than writing in others?
I love writing short stories and novels because they nearly write themselves. I never know what a chapter will reveal in a character, or how the plot will develop. I am constantly surprised.
When Wars Were Won is set in the Philippines where you served as a 19-year-old. Have you returned to the Philippines in the years since? Was it difficult to recreate the Filipino setting as you wrote the novel?
Both my buddies from the Seabees have visited me often, and the Filipino woman I had fallen in love with while overseas had visited me in Maine with one of her daughters. She was quite elderly at the time and is now deceased.
How did you go about constructing your novel? Do you work from outlines? Do you seek advice and feedback from others?
I do not work from outlines but from within myself. I send all my writing to a wonderful editor who also edits for major publishers.
You have also written plays for the stage. How do you think your script writing affects your novel writing?
I love theatre. I write from the personality of the individual I imagine him or her to be. Of course their concocted personalities drive the events. The process for writing a story is in its telling, while that of a play is in its dialogue. Both methods tell a story, but a play projects a situation via dialogue on a stage, while a novel requires that the reader apply his or her imagination.
What's up next for you as a writer?
Assembling collections of my short stories and essays.
Is there anything else you'd like to tell Book Pound readers?
All of us love to tell stories. I subscribe to what William Carlos Williams has written;
"Their story, yours, mine - it’s what we all carry with us on this trip we take, and we owe it to each other to respect our stories and learn from them."
About the Author
Born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts, Hugh Aaron was a Seabee in the South Pacific during World War II. After the war he graduated from the University of Chicago where his professors encouraged him to pursue a literary career. However, he made his living as CEO of his own manufacturing business while continuing to write. He sold the company in 1985 to write full time. To date he has written two novels, a travel journal, a short story collection, a book of business essays, a book of his WWII letters, a child’s book in verse and a collection of movie reviews. The Wall Street Journal also published eighteen of his articles on business management and one on World War II. He resides by the sea in mid-coast Maine with his artist wife.
His latest book is When Wars Were Won.
You can visit his website at www.StonesPointBooks.com.