I first met David Gaughan when he asked if I would read and review Aaden Bluestar – The Awakening several months ago. After reading it, I wanted to know more about the man behind the inspiring young adult science fiction adventure novel I’d just read. So, I asked David if he’d be willing to sit down for an interview. He said sure and I did a little jig. No, really. See, not only is David a prolific author but he shares the belief that each of us can make a difference in this world. So, without further ado, please welcome David to the POTL Blog. Take it away, David:
What is your writing process?
When I first started writing I found the story flowed better when I wrote longhand. I still have the handwritten original journal of my first attempt at writing, which was eventually published many years later as Star Bred Prophecy. However, my first published work was actually dictated and I find that method far more efficient and creative. I’ll sit comfortably in a chair with my feet up while I stare into space. I visualise the scene unfolding before me, like I’m watching a movie and I simply describe what I’m seeing. I’ve had feedback from several readers who say they feel like they’re watching a movie when they read my works.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
Names are definitely important. In the original story that was published as “The Blue Star”, the key character’s son, who played a fairly minor role, was named Ajay. When I decided to rewrite the story from the boy’s perspective the name Ajay just didn’t seem right and it certainly didn’t go well with BlueStar. Even though it was based on the original Blue Star story, the tale took on a new energy and originality, so it seemed appropriate that a name change was needed. Aaden BlueStar emerged as an independent character in his own right. Even his name is spelt with double a, rather than the more commonly spelt Aiden.
Have you always liked to write?
My first urge to write was when I was only six years old. I was so enchanted by a children’s story book that I started copying it in long hand. At that young age the hand writing wasn’t that great, but when one of my brothers asked me what I was doing I immediately replied, “I’m writing a book”. It was almost as though I had an inkling of what I’d be doing in later years. Of course it was a huge joke to them, so I didn’t pick up the pen again until many years later. In my early twenties when I went on my first major overseas excursion and I started telling people about my experiences, I often got the comment, “you should write a book about it.” However, it wasn’t until years later I suddenly got the urge and I’ve been writing ever since.
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I’ve always flown by the seat of my pants. There are a couple of occasions where I’ve plotted out the basic outline, but generally I find the story flows and takes on a life of its own when I sit back and watch it unfold. Even I’m surprised at where the story takes me sometimes. Although plotting the outline has helped on a couple of occasions, I find the creative forces flow better when I let it unfold as I go. As mentioned earlier, I tend to be like a spectator watching a movie. It can be quite fascinating at times. Of course, after the initial draft, that’s where the real work begins, with the honing of the story and the many rewrites.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I always read my reviews. I’ve learned not to take things too seriously because I’ve found that each reviewer has their own perspective and sometimes they contradict each other, where one reviewer sees an area where they take exception and another reviewer might praise that same part. It just goes to show that everyone has their personal likes and dislikes. However, if the same criticism arises with two or more reviewers, then it highlights something I need to consider for future work. In the end, I think any review is good, whether it’s high ranking or not. It’s all a learning process.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
I’ve written several books, ranging from fiction through to self help. Having had several friends and family affected by cancer, I researched and wrote an alternative treatment e-book called “Is there a Cure for Cancer”. On a similar vein I’ve written an e-book called the Wisdom Wellness Diet, again targeting self healing through healthy eating habits. With the increase in world weather extreme events I wrote a book called Self Sufficiency Survival, all of which are available via Amazon.com. However, my passion is with the creative writing and the first one published in hardcopy was The Blue Star, later rewritten from Aaden’s perspective and published as Aaden BlueStar – The Awakening.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
What I’m working on now is something totally different. Besides book two and three of Aaden’s story, I’m researching the interpretation of ancient prophecies, some of which are predictions that have already happened and others that are yet to come. I’ve got the basic outline of the stories in the Aaden Bluestar series and they’ll need more work at some stage. However, my current priority is finishing the interpretation of the ancient prophecies, a project that will no doubt be rather controversial.
What is your biggest failure?
I don’t look at things so much as failures, but more as learning experiences. Rather than failure, I think my biggest disappointment was when my first published book The Blue Star never really took flight. It wasn’t until much later that I realised it was a bit ahead of it’s time and targeted at the wrong readership group. It wasn’t until years later that I realised the story needed to be told from Aaden’s perspective and targeted to the YA market. Regarding so-called failure, I take my cue from Thomas Edison who, when asked by a reporter how he felt about failing over a thousand times to make a light bulb, replied “I don’t look at it as failing a thousand times – more that I’ve discovered that many ways how not to make a light bulb.” Actually, there are many interpretations of what he actually said, but that’s the gist of his message.
Have you ever gotten into a fight?
Yes, when I was young, growing up on the rougher side of town. Although I did my best to stay clear of confrontation I did get ambushed on a few occasions. I learned early on when the adversary is much bigger, it’s better to resort to negotiation and reasoning, rather than try and fight against the odds. If anything, it made me more observant of situations and peoples’ behaviour, which came in handy in later years as a writer.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
I don’t really see the point of recording anything on a tombstone. I’ve left instructions for my ashes to be scattered at low tide on a beach – I’ve always received a lot of inspiration from walking the beach so I couldn’t think of a better place to end up. One thing you often see on a tombstone is the date of birth and the date of death, separated by a dash (-). I think it’s more important how you spend that dash while you’re alive rather than recording the dates on a tombstone. The only thing I’ll leave behind is my writing and I hope that will continue to inspire people long after I’m gone.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I think a great superpower would be having the ability to convince people to use their creative visualization energies solely for positive outcomes. Of course, doing so would override their freedom of choice, so I guess I won’t achieve that superpower until I’m advanced enough spiritually not to use it. In the meantime, I’ll concentrate on my writing to help people make that choice of their own free will.
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
I can think of a couple of star systems that would be interesting to visit, but unless our scientists make rapid progress in the short term with their propulsion systems, I guess the only way I’ll make that trip is to hitch a ride on a visiting spaceship.
Do you have any scars? What are they from?
I have a scar on my forehead that was more visible when I was young than it is now. I got it at the age of twelve when, riding my bike – I had a head-on collision with a truck. Needless to say, I came off second-best and I spent three days unconscious in hospital. I have another scar on my abdomen where I used black salve bloodroot paste to treat a skin cancer. I’ve always been a bit adventurous with trying alternatives and although I got a little nervous with the pain and the resulting crater it left behind when the plug came away, it healed up nicely, although it left a scar, mainly due to the size of the hole that had to heal. I think scars, both physical and emotional, are evidence of life trials that, if they don’t kill us, tend to make us stronger.
Title: Aaden BlueStar – The Awakening
Author: David Gaughan
Publisher: Astar Print
Never feeling quite at home in this world, an ordinary boy discovers his extraterrestrial heritage and superhuman powers when he is confronted by an alien foe. Discovering he is here on a time travel mission, his grip on reality is stretched when he realizes his father, who is running for President, is also not of this world. His best friend Fleur and his sister Tiffany are the only two he can confide in. Together with their extraterrestrial friends, they not only have to combat their alien foe, they also have to convince humanity to change their ways to prevent destroying their home through an environmental disaster. With climate change and extreme weather issues increasing in frequency and intensity, the clock is ticking!
With the memories still fresh in his mind of the destruction of the alien craft in his trance the previous night, Aaden struggled to concentrate during the history lesson.
“Okay,” said Brian Masters, catching Aaden’s attention. “We’ve covered the main battle in today’s lesson, but not what led up to this. For your assignment, I want you to research the main events leading to this confrontation. I want that returned by tomorrow.”
‘No!’ Aaden thought in panic, staring at the teacher. ‘I need time to check out Tunguska.’
Masters, who had turned to clean the whiteboard, suddenly turned back and said, “No, you need time to check out Tunguska.”
As soon as he’d said the words, he immediately baulked. The shocked expression on his face showed that he’d had no intention of saying such a thing. Aaden was amazed that he’d repeated his very thoughts. The other students, who were all preparing to leave the room, stopped and looked at Masters.
“Tun … what?” said one of the students. “Is that a hint of what we need to research?”
“No!” said Masters quickly. “I … uh … I’m not sure where that came from.” He shook his head, as though to clear a confusing thought. “Ignore that. Have the assignment ready by tomorrow.”
The students went back to clearing their desks, preparing to leave. Aaden continued staring at Masters, amazed that the man had repeated the words he’d been thinking. He wasn’t sure whether it was some strange coincidence, so he decided to test it. He thought, ‘Make it two days for the assignment.’
Masters immediately said, “Make it two days for the assignment.”
Again, as soon as the words were out of his mouth, his jaw dropped with the surprise of having said them.
“Two days?” one of the students repeated. “Not tomorrow?”
Masters looked around the room, appearing somewhat stunned. The students had all stopped and were looking at him for confirmation.
“Yeesss …” he replied, looking strained. “You can have two days.”
Aaden struggled to conceal his glee. He thought, ‘On second thoughts, make it three days.’
Masters immediately repeated, “On second thoughts, make it three days.”
Astounded by what he’d just said, Masters immediately grabbed his satchel and fled the room. The students filed out after him, all smiles at having gained such leniency on the timing of their assignment.
Aaden was still coming to terms with what had just happened when Fleur joined him as they walked from the room.
“That’s a bonus,” she said. “Three days for the assignment – we only need one.”
“Hey!” said Aaden, raising his hands in mock submission. “Who’s complaining? Have you heard of Tunguska?”
Fleur gave a sideways glance. “Masters mentioned that – what is it?”
“Let’s go check it out in the library.”
“But Masters said it wasn’t anything to do with the assignment.”
Aaden’s eyes sparkled. “Let’s check it out anyway.”
With a shrug, she followed him to the library and watched as he did a search for ‘Tunguska event’ on the computer.
“1908!” Aaden gasped. “It happened over a century ago.”
Fleur leaned closer to the screen. “Who cares?”
Aaden shook his head. “I didn’t know it was so long ago. But it actually happened. I thought it was just a dream.”
Fleur pulled a face. “What?”
Aaden ignored her questioning stare. “Ah … nothing. Let’s see what they say about it.”
“Tunguska is in East Central Siberia,” said Fleur, reading the text. “This has nothing to do with our assignment. What’s so great about Tunguska?”
“I heard there was an explosion there.”
“So? There have been explosions all over the world throughout history.”
“This was a major blast … bigger than the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.”
Fleur’s eyes widened. She looked closer at the screen. “No way! An atomic bomb in 1908?”
“Not an atomic bomb according to this info,” said Aaden, disappointed. “They think it was a meteorite.”
“There was no crater,” said Fleur, reading. “Meteorites are mainly rock, iron and nickel. Something that heavy would’ve made a massive crater. You reckon it was big enough for an explosion like an atom bomb. How can that be?”
“Because it wasn’t a meteorite,” said Aaden. The words were out before he could stop himself.
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RIMSS6G
Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00RIMSS6G
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00RIMSS6G
Born on the same day and month as Mark Twain, this Sagittarius has always been the explorer, not only in world travel pursuits but also alternative fringe subjects. Having climbed the Great Pyramid of Cheops (and getting arrested doing so), some of his other world experiences included riding camels in the Sahara Desert, white-water rafting at the top of the Ganges river, fire walking on a weekend retreat, hot air ballooning in the Cappadocia Region in Turkey and visiting ashrams in Northern India. Much of David’s overseas travel has been fueled by his keen interest in metaphysical subjects.
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KDZKOM