Kids who are secret agents?
A boarding school adventure?
Spy fun for both boys & girls?
Today we get to know Aaron Foster, a Eugene dad & author.
& look for a giveaway at the end of the interview!
GoMomGo: Tell how you came to write your book.
Aaron Foster: I’d imagine like a lot of people in our generation, I wasn’t really aware of young adult literature as being a ‘thing’ during my youth. Sure, there were age-appropriate books, but not a lot of them. I have to give a nod to Ms. Rowling for bringing YA into the mainstream and really sparking this drive for people to write books that could pull kids away from video games. I read a lot of them and was really struck by how good they were. I think what I appreciated most was that the writing wasn’t pretentious like a lot of ‘grown-up’ literature, they were just telling a story. The best ones still dealt with very real issues and emotions, they were just more accessible and exciting. So, okay then. What was the question again? Right – so I’m buying and reading all these YA books and I start to notice a pronounced skew toward books for girls. Lots of unwitting princesses, mean girl dramatics, sparkly vampires and what-have-you. Not that there’s anything wrong with those of course. I think as a rule, it’s harder to get boys to read, so I got this idea in my head that I could write something that would appeal both boys and girls. Over the years it took me to write Adam, there have been lots of other fantastic series written: Percy, Artemis, Katniss – just to name a few.
GMG: Tell us a little about the book, without spoiling the plot of course.
AF: In a nutshell, the story is a secret agent boarding school adventure. The main characters Adam and Emma have all these escapades while learning the spy trade. Naturally, there’s plenty of intrigue and mystery, international travel, gadgetry and technology. Adam isn’t an orphan and doesn’t have anything in his past that’s damaged him, he’s just a regular kid. Not very interesting from a literary perspective I realize, but I think it makes him more relatable.
GMG: Secret agent adventure? Sounds like something that could turn into a series.
AF: I could tell you, but then I’d have to… well, you know. It’s on a need-to-know basis.
GMG: Now tell us a little bit about who you are.
AF: Let’s see - I’m a husband, a father and an IT professional. I suppose those are things I do, not who I am. You just jump right in with the hard questions, don’t you? I kid, I kid... I guess I’d say I’m not really a very exciting person. Kind of a homebody actually. I enjoy traveling and having adventures, but I’m just as content to tinker in the wood shop or read a book. My day job doesn’t allow for a lot of creativity, so I’m always looking for some kind of outlet. Seems like I’m always making or building something.
GMG: What were your favorite books as a boy?
AF: I have to give a shout out to my dad for this one, because I probably wouldn’t have read a lot as a kid otherwise. It seemed like he always had something ready for me to read. Tolkien, Arthur C. Clarke, C.S. Lewis – I guess a lot of what you’d think of as traditional sci-fi and fantasy. Later in high school it was Michael Crichton, Tom Clancy, some Stephen King.
GMG: Tell about your favorite author.
AF: That’s a tough one. For me it would be like picking a favorite food. It really depends on what kind of mood I’m in and what I’ve read recently. It changes over time too. I guess if I had to pick one right now, it would be Patrick Rothfuss. He’s two books in to a really chewy but excellent fantasy series called ‘The Kingkiller Chronicle’. His imagination and skill with words is fantastic. Joe Haldeman is good go-to if I’m feeling sci-fi.
GMG: What do you love about writing?
AF: I’d have to say the ability to completely imagine and create a world and the characters inside it. There’s a kind of magical transition that happens during the writing process, when the characters start to become real to you. From that point on it’s like you’re guiding them, but they have their own personality and reactions to the situations you put them in. I also love knowing what the reader doesn’t, planting little details and clues that become important later in the story.
GMG: What do you hate about writing?
AF: Getting to that magical moment is tough, but I’d say there’s nothing I really dislike about writing other than the amount of time it takes. Dealing with the business side of releasing a book has been an interesting education for me, but it’s all part of the journey.
GMG: Cast the Adam Undercover movie.
AF: I’ll answer this one by not answering. To me, one of the best parts of reading a book is imagining what the characters look like. I wouldn’t want to ruin that for anyone. That, and all the actors I’m familiar with are too old.
GMG: How do you encourage your kids to read?
AF: I think it’s really about knowing your kids’ personalities and doing the legwork yourself. My daughter is a natural bookworm and will just read about anything, but my son is a different story. For the kids who wouldn’t pick up a book for fun on their own, take a cue from my dad – read the books in advance and curate a little personal library for them.
GMG: Your website is really fun! Where can we get more information or a copy of the book? There are snazzy web and Facebook pages set up. The site has purchase links for both print and eBook versions, or you can go directly to Amazon and search for Adam Undercover, The Presidium Files.
Tell us your favorite book as a kid & you'll be entered to win a signed copy of Adam Undercover, The Presidium Files!