Please welcome Aaron Christopher Drown to the blog today!!
I discovered Ray Bradbury in junior high, mostly by accident, the fault of a reading assignment that interested me not in the least. I had a new Millennium Falcon to play with, after all, which my parents had grudgingly gifted me for my birthday despite the seeming extravagance, but also which from my perspective I’d rightly earned through nearly three years of tireless begging, scheming, and general harassment. Ralphie’s quest for an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and that thing that tells time? Sad amateurism by way of contrast.
Curtailing my time racing through the stars in the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy would be The Martian Chronicles, and despite my misgivings it was a book that would change my world—or at least, the way I saw it. Foremost is Bradbury’s masterful prose—ever sumptuous, languid, and sly, and laden with wistful childlike wonder at the marvels of its own making. Then, of course, are the stories themselves. Long before I had any idea what a “fix-up novel” was, I found myself drawn in by TMC’s stitched-together feel, by how each chapter had a separate shape that often made an intriguingly imperfect fit with its neighbor while still contributing to the narrative arc. Those gaps between the shapes somehow made the storyscape feel vaster, mortared together by my own imagination as much as Mr. Bradbury’s wordsmithing.
It was to be my first real lesson in the craftsmanship of writing, in which I consciously (albeit rather intuitively) appreciated the mechanics of an effect as much as its beauty. It’s also lesson whose influence would reveal itself at very onset of my own writing career, such as it is.
The very first story I ever published, called “The Battle,” is also the first piece in my recent collection, The Gods Must Clearly Smile. And appropriately so, I think, since it’s the piece where I consciously decided that all my short stories would be somehow related to one another. Not necessarily occupying the same universe—nothing as dramatic as, say, the Fonz showing up at Laverne and Shirley’s place, or the Love Boat cruising to Fantasy Island—but sharing definite connections however tenuous. From those early days the notion of compiling my own version of a fix-up novel stayed tucked in the back of my head, and with each subsequent short story another piece of the arc, however irregular or imperfect, was put in place.
I’m proud of the result, thrilled with how warmly the book’s been received, and grateful to the team at Seventh Star Press for thinking it worth the time and effort. And though far be it from me to suggest anyone set aside their Millennium Falcon for my sake, I’d love know whether or not you agree.
Blog Tour Details:
Welcome to an exciting blog tour featuring an imaginative and fascinating collection of short stories spanning the realms of speculative fiction from Aaron Christopher Drown, The Gods Must Clearly Smile! This blog tour will be taking place from Monday, September 26th, to Sunday, October 2nd!
The Gods Must Clearly Smile Blog Tour includes reviews, guest posts, and interviews, and it will be a great opportunity to explore a fantastic new short story collection and learn more about Aaron Christopher Drown!
About the author: Aaron Christopher Drown is a native of Brunswick, Maine, who’s lived all over and whose stories have appeared in equally numerous magazines and anthologies. His debut novel, A Mage of None Magic, won the 2010 Darrell Award for Best Novel, and as he’s promised his publisher for years, he’s hard at work on the follow-up. An award-winning graphic designer as well, Aaron resides in Memphis for the time being with his wife, Sarah, their cat, Edison, and his trusty Macbook, Pedro.
Book Synopsis for The Gods Must Clearly Smile: From the distant future and the forgotten past…
From the far reaches of space and the house next door…
From award-winning author Aaron Christopher Drown, a collection of fourteen curious tales that wend and weave across worlds familiar and unthinkable—a captivating journey through wishes and nightmares, love and murder, war and magic, and the occasional dalliance with destiny.
Tour Schedule and Activities
9/26 Sapphyria's Books https://saphsbooks.blogspot.com/ Guest Post
9/27 Jazzy Book Reviews https://www.jazzybookreviews.com/ Review
9/28 The Scribblings of Sarah E. Glenn https://saraheglenn.blogspot.com/ Guest Post
9/29 BookBekAdventures https://bookbekadventures.Wordpress.com Review
9/30 The Seventh Star Blog https://www.theseventhstarblog.com Author Interview
10/2 The Book Lover's Boudoir https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpress.com Review
Purchase links for The Gods Must Clearly Smile:
Kindle Version: https://amzn.to/3RmSltu