The Author Interviews: Bryan Aiello

(Photo courtesy of Bryan Aiello)

To give my readers and fellow writers an insight into the processes and successes of other like-minded creatives, I'll be featuring some hardworking authors in my journal each week.

Today's author is Bryan Aiello, and he's independently published.


Author BIO:

Author of the novel Compounded Interest, I call NYC home and wish the subway went everywhere and Times Square didn’t suck.

I saw John Turturro once. Maybe it was him. He was wearing a yellow shirt and smiled at me like he knew I knew.

I am an Army vet who writes. I like characters who want more then they deserve. I like genre fiction. I love space. I love paladins. One day I might write a paladin in space story.

Just you wait.

The university of South Florida spit me out with a degree in creative writing and I find myself questioning the sanity of going to a school that advertises a fake beach on its brochure ever since.

I intuit grammar.

I got married in 2012. We had twins in 2015.

I do a lot of cooking and dog walking and ranting about the unfairness of sentience.

You can follow me on Twitter: @bryaiello


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Watch my latest interview with Bryan (Nov 2017) on his channel!

Like this content? Please consider subscribing to his YouTube channel and hitting that thumbs up for more!

What made you want to become a writer, Bryan?

Books had magic inside their covers. I wanted to make the magic.

What are your thoughts on the indie vs traditional publishing argument?

If you learn how to make millions of dollars and be the best, the traditional side of the industry will come looking for you.

Just love what you do and have fun.

Tell us a bit about your latest novel.

Drugs. Money. Violence. Violence. Violence. Greed. Some sex. More violence. The end.

Do you have three top marketing tips you can share with us?

  • Don’t be a d**k

  • Engage

  • Always be writing

What top three productivity tips would you give to new/ aspiring writers?

  • There is no such thing as writer's block

  • When it is time to write, write

  • Deadline yourself

Tell us a little about your typical writing day.

I have gotten into a chaotic habit of working on many projects during the day and aim for different word counts on my stories and poems. I will specifically work on either a short story, or a novel for the week, or day and have drabbles or flash fiction dividing my time. I also punctuate my day with either a scheduled interview, or an attempt to book content for my podcast.

What's your definition of success? Would you say you're successful?

I say Shakespeare was successful. He defined the immortality a writer can achieve. Stan Lee will live forever also.

Stephen King.




Walk by a used book store and browse the dusty old bargain book bins sitting outside. Look at the names printed on the spines of those old tomes. Recognize any? Probably not. Are they succesful? Could they pay their rent? Sure. Was that all they wanted? Probably not.

I get to write. In that I am happy.

Do I want more? Hell yes.

Share some of your writing goals with us. Have you met any of them yet?

  • Immortality.

  • Ask me again in a thousand years.

How do you deal with negative reviews and criticism?

  • Negativity should be used for growth.

  • Life is not a slip and slide.

Do you have a favourite author for fiction and non-fiction? Why are they your favourite/s and which of their books would you recommend?

Jared Diamond is a great Anthropologist writer I recommend “Guns Germs and Steel.”

I love books that dig deep into a subject and Diamond definitely fits the bill. He tells the story of his subject and his subject is the why of humans.

Historian David McCullough’s book 1776 and John Adams.

This dude breaks down history so minutely sometimes you have to wonder if you are reading history or fiction. Brilliant writer and historian who uses newspaper sources from the time he is writing in. Makes it seem simple like anyone can do it… anyone cannot do this... this dude is straight special.

Kurt Vonnegut writes science fiction, but he said many times he never wrote science fiction with the intention of writing science fiction. He survived the firebombing of Dresden as an American soldier POW and lived his life with severe PTSD and wrote a tremendous book call slaughterHouse Five about a dude that gets unstuck in time and space that explores this experience.

Vonnegut also wrote my favorite book of all time “Blue Beard,” which sort of covers the same experience from the perspective of a very talented artist.

Charles Bukowski is considered a Los Angeles Poet, but he wrote six prose books also, ‘Factotum,’ ‘Post Office,’ ‘Ham on Rye,’ ‘Hollywood,’ ‘Women’ and a seventh we don't talk about called ‘Pulp.’ With the exception being the later, he was dying of leukemia when he wrote it, are six of my favorite books. All are considered autobiographical fiction and just sing to me in a way that no other writer’s work ever has.

Virginia Wolfe’s, “To the Light House,” just blew me away. I love how detailed she was. How intimate. Always recommend this to a would writer. This work is the best break down the human mind ever written.

C.S. Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia,” is to me what for many people is Lord of the Rings books. I read this series over and over again as a child. This is fantasy. This is what I want to capture when I write and know I will never even come close.

Watch Bryan's first appearance (Apr 2017) on my podcast, The White Room!

Like this content? Please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel and hitting that thumbs up for more!

Where do you get your ideas and inspiration?

I mine the garden of words I plant looking for treasure hoping something grows that is useful.

Can you share any free resources or tools you've found helpful?

Reddit and Twitter are immensely useful in inspiring me with images and news stories and new books and stories and amazing new awesome people like E. Rachael Hardcastle!

Do you have any world-building tips you can share?

  • Read everything.

  • Be interested in science and history, art and life.

Do you outsource your work (editing and cover design specifically)?

No, because I like the work.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Please tell us why and what your pre-writing processes are.

I am a gardener. I plant my little seeds and go back and see which ones sprout.

Why do you write?

I have no choice. My soul demands it.

What is your mission statement?

To die doing the best I could do

Do you ever visit another author's website and if so, what do you look for? Why?

I’m very selfish, but I love having artists and writers as guests on my podcast!

In order of importance (most important first) when shopping online, what do you look at first? For example: cover design, formatting, reviews, description, price, publisher, author name, page count, preview, formats available.

  1. Concept

  2. Genre

  3. Author

Do you agree that indie publishing gives the author more control.

No. Quality takes no prisoners.

Do you agree that indie books should be difficult to identify among traditionally published books?

Yes. If something is entertaining it will appeal to someone looking to be entertained.

When marketing your book, which techniques do you recommend?

  • Writing more books - A friend says best way to sell a book is first write a second book and the best way to sell the 1st and 2nd is to write a third. I agree with him.

  • Social media - I think we live in a world of social media. Social media rules us.

  • Blog tours - Talked to a guy with 85k followers. He just quit his job and writes full time now… just saying.

  • Perma-free/ giveaways

  • Media coverage (newspaper, TV, podcasts etc) - I cord cut and hate commercials, I don't listen to radio. but I freaking love podcasts.

Watch Bryan's appearance (Nov 2017) on my podcast, The White Room!

Like this content? Please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel and hitting that thumbs up for more!

Are you working on another book?

Of course!

Los Amigos is currently a novella in first draft form. At 15k words I call it a modern Mexican fairy tale. Its an urban noir story about revenge and striving to be more then you are allowed to be. I will be returning to this story after I finish my first draft of the Greek from Nowhere. It will end up a lot longer.

TGFN is a science fiction story about a war vet and a geneticist who gets stuck thousands of light years from earth on a space station facing a sentient tech that is deciding whether to kill them or not. I think there is 80k worth of story here and I am halfway done writing it

I also am in the early stages of a story I am calling the King of Thebes. I am attempting to tell the lost sophocles tragedy of Liaus Rex. Its at 30k right now and I think it will end up being a battle story between Liaus and Kreon where Kreon ends up his slave and Jocasta's his bride.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

I am have collected my short science fiction stories and my short fantasy into two separate books and will be publishing them soon. I’m still working on which titles to include.

What do you think about the ebook revolution?

I think traditional publishing is dying. There have been lots of abuses there and I am not sad to see it go. I like a future where the artist is not beholden to a brick and mortar establishment. The only negative is the slush pile that once got weeded through on a publisher's desk but is now readable competition.

What does your typical day look like?

I wake at 2am, write for three hours and aim for a thousand words. I get my wife and kids up and out to work and school, come home, nap and then work on short stuff in the afternoon.

What is your writing style?

I write in third person omniscient and enjoy short punchy sentences. I like to think my style is very similar to noir in that my settings are dangerous, the outlook is bleak and the character struggling with personal demons.

Watch Bryan's latest appearance (Mar 2018) on my podcast, The White Room!

Like this content? Please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel and hitting that thumbs up for more!

Pen, typewriter or computer?

Computer. Google Docs, actually.

Do you write alone or in public?

Alone and first thing in the morning. I love the hush of approaching dawn and a steaming cup of fresh coffee.

Do you like to listen to music while you write, or do you prefer silence?

I discovered that music written for gaming is intended to help players be focused. So I listen to a lot of gaming soundtracks.

Do you set goals of certain number of words a week or just when inspiration strikes?

At a very minimum I aim for 350 words on each project I work on during the day. I prefer more and usually won't stop writing until I have run out of time.

What tactics do you have when writing (for example: outline or just write)?

  • I am the boxer type. Meaning I have an idea and I beat it into shape by going over and over and over it.

  • I never outline, but I also never stop thinking about where I am and what comes next naturally.

  • I prefer to have an ending place in mind, though; an anchor to pull me towards the end of the story.

What has your experience been like as an new Indie author? Bruises, highlights, and lessons?

Love is not guaranteed, but can be earned. I want to tell a good story and hope to find an audience that wishes to read my story.

What have you put most of your effort into regarding writing?

The editorial process.

Any other comments?

E. Rachael Hardcastle is the absolute best! Thank you so much for the work you do for artist and writers!


Thank you so much to author Bryan Aiello for sharing his insights on writing and publishing books. If you would like to support Bryan and his work, please visit his YouTube channel to listen to his Origins and Mirage podcast.