Excuse the excessive use of the word DOPE but this picture was taken on my birthday.
A.A. Gabriel is the author of "Charlie Jones and the Planet Behind the Sun", a fantasy novel he began writing in November, 2016, six years after the idea of a planet "sharing orbit with Earth" came into his mind.
He's written other two novels as well, "Travis and the Heart of Water", book one of a post-apocalyptic trilogy and a romantic novel titled "Ian Johnson".
The novels can be read for free on the Swoon Reads website by clicking here.
Where do you get your ideas from?
I will be honest; I never sit down with the intention of coming up with a novel. Ideas simply show up in my head like flashes of inspiration or messages sent from the heavens. However, I'm well aware that more often than not the stories I write are somewhat related to my own life events. This is a good thing because you can't write about something you don't know.
It was one evening when the idea of "a planet behind the sun" showed up in my head while in my room. At that moment I just knew that I was someday going to write a book set in that imaginary planet. Then, little by little, as the years passed, more elements of the story began coming to me. Things like names, places, action scenes and more made their way to my head until I realized I had enough material to write a full novel. That's how Charlie Jones was conceived.
After seeing the word water while scrolling YouTube videos, the idea for a novel where water was of vital importance because of its scarcity came to me at once. Travis of Dwr was born and I began the writing of the first novel right away.
Once night, shortly after I finished writing the first draft of Travis and the Heart of Water, I had a dream in which I saw a rich man in a restaurant asking for his bill. For some reason, a magnified image of what seemed to be a green ring the man was wearing on his index finger was all I could see and I got the strong feeling that this man was different than all the waiters around him. This gave birth to the extreme class system (if it can be called that) in the novel that dream inspired, Ian Johnson.
Why do you write?
I write because I truly enjoy it. Getting to watch a mental movie about the book you're writing is a true delight. You should try it. Writing is my passion. I lose sense of time every time I plot, write and edit something. It's such my obsession about writing that I sometimes wish I didn't have to spend time eating and sleeping so I could write all day and night.
Do you plot out your novels in advance?
I don't like plotting my novels, even though a lot of authors say it' the way to go. I just love the sense of adventure I get when I write because I have no idea where the story will take me. Surely, I get hints and know what' going to happen at times but mostly I just go with the flow and "see" what my characters do, say or want to do. As a writer I do feel that characters and events in your book are not there for you to command. They are like living memories in your head with their own wants and desires. I like to stick to what I feel is the right way yo treat a novel (which is nothing that pure inspiration given to you by the Universe) and prefer to simply become the vehicle to bring the story into this world.
Another reason why I don't like to "watch" the whole "movies" of my novels in my head and put it in paper is the fact that I tend to stop writing because I already know the end. I truly write because I love it and once I know what happens in a story, I just want to jump to writing the next book and get the feeling of excitement and exilaration I get from it.
If you want advice, just write and stop worrying whether what happens in your book will be considered right or wrong by others. Youe story is and should be a unique gift to the world.
Who are your favorite authors?
Some of the authors whose works I love the most for personal reasons are: J.K. Rowling, Michael Crichton, Christopher Paolini, George R.R. Martin, Roald Dahl and Gerald Durrell (his memoirs are the books that have made me laugh the most).
Yes, yes, but I want to know specific books that you really like.
The list is too long to mention each of them here, specially when they are part of series like "Harry Potter" and "A Song of Ice and Fire", but some of the books that contain much of what I love in novels are:
"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" by J.K. Rowling
"The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins
"The Maze Runner" by James Dashner
"Jurassic Park", "Lost World" and "Timeline" by Michael Crichton
"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Matilda" by Roald Dahl (Matilda's book is far funnier than the movie)
"The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan
"Divergent" by Veronica Roth
"Eragon" by Christopher Paolini
"Mortal Engines" by Philip Reeve
"A Game of Thrones" by George R.R. Martin
"The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown
"Assassin's Aprentice" by Robb Hobb
"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Caroll
"Bambi, a Life in the Woods" by Felix Salten (really, it's touching)
"How to Train Your Dragon" by Cressida Cowell
"My Family and other Animals" by Gerald Durrell
"Doctor Dolittle" by Hugh Lofting
"Lord of the Flies" by William Golding
More books to be added as I finish reading them
What are your favorite children's tales?
I fell in love with literature by reading children's tales. My favorite ones when I was younger were: "The Tale of Peter the Rabbit" by Beatrix Potter, "The Happy Prince" by Oscar Wilde, "The Nightingale" by Hans Christian Andersen and "Hansel and Gretel" by the Grimm brothers.
Besides reading and writing, what other things interest you?
I really enjoy learning about art, languages, architecture, ancient cultures, history, plants, animals, nature conservation, gardening, all things organic, business-related subjects and much more.
What are your favorite movies?
I've always been fond of The Parent Trap, Jurassic Park, the Harry Potter movies, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, National Treasure, Independence Day, The Da Vinci Code, Interstellar and more.
What's your favorite Game of Thrones character?
It was Daenerys Targaryen (Because the one with the dragons gets all the fame) until I discovered Olenna Tyrell. I wish she'd been my grandma! Dame Diana Riggs did an amazing job playing the Queen of Thorns. I wish I had met her!
What's your favorite food?
My favorite types of food are Japanese and Mediterranean food. Thumbs up for sushi and salads!
What are some of your favorite quotes?
"If a tiny light catches your attention... follow it. If it takes to a swamp and you get stuck in it, don't worry, you'll get out of it. But if you don't follow that tiny light... you'll forever wonder if it was your star." Seneca
"Read good books many times, rather than many books." Seneca
"Only do what your heart tells you." Princess Diana
"There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never know where they'll take you." Beatrix Potter
"If you think you're too small to make a difference... try sleeping with a mosquito in the room." Dalai Lama
"The land is chief, and men its stewards." Hawaiian proverb. Original in Hawaiian: "I aliʻi ka ʻaina, i kaua ke kanaka."
"If one could but paint his mind." Francis Bacon
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." Maya Angelou
"Be steadfast in the seeking of knowledge." Queen Liliʻuokalani. Original in Hawaiian: "E onipaʻa...i ka ʻimi naʻauao."
More questions to be added soon.
Have a question for me? Get in touch! I'd love to hear from you!