Talking Books with “Stories From a Lifetime” Hugh Aaron

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Hugh Aaron, a native of Worcester, Massachusetts, received a Liberal Arts degree in the Humanities at The University of Chicago. For three years as a Seabee he served in the South Pacific during WWII. He was CEO of his own plastics manufacturing business for twenty years before selling it to write full time. Several of his short stories have been published in national magazines and eighteen of his essays on business management have appeared in The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of Business Not as Usual: How to Win Managing a Company through Hard and Easy Times. Currently he’s writing and producing plays.

His latest book is a short story collection is Stories From a Lifetime.

Thank you for this interview, Hugh. Can we begin by having you tell us why you chose to write a collection of short stories?

Having been a short story writer since high school, and an English Lit major in college, I enjoy writing short stories that deal with the human condition in a variety of situations. I believe short stories are brief enough to enable people who have time constrictions as well as others to enjoy the experience of reading a complete story.

Did you outline before you wrote your book or did you just go with the flow?

I never outline; I let the story unfold from the characters themselves.

Who was your favorite character in Stories From a Lifetime and why?

 Virginia in THE VOW who loves her husband but must bear witness to the slow disintegration of her marriage. I think it’s a common experience after years of marriage.

Who was your least favorite character?

Jim Yee in Not a Chinaman’s Chance.

Can you tell us if writing several short stories is less or more difficult than say writing a novel?

I believe writing a short story is a more intensive experience because with fewer words and less time to make the author’s point or message more skill is required. Every word, every sentence, must count for more.

What was the hardest part to write?

Developing characters that the reader can relate to.

What was the inspiration behind the story? Where were you when you came up with the idea?

Each story in my short story collection derives either from my experience, or from my acquaintance with people that interested me.

Do you plan on writing more short story collections?

I’ve written two collections to date. Whether I’ll write more I can’t say.

Thank you for this interview, Hugh.  We wish you much success! 


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