Editor’s Note: This is the twelfth in a series of interviews and story excerpts spotlighting some of the most innovative fiction writers at the recently-launched new media publishing platform Liberty Island. The first eleven can be read in this collection here. Find out more about Liberty Island’s new writing contest here running through the end of April. Please check out this interview Sarah Hoyt conducted with CEO Adam Bellow here to learn more: “It also has a unique mission: to serve as the platform and gathering-place for the new right-of-center counterculture.”
Aaron Smith is a family law attorney living in San Diego with his lovely girlfriend and two pit bulls. Aaron spends his time trying to get clients out of their own messes and figuring out how to put his fictional characters in messes of their own. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Aaron is confident that he is one of the few students who saw the utter squalor of liberal rule and came out a confirmed conservative with libertarian leanings.
1. Who are some of your favorite writers, books, movies, and intellectual influences?
Books: Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files and Jonathan Maberry’s works. I love how they’ve crafted intricate worlds. Non-fiction wise, I enjoy history and current affairs. I like David McCullough’s works, as well as Ron Chernow.
Also, check out Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld and Andy Levy. They tend more cosmotarian than conservative but are pretty dang funny.
Current events wise, I like Drudge and Instapundit. I’m disappointed that the Volokh Conspiracy went to the Washington Post and will likely disappear behind a paywall. And I’m partial to the Right Coast as an alum of the University of San Diego.
2. How do you describe yourself ideologically?
A conservative who takes federalism seriously. I think that’s the bridge between libertarianism and conservatism. Conservatives need to take the principle seriously and end the federalization of the drug war or medical malpractice caps. Libertarians need to quit thinking that the Supreme Court can impose their policy preferences nationally using magic decoder rings to find rights that the Drafters would be amazed are in the Constitution.
3. Which thinkers/commentators have influenced you?
You have to love Ann Coulter for having bigger balls than most of the GOP establishment. The fact that she could admit being wrong on Chris Christie is a good thing too.
Then there are the classics, Friedman and Hayek. I started out as a socialist – easy when you’re a candy ass suburban kid who didn’t have to work for things – but became conservative at U.C. Berkeley. I also read Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations and have yet to be convinced he’s wrong. Ditto for his follow up, Who Are We. I think it’s pretty obvious we haven’t seen the “end of history” yet.
For Constitutional theory, Raoul Burger called out the tyranny of our judiciary pretty well.
4. Where are you from/currently reside?
I’m originally from Chicago and am convinced that the pizza pie was perfected there. Did you know that three large Lou Malnatti’s pizzas fit perfectly in the overhead compartment of a Southwest plane?
I’ve lived in San Diego for most of my life though. Seeing as how we have perfect weather and proper pizza can be airlifted here, I consider it paradise.
5. What are your writing goals?
I am currently developing a set of intertwined series all set in a universe much like ours, except for the fact that monsters and magicks are real. See, I spell “magicks” with a “k” to both confound proofreaders and to signify it’s not a white-bunny-being-pulled-out-of-the-hat kind of magic. The heroes of each series fight evil in their own ways, leading to Armageddon and its aftermath. I am now working on a novel set in this universe and fleshing out its rules.
6. Where can people find/follow you online?
My Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/aaronsmithauthor?ref=hl
I also tweet and can be followed at @aaroncsmith1
Last but not least I opine at http://aaronsjustsaying.blogspot.com/
7. What’s your craziest hobby/pastime/interest?
Now if I told you that, it would be an admission against interests.
“Tyler, get away from the window!” Connor ordered. Tension made the command sharper and louder than he intended. Luckily Tyler was engrossed with his reading.
But if a drone saw him with the book…
Damn the Test.
“Dad, the light’s best here,” Tyler complained. Connor recognized his son’s stubborn expression. Looking at the towheaded boy sometimes felt like looking in a mirror.
“The light’s plenty good on the couch,” he countered. He’d had thirty years more practice on the stubborn front. “The blackout’s scheduled to be over in a few hours.”
“Dad–” Tyler’s plaintive cry hung in the air.
Tyler pushed himself from the floor, shoulders slumped. He took half steps towards the couch, as if hoping his father might change his mind.
As Tyler settled onto the couch, Connor reached over and ran a beefy hand through the 5-year-old’s hair.
“You know what we talked about, right?”
“Yeah. The Test’s coming.”
“And I can’t let people know I’m reading.”
Connor paused. How to explain a concept like slavery? Even if he could put it into terms his young mind could understand, the child’s basic innocence could lead to a slip.
“The bad guys, Tyler,”
“The bad guys. And you can’t ever talk about this with anyone. You don’t ever know–”
“That’s right. You never know who’s an Eyes.”
Connor walked over to the kitchen space, a cramped square about two steps away from the couch. The soles of his feet almost scraped the concrete beneath the worn carpet.
He reached into the pantry and pulled out a chocolate NutriBar. The vitamin-fortified candy was popular because it didn’t require effort or refrigeration. Without steady power, refrigerators were extinct–at least for the likes of them.
He turned to toss Tyler the chocolate and saw a glittering in the distance outside the window.
A skyscaper from the Crystal City.
“Hey that was hard.”
Connor mumbled an apology. He hadn’t meant to throw the candy, certainly not that hard.
He shook his head. Losing control wasn’t going to help.
“I have to go out, Tyler. You stay away from the window…”
“And don’t answer the door.”
Connor smiled with paternal pride.
The boy was whip-smart.
That was the problem.
Connor picked up the walking stick by the door and headed out to the world.
image courtesy shutterstock / Andrea Danti