Aaron Ozee writes poetry and children’s book. Recently we had an opportunity to connect with Aaron, and as a follow up we did a quick Q&A with him about his experience as an author, poet, and a publisher.
Where do you draw your inspiration for the work you create?
People ask me this question all the time, and sorry to say, it’s always different. The inspiration a writer uses for their work comes from many places, some of which are known while others selfishly maintain their anonymity. When planning to create a captivating collection of poetry or innovative children’s book, I do make several attempts to address a variety of concepts that could spark an idea for an overall theme, but unfortunately, most of those attempts don’t make it all the way through to the other side.
If I were to briefly describe what it feels like to receive a surge of creativity or sudden epiphany for a new work, I would have to say it’s much like falling in love. It strikes you unexpectedly, you don’t know why it makes you feel this way, but in the end, no matter how you view it, somehow it seems to be for a reason.
Why did you decide to self-publish your work and why did you choose Lulu?
Already having wet my feet as a writer, my vision as to where my journey was headed as a poet became clearer and it finally came to mind that it was time to gather my creations, bind them together, and release them all in a debut anthology. Originally, I thought the only way to publish a book was to submit samples of your work to traditional publishing houses and pray that some executive in some office in a faraway land would send a letter back stating they were interested in what you had to offer, but sadly, this fantasy was short lived.
After being discouraged by countless behemoths in the publishing industry, I turned my attention towards the Internet and asked myself a singular yet perpetuating question that would define the future of my career as an author – is there another way? And luckily enough, truth met my curiosity and I discovered Lulu in the furthest reaches of my searches and gave birth to what I would one day call, Ozee Poetry.
Have you faced obstacles on this journey and if so, how did you overcome?
The plethora of obstacles I have faced since I first put pencil to paper when I was merely a child have not damaged my efforts in writing, but on the contrary, have helped further my success as an author in ways that could have instantly executed my dreams but failed to do so.
I try not to see the obstacles I face as threats to my cause or articles of being human that are always out to get you. Instead, it is my understanding that they are simply bumps on a road that must be passed but can be easily overcome if you keep your eyes open, hold the wheel straight, and avoid being distracted. And if everyone viewed this matter in the same way I do, I wholeheartedly believe that most of the personal inconsistencies we have in our lives would be extinguished even before they manifest.
Writing, editing, publishing, distributing, and promoting are not easy tasks, and if you’re in this game for the fun of it, you may want to review the fine print before signing on. Becoming a writer is about challenging yourself in ways that you have never been challenged before. It’s about pushing the brink of possibilities past what you already know to be real. But if you can set all of this aside and still find the courage within yourself to board this train, you’re in for one hell of a ride.
How did working with Lulu aid in the success of your books?
Publishing my first collection of poetry, “Celestial Inferno: Poems of Another Realm,” back in 2011 when I signed on with Lulu not only set something in motion that would personally change my life but would also alter my perception of what lay ahead in the future of the self-publishing industry. Lulu gave me the inkling I needed to make a name for myself and how to efficiently utilize their platform to my benefit to bring about a written revolution in the present age for the betterment of aspiring authors everywhere. It took me only five years to publish eleven books, become a bestselling author, and claim six world records for achievements in the field of writing all before turning twenty thanks to the guidance, selflessness, and support provided to me by the Lulu team. They made my success a reality and can do the same for others.
What makes Lulu unique and exciting in a crowded publishing industry?
I’ve always had a passion for the written word being pressed onto printed paper. There’s just something about it that stimulates the senses differently compared to reading a book digitally. Not to say that eBooks and audiobooks don’t have their benefits. It’s just the way in which Lulu holds the “print” element at the helm of their operation makes them so unique above all other self-publishers and genuinely inserts that element of surprise into everything they do. I truly believe that is one of the many key components that overwhelmingly drew me to them since the very beginning and has continuously reinvigorated my love for publishing over and over again.
The common misconception that consumers and even industry professionals alike have is that print is dying and will not be a medium of choice ten or twenty years from now. But actually, they’re mistaken. We live in a physical world that is focused around an epicenter of touch and without it would be not much of a world at all. Lulu understands that. You can’t take away an aspect of life from a daily enjoyment such as reading a book. That would be unspeakably cruel. And that is exactly why Lulu remains at the top of the mountain and should rightfully stay put.
What would you tell an aspiring author who hasn’t published yet?
If another writer approached me and questioned whether or not they should work with Lulu to publish their work, I would stare at them straight on and say, what do you have to lose? Lulu is just a link away from providing them with all the assistance they’ll need to begin the adventure they always wanted, just like I did, and turn scribbles on a notebook or a few notes on a napkin into published masterpieces for the world to read and love with just the click of a button.
Are there any mentors that have had a huge impact on you and your career?
Even though I pride myself on accomplishing everything that I have as an author, I cannot take all the credit here. There have been friends, family, and colleagues that I have consulted over the years and asked for them to provide me with bits of knowledge that would aid my mission to become the innovator I always aspired to be. And if it weren’t for their wisdom and continual support, I don’t think I would have had to resources to make it here.
Where can we learn more about you and your books?
You may visit my website at AaronOzee.com and connect with me on Facebook @AaronOzee or Twitter @AaronOzee to arrange a talk or meet. My door is open and I’m here to help you in any way that I can if it means you’ll become one step closer to being who you were meant to be.