Au­thor goes back to bu­colic roots for novel

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Front Page - TRIS­TAN WHEELER

Aaron Hughes’ quest to tell a story float­ing around in his head led him to leave Perth and his study of ge­net­ics and re­turn to Man­jimup.

“It could have eas­ily been any­thing, I think it’s just writ­ing is what I could do,” he said.

“If I could draw it could have been a graphic novel, if I could write po­etry it could have been a poem . . . I think it’s just sort of what came most con­ve­niently to me.”

His ef­fort paid off, with the re­lease of his new book, Nu­cleus: The Vi­o­lent Science on May 12, pub­lished by Vivid Pub­lish­ing.

The story is about the con­flict be­tween a young man with a tal­ent for science and a cyn­i­cal older sci­en­tist who re­cruits him.

“At its core, it’s about a young guy who doesn’t un­der­stand his place in the world, but he is quite in­tel­li­gent and he is brought into con­tact with a sci­en­tist,” Hughes said.

“They are re­ally im­pressed with each other at first, but this sci­en­tist is so old and cyn­i­cal that he be­lieves peo­ple are ir­re­deemable.”

The story is set against the back­drop of a fic­tion­alised ru­ral town, based on Man­jimup.

“I was pretty close to mak­ing it set in Tas­ma­nia, be­cause I wanted the set­ting to be iso­lated, but I didn’t feel like I could write gen­uinely about Tas­ma­nia, be­cause I haven’t been there,” Aaron said.

“I feel like grow­ing up, when you are an angsty kid you sort of think that liv­ing down here is kind of bor­ing and iso­lat­ing and there is noth­ing go­ing on and that was enough for me to set it here.”

Nu­cleus is writ­ten from a first-per­son per­spec­tive and in the present tense, which Aaron said pre­sented a chal­lenge while writ­ing the novel.

“If you write in the first-per­son, you need to be able to ex­plain every re­ac­tion the main char­ac­ter has to every­thing, but that was a nice chal­lenge,” he said.

The story is based on an idea Aaron con­ceived at Man­jimup Se­nior High School, but didn’t start writ­ing un­til Oc­to­ber 2018.

“I fin­ished the first draft about a year later and reached out to the kind folks at Fon­taine and Vivid and we ended up here,” he said.

“I wanted to keep it in WA, so Fon­taine Pub­lish­ing, they’re just in Fre­man­tle.”

The story of Nu­cleus’ ori­gins came full cir­cle when Aaron reached out to his old English teacher for feed­back on the man­u­script.

“She was very im­pressed with it,” he said.

“That was the high­est cal­i­bre of feed­back that I’d had.”

Aaron is a science fic­tion fan and cites the Dune Series, the Blade Run­ner films and Akira as other works of fic­tion he en­joys.

“I like the idea of the na­ture of hu­mans be­ing tested and I think sci-fi is the best thing for that, aside from mur­der mys­ter­ies,” he said. Aaron cur­rently works part-time, but hopes even­tu­ally to ded­i­cate him­self to writ­ing as a full-time pro­fes­sion.

“This is the first of the series and there is a lot more to come,” he said.

I fin­ished the first draft about a year later and reached out to the kind folks at Fon­taine and Vivid and we ended up here. Aaron Hughes

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