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J.T. Aris


First Language(s): Danish
Second Language(s): English


J.T. Aris is a Danish immigrant who now lives in Indianapolis, IN. Aris has found that the long incubation periods offered by life as a molecular biologist are perfect for plotting out stories. Sometimes they get written down on the backs of plate sealers. Aris’s work has previously been featured in “The Fatal Flaw.”


What was your favorite book as a child?

The very first book I remember loving was “Klara og den søde, gamle tiger,” (or Klara and the Sweet, Old Tiger). It had several things I loved: trips to visit grandma, a friendly tiger you can ride, and lots of yummy-looking drawings of food.

Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?

I can thank my dad and grandfather (Farfar) for starting this. They always loved telling me stories and would do all the voices in a way that set my imagination ablaze. My dad in particular loved to invent stories on the spot, often with me as the protagonist. That carried over to me inventing twisting narratives for my cousins and I to act out as we played. It seemed only natural to start writing things down after that, and I’ve been in love ever since.

What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?

I used to volunteer at a barn that specialised in training ex-race horses to become riding horses. One year my horse and I did so well in local shows that we earned enough points to compete at the Thoroughbred Incentive Program championships at Kentucky Horse Park. Riding in the Rolex arena where Olympians and other top riders have competed was enough to get my heart rate up. Flying over a giant three-foot rolltop aboard a gleeful mare that I had trained to jump myself was beyond anything I could have dreamed of. Being able to call that little mare my own afterwards was better still.

Do you listen to music while reading or writing?

I do! I tend to stick to movie or video game soundtracks. I find this sort of music helps me settle my mind and focus. Certain soundtracks often become associated with specific stories. I’ve found that the right music can be the push I need to start putting words on the page if I’m feeling stuck or uninspired. If I know what the story’s soundtrack is, I know I’ve found the story’s tone.


Short Story
The Wellman
Issue Spring '21

Supported by:

Land Steiermark: Kultur, Europa, Außenbeziehungen
U.S. Embassy Vienna
Stadt Graz