Rise of Wingtar

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About the author

A. J. Cootes

A .J. Cootes began writing after his best friend, Greg Wilson, was involved in a near-fatal motorcycle accident. Greg’s ensuing battle with depression and an attempted suicide inspired the pair to co-author the artist’s biography, “My Brush with Depression,” in the hope it would help others facing similar problems. 

Growing up, Aaron loved movies and stories that encouraged both his imagination and altruism. The Star Wars films are his favourites. Dune by Frank Herbert, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, and other books by Charles Dickens and Ernest Hemingway all left an indelible impression on the young man.

Hemingway’s adventurous spirit inspired A.J. to seek out adventures of his own. Some of Cootes’ life highlights include: running with the bulls in Pamplona, camping at Everest base camp in China, surfing overhead waves at Cloudbreak reef in Fiji and standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. He is a qualified abseiling, caving, and skiing instructor and has also worked as a cruise director and whale-watching guide.

Today, he lives a quieter life on a farm in the Hunter Valley and is a director of the Greg Wilson Studio. He resides with his wife, Joyce, and inseparable friends and business partners Greg and Josie Wilson (collectively known as the Hippies on the Hill). He is happiest when he is writing, goofing around with Greg in his art studio, playing with his dog, Hemingway, and tending to his hens, led by Princess Layer, in the Cluckleberry Inn coop.

Lynn Santer, Cootes’ mentor and manager, was the catalyst for taking the aspiring science fiction writer from manuscript to publication. She continues to be a constant source of inspiration, a treasured advisor, and the trusted “Captain” of team Little Hawk. If you are about to read this story, Cootes believes it was a collaboration of his family, friends, and faith in a higher power that made it possible.

If he could share one message with his readers it would be that there is a sparkle and magic to life on this planet, even though we may be unable to see it at.