Way back in September of last year I interviewed AJ for her then new book God’s Eye she kindly returns again for Phoenix. Can’t wait for next year and her next book. Let’s make it an annual event shall be AJ? Be sure to enter for a signed copy of Phoenix and a Phoenix logo-ed hat that’s featured in yesterdays Phoenix review.
Thanks so much for being on again AJ a lot has happened since the last time you were on can you tell us about some of the exciting things that have happened in the last year or so –
I finished editing Phoenix and started work on my new book, Inertia. For Inertia, I met with one of the top Plantation Restoration experts in the US and got to tour a closed, partially restored plantation. I learned so much! I’ve also researched Asperger’s.
This last summer I got to have a booth at Comic Con for the first time. I’d never been before and what an experience it was.
You’ve taken part in many cons this year how has that been? –
It has been crazy. Each year we nearly doubled our travel time for the last three years. I calculated that if I do that next year, too, I’ll be home -48days (yes, that’s a negative number!) It was wonderful getting out and meeting fans on both sides of the country.
Do you enjoy the personal interaction with readers at cons more so or online via social media? –
I don’t have a favorite. Face to face is always nice, but Facebook and Twitter are more constant.
Did you meet anyone at the cons that made you have a fan girl moment? –
I didn’t get a chance to get out and meet people, I’m usually in my booth or taking a breather from the noise. I only have one celeb autograph.
But, in February next year I get to be on a panel with Orson Scott Card (he wrote Ender’s Game- a Sci Fi classic, for those who don’t recognize the name.) And that has made me go crazy. I couldn’t care less if I met any of the big name actors. But I’m still trying to get myself together about OSC.
When people ask which writers inspire me, the answer has been the same for years: Nabokov, Tim O’Brien and OSC. I’m having a total fangirl moment right now.
Utukku has been traveling a great deal spreading the word about you and your books can you share about his travels? –
I wouldn’t even know where to start. He had a blast at ComicCon. HE got to go out and meet people. He’s also hit most of the major cities this year, with or without me!
But I’m most excited about where the fans are taking him. He’s gone home with a few tiny tykes, lots of God’s Eye fans and to Australia with one. He’s also a new designated cop car mascot in Georgia!
You mentioned you were working on Phoenix in our last interview was this a fun, easy one to write? –
I didn’t know anything about firefighting or firefighters before I started, but the guys I interviewed made it all easy. I knew the basic story before I spoke to any of them, but they gave me so much to work with that I wrote the whole thing in just under four months. For a four-hundred-page book, that’s pretty impressive.
The cover is great, is it by the same person who did the cover for God’s Eye? –
Oh Yes! Daniel Ruke did Amazing work for both and even did the new Vengeance cover that will be out on the second edition. Dan always interviews me for about 2-3 hours to make sure he gets all the pieces right. I’ve had a handful of people get a surprise when they realize that the reflection of the firefighter on the book isn’t right. It’s not a firefighter, it’s a kid. And it has a handful of meanings in the book. I love the Phoenix cover; I think Dan got it exactly right.
What was the inspiration for Phoenix? –
I wanted to tell a story where all the things that happen to the main character are triggered by him. There’s a great writing term that I love- Deus ex Machina (it translates to ‘God outside the machine.’) The term refers to external things that alter the story, as though some god is driving the events. I wanted to tell a story with zero deus ex machine. Everything that happens to Jason is initiated by him in some way, from his girlfriend walking out at the beginning of the book, to all the events that happen as he searches for his brother.
What is next for you? –
I’m midway through chapter six of Inertia today. In it, a family is restoring an old plantation and they find a diagram of a machine and when they build it some very bad people show up at their doorstep. It’s a kind of Sci-Fi-meets-‘The Firm.’ After that, I’ll be writing the sequel to Vengeance.
Thanks AJ I hope you’ll return for the next book. –
Of course I’ll be back!