HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AJ MYERS!
Behold! The interview! (posting quite a few hours late ’cause the Frankenputer required a new motherboard.)
Congratulations on releasing Something Witchy! How do you feel?
Really excited! I know I should be nervous, but I just feel kind of elated. Seriously, there’s nothing like coming to the end of the long, hard, amazing ride that is creating a book and sitting back and thinking, “Damn. I did it! Like, REALLY did it!” It’s a total rush! 🙂
How would you describe your experience with Parasite Publications?
Honestly? I feel so honored to have worked with this group of awesome, creative, fun people. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to learn from them. I couldn’t have asked for a better publishing company for my ‘baby’. If you’re lucky enough to get taken on by this creative, ingenious group, you know you have talent!
Something Witchy is the first in your Mystics & Mayhem series. How many books should we expect?
Currently, there are five books planned in the Mystics & Mayhem series. The second installment in the trials of Ember Blaylock, Something Wicked is due to be released sometime in the next month or so.
When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
I’ve always loved books and occasionally dabbled in short stories and poetry when I was younger. The idea of writing a novel? Well, that never crossed my mind. And then my daughter looked at me one day and said, “Momma, write me a book.” At first, I thought she was crazy. But, with her and my husband hounding me night and day, I finally sat down and gave it a shot. That was in May of 2008. I haven’t stopped typing since!
Tell us a bit about your writing process. What does a typical day of work look like for you?
My writing process is insane. I rarely ever sleep past six a.m., so by seven I’m at my desk, pink earbuds (yes, they’re pink!) plugged firmly into my ears with whatever happens to be playing blaring loud enough to cause permanent damage, a huge glass of iced coffee or Diet Coke beside me. Once I have everything I need, I start writing.
I used to tell people that I don’t really write my books, I just take dictation from the people in my head. I don’t do outlines. They annoy me and I can’t stick to them, anyway. I start writing on page one and I write straight through to the end, letting the story unfold on its own. Seriously, I’m as surprised sometimes by the direction it takes as my readers are.
How do you balance writing, a day job, a husband, and kids—and crazy editors/cover artists demanding more? Seems like you have an awful lot on your plate.
Yeah, it can get crazy sometimes, I won’t lie about that. I shine under pressure, though. I always have. But, I’m also human. There are days when I want to scream and tear my hair out. But, I have the greatest family on earth. When I get overwhelmed, my husband sweeps in and calms me down, gets me organized, and sends me back to work with a smile on my face. Because he’s amazing. My kids make me laugh. My sister keeps me sane.
And, as demanding as they can be, my crazy editors/cover artists are my friends. They’re brilliant people, but they’re also understanding and encouraging—and besides, crazy’s fun! I might be overwhelmed at times, but I’m definitely never bored! 🙂
Quick! If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be and why?
A penguin! Because they’re cute!
Have you ever considered writing any LGBTQ or deaf characters in your novels? It seems they’re under-represented in most fiction.
I agree, they are. I haven’t up to this point, but now that you’ve put that idea in my head… 🙂
Are there any authors who inspire you? Who are they?
Of course! Anne Rice, because I don’t believe you can love vampires and not love Anne Rice. Stephen King, because everyone needs a little horror in their lives, and nobody can do it like Stephen King can. But, I have to be honest, my biggest inspiration is a crazy, brilliant, amazing author named Sara King. Nobody can make you feel a character like Sara King can.
What can we expect to see in Something Wicked when it releases next month? Any secrets you’re willing to share?
We’re going to see Ember find her strength—and some crazy-awesome new abilities—a heartbreaking trip down Memory Lane, and a surprise ending that will have you staring at the page long after the last line has been read. You won’t want to miss it. It’s going to be one hell of a ride!
What is the best piece of advice you can offer aspiring authors?
I know most authors would say something like, ‘Don’t give up,’ or ‘Believe in yourself,’ but my advice is this. Learn to take criticism. Learn to LOVE it. Criticism given by someone who knows what they’re talking about, the kind that’s meant to make you better at your craft, is worth more than gold.
A zombie has just burst through your window and is headed straight for you. What do you do?
Scream, stab him in the eye with a fork, and run like crazy. Yeah, I know. When the Zombie Apocalypse begins, I am SUCH a goner! lol
Have you received any interesting fan (or not-fan) mail since Something Witchy was announced?
Actually, everyone has been so supportive that it’s been amazing. I’m sure I will get some interesting messages before it’s over with, but for now it’s mostly been ‘good luck’ and ‘can’t wait for the book.’ And I can’t wait to share my friends with the world!
Something Witchy hit the Kindle store yesterday and has already made it into several top 100 lists. You can read my review of the book here (and enter to win swag, a gift card, and copies of the book while you’re at it) or skip the review and go buy the book here!
The second book in the Mystics & Mayhem series will be available for Kindle December 15th. I’m definitely looking forward to it.
Keep an eye out in the next few days for a guest post from AJ Myers!