My Books!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Author in Waiting

My guest today is AJ Best. AJ is anxiously waiting to hear from Ravenous Romance who is reading her first book. AJ, thank you so much for coming. If your book is as entertaining as your post, I bet RR will take it. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve been told it’s rude to talk about yourself; but I’ve never seen it. So, let’s talk about me. I’m really a transplanted southerner living in the frigid arctic North Country of upstate NY. I never saw myself coming up here and living a life of down coats, mittens, hats and scarves. But it’s amazing what a bald man will make you do. I have two wonderful biological children who I am very proud of, though I do wish they would stop growing up. I have 3 near stepchildren that will be mine someday, just haven’t nailed down the date. And in the melee I have 4 cats, 2 dogs, 20 fish, 1 bird and a fiancé.

Good grief! When did you find time to write? What got you interested in writing?

Wow, I’ve been writing since my teachers forced me to in elementary school. I wasn’t very good at it, but I kept on trying. Schools seem to force the 3 Rs on us:


I mean seriously what kind of illiterate monkey came up with that? But then again, I am not one to judge, much. Now that I am an author, because I write, I make up my own words.

But I digress. I didn’t start writing anything with meaning until I was in 7th or 8th grade. My mother decided to get me a typewriter. And for you young folks, this was a manual typewriter where you put the corrective paper into the spot and had to line everything up JUST SO. Never mind….another generation spoiled.

It was then that I wrote my first poem; I have it memorized if you care to hear it. Oh of course you care to hear it. **clears throat**

Lazily we walk along the beach
You and I hand in hand
Nature has its things to teach
We listen and learn
But never turn
To see what we left behind.

**takes a bow** Thank you very much – please throw dollar bills instead of coins, they hurt less.

Again, I digress. I turned into a budding writer a little later in life. Twelfth grade brought on another writing challenge. I still remember the first line of that as well; though I can’t remember my children’s names sometimes.

December spreads its snow-filled wings and covers our world in cold despair.

Ingenious right? Wrong. I got a B on the final paper and never wrote again until I was 29. I started a story, which is still not finished, and everyone loved it. I was told to keep trying and finish. But when my husband died, I lost all desire to write. I didn’t pick up a ‘pen’ again until 2008.

And now, in early 2011 I have a story sitting in the stacks at Ravenous Romance awaiting a final yea or neigh. **still biting fingernails**

Okay, you just won my admiration. I CAN'T write poetry, and I'd have given you an A on your December poem. As a first time author, do you find the publishing process a little daunting?

Daunting? It’s scary as heck? I am an impatient little twit, and I want everything done right now. I’ve unfortunately realized that I can’t have it that way. Impatient twits don’t get writing contracts. They get thrown in file 13 and then they cry themselves to sleep. I just want things to make sense, and the time frames don’t yet. I guess I will have to patiently learn how to be patient, and how to deal with the publishing process.

Besides being southern, we have a lot in common. My husband can tell you how little patience I have. Do you have a crit group or a select group of friends you bounce ideas off of or read over your manuscripts?

I have two friends who read things for me, and I read the manuscripts out loud to my loving fiancé. He’s great and gives me the male point of view and makes my writing a whole lot more realistic. I’d like to thank Kissa Starling ( for helping me read over things and not being too Simon Cowell on me.

Simon Cowell. I shiver to think of it. What do you like to read? Any authors you love to enjoy?

I’m an avid reader. I read about 600 words per minute and manage to read about 3 books a week. I love ALL things vampire, so I read the Vampire Academy series, Mortal Instrument series, and House of Night series to only mention a few. I also adore Nora Roberts, and Piers Anthony. I own about ½ of the books that he has written. I’m working on getting all of them, but he keeps writing.

What is your favorite genre to read/write?

My favorite genre to read is paranormal. I have a dream to write paranormal right now, but I keep getting all these sweet romance and women’s romance and erotica in my brain. So I will have to get them out so I can work on some paranormal. I actually am fleshing out a vamp book right now. I had a great dream several nights in a row and finally got up and typed some things on my iPhone and went back to sleep.

I love it when the idea is so good you have to get up and write it down. What feature do you start with when writing a description of your hero/ine? Eyes, age, hair color, personality, name, etc?

I have to work on my hero and heroine’s personality first. If I can’t see who they are, then their appearance doesn’t mean a thing to me. I don’t care what their hair is like. If my hero is a bad ass guy who cares about nothing, then I will probably have him have dark messy hair, maybe greasy or something. I would make him someone I wouldn’t want in my life.

Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?

If I were a store, I would have candles, incense, books, and things that sparkle. I would make bookmarks, necklaces, and all kinds of bobbles. I would have all kinds of comfy clothing that would enable me to just kick back and write. I would make sure that I sell Mac laptop computers. Finally I would make sure that there were all kinds of baked goods around so no one goes hungry.

I like your store! I hope the sparkly things are diamonds. I like diamonds. If you came with a warning label, what would it say?


LOL. What do you enjoy doing for fun and relaxation?

Fun and relaxation? Hmm, I love to paint, crochet, knit, watch TV, and READ, READ, READ.

February...the month of love and romance. What was the worst/best/funniest valentine gift you ever got from a significant other?

Don’t tell my fiancé this, but last year he got me a stuffed anatomically correct heart that beats (once I learned the meaning – him giving me his heart I liked it), bacon lip balm, and an I LOVE MY GEEK t-shirt.

Bacon lip balm. I didn't know you could. Where can we find you on the web?

I would love for you to come by and pick on me any time at or email me at . Thanks for having me here today.

AJ, thanks for coming. I've enjoyed your interview, and let us know about the book.


AJ Best said...

Thanks for having me here today Elaine! It's been such a pleasure!

I actually pulled my manuscript from Ravenous Romance, and put it with Passion In Print and got a horribly disappointing rejection letter from them yesterday.

lastnerve said...

Awwwww, just hang in there girl. I LOVED the blog post. I haven't laughed like that in a long time. PS, I hold grudges too. :) Tami, you're gonna make it girl. And when you do, I get the first autograph.


Mary Ricksen said...

I truly have not doubt that we will be roasting you AJ!
And to find someone else who loves Piers Anthony! Amazing!
People don't get the humor of his wonderful worlds. I love it too!!
Good luck AJ, keep going, things will fall into place eventually.

Savannah Chase said...

I know the wait can sometimes be killer but in the end it will all be worth it...Don't let the R stop you...Keep pushing on.

Lindsay K. said...

The wait hurts, but sit tight! I know you'll be happy.

AJ Best said...

Val - thanks for stopping by - I'm glad you got a good laugh - heck you know it's just like me. People think I'm trying to be funny - and if I would be ugly.

AJ Best said...

Mary - I love him - you should see my bookshelf. I literally have about 70+ of his books. I'd end up with them all if he would quit writing. Some of his books are not funny at all. He wrote Firefly which was an erotic type mystery. And the movie Total Recall? He wrote that. He aslo has a couple of Indian books that are wonderful.

AJ Best said...

That big R word Sav has killed a little of my spirit. But the other 98% is kicking its butt and making it submit to more writing. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

AJ Best said...

Lindsy - thanks for the advice. I guess growing up in a fast food world makes me want stuff when I get to the second window. Well that window is too far to see. LOL

TreSart L.Sioux said...

Tami, great interview. Ya had me laughing!

AJ Best said...

YEah, I'm kinda funny like that! Thanks for stopping by TreSa!

Kissa Starling said...

You may not be a store but I bet you already have a lot of things like that! Love you.

Hywela Lyn said...

Wonderful post AJ, with your wit and skill it won't be long until you have that book published! Hanag on in there and keep on trying!

Elaine Cantrell said...

Don't worry about Passion in Print. Just send it out again.

kathleenball said...

Great interview- I moved from upstate New York to Texas- I miss wearing my down coats--sometimes!!