Name: A.J. Brown
Age: 46. Crazy, eh?
Where are you from: A little town in South Carolina called Cayce.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc Education?
I never went to college. I did graduate high school, which was quite an accomplishment for me. I’m married to the woman who holds my heart in the palm of her hand and we have two kids, affectionately known as The Boy and The Girl (no, those are not their actual names). I like college football and I love little league baseball (and baseball fields as a whole—yeah, I know, I’m weird).
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
The latest news is really neat. I had the opportunity to do a collaboration with another author. Her name is M.F. Wahl. We originally were going to trade stories. I would put one of hers on my blog and website and she would put one of mine on hers. Instead, we decided to put out a novelette with two stories in it (one hers, one mine). Since we were going to put this out together, we figured, why not give the readers two separate books (same content, different order, different covers, slightly different titles). We called it All We See is the End/The End is All We See. I enjoyed putting this together with her—we worked well together.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
1993, I think. That was when I wrote my first story, Chuckie. It was inspired by a nightmare that just wouldn’t go away.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Honestly, I have never considered myself a writer. I tell stories. I’ve always enjoyed the act of telling stories. I just happen to write them down. I don’t consider myself an author either. I’m just a story teller, like my grandfather was.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book? My daughter inspired my first published novel. My first actual book, though, wasn’t really inspired, but I just wanted to see if I could write a novel. I did. It sucked. It still does.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I like to say my style is conversational, like you and I sitting down and having a chat over a cup of coffee and a couple of donuts. I like my writing to be like that friend you don’t see often, but when you do, you realize how much you enjoy his/her company and you want to be around them more often.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Titles are fairly easy for me. Most of the time, I use something from the storyline as the title. Like Dredging Up Memories is about a lonely man trying to survive during the apocalypse. Throughout the story, he recalls things that happened before the end of the world and it was always like he was dredging up memories.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
For Dredging Up Memories, not really—a downward spiral of the mind takes place throughout the story. Cory’s Way, however, is about keeping your promises and friendship and not stereotyping people because they are different from you.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
A lot of the surroundings in Dredging Up Memories are actual places here in the south where I live. Some of the characters are loosely based on people I know. Most of the memories throughout the story are made up, but there are a few in there that are straight out of my life.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life?
Other than the Bible? None, really. I read a lot, but very few books have ever had such an impact on me that it had much influence on me, as a person. A mentor? I’ve never had a mentor, though that would have been nice.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
New authors who have grabbed my attention: Lisa Vasquez. M.F. Wahl. Briana Robertson. Who is my favorite author? Stephen King. I just love the way he pulls you into a story. His style if very conversational and easy to follow.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. Other than my publisher?
I have one fan who has loved my work since I first started writing. Her name is Mary and she is the most awesome of fans.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love to have a ‘real’ career in writing. In a way I do. I just don’t make a living off of it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. It was such a unique experience, putting together the novelette with M.F. Wahl. To be completely honest, I would love to do it again with her.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
A nightmare. I didn’t care much for writing fiction (or really anything at all). I kept having this nightmare about a guy who was being chased by a dead man. The nightmare wouldn’t go away and it seemed to get more vivid with each time I had it. Someone told me a story how a famous writer had the same problem and was told by his doctor to write the nightmare down the next time he had it. Supposedly he did and he never had the nightmare again. So, I tried it. The story sucked, but I never had the nightmare again and I enjoyed creating the story (even if the basis of it was a dream). I’ve been writing ever since.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Which one? I have several things I am working on, but I guess if I was to choose one it is Susie Bantum’s Death, a series of short stories that take place on or around the date of the title’s namesake’s death.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
In my writing? Not really. I find I enjoy it more now than I did ten years ago. And since I do enjoy it so much, I find it is easier now than it was just two years ago. It’s kind of like having a job you love—it’s not really work if you love it.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No, but I wish I did.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Lisa Vasquez designs a lot of my covers. She is fabulous.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part with the newest one with M.F. Wahl was coming up with the title. We wanted them to play off each other, but for a couple of weeks we just couldn’t come up with the right title that would work with the words changed around. Then one day, she said what about All We See is the End/The End is All We See. Yeah, that worked.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
That I can actually work well with another author. Seriously. Many authors are hard to work with, but working with Wahl felt so natural.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
I would love for Morgan Freeman to play one of the main characters from Cory’s Way—he would be a perfect fit.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Honestly, write what you enjoy. Don’t write for others. If you don’t like the story you write, do you believe your readers will? I don’t think so. Write what you enjoy. It’s easier and it will ring a lot truer with your audience.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. You are the backbone to any writer’s career, no matter how large or small that career is. Thank you for spending a little of your hard earned money on one of my works and for taking the time to read the words I write. Your time is the most valuable thing you have, and for you to share a little bit of it with me and my stories means a lot to me.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Stephen King’s The Dark Half.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Honestly, no. I can tell you the first book I remember reading was The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane. There is one scene in there that has stuck with me ever since. It was when one of the confederate soldiers ran off to die. I was a little kid and I remember thinking how horrific that passage was.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My kids make me laugh all the time. Cry? Not much, but seeing someone I love hurting is something that I struggle with.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I’m a huge Stephen King fan, so I would love to sit down with him and have a conversation. We don’t even have to talk about writing. Just talk.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I’ve never thought about that. Since I’m thinking on it now, I would like one of those long paragraphs like they used to write in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds. I don’t know exactly what it would say, but I think it would be a neat tribute if someone took the time to come up with that much to say about me on my eternal head stone.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I draw from time to time, not like I used to before I started writing.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m not a big fan of television. The only actual show I watch is The Walking Dead, and even then I see logic issues with some of the things they do and it leaves me shaking my head.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music.
Favorite food: Donuts. Colors: Maize and Blue (I’m a huge University of Michigan Fan). Music. I like a lot of different things, but if I had to pick one, nineties grunge.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’d probably still be drawing and painting.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My blog is Type AJ Negative: https://typeajnegative.wordpress.com
My website is here: http://theunderwriter36.wixsite.com/ajbrown
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/AJ-Brown/e/B006UN58R6/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
FB author page: https://www.facebook.com/typeajnegative/