Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
AJ Lape (real name Ada Jane Miracle). Age is just a number, right?
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from a little town called Garrison, Kentucky. I’ve lived in Cincinnati, Oh, though, for the past twenty-six years.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I graduated from Morehead State University pre-Internet with a Master’s Degree in Communications and a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Journalism, minor in government. I have two daughters and a husband. My life revolves around me chauffeuring them around while trying to maintain my sanity because they both are very opinionated.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My newest release, Side Hustle, drops on June 25th! I’m so excited for people to read Side Hustle. It is my character, Darcy Walker’s, side gig of sort while she waits to attend the police academy. Her side gig is delivering pizzas for Rollo’s Ugly Pizza in Los Angeles, California.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing Darcy Walker’s life on Friday, the 13th, 2008. It took me two years before I would even show anyone my work I was so nervous about it.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’d always written journalism copy—but writing a novel? It wasn’t even in my hemisphere of possible jobs.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My character started out as a young adult series. I have two girls, and seeing them go through school with the good and bad that accompanies it, it reminded me or my own high school years. Darcy Walker has been therapeutic. I can make things end the way I want them to—that being said, a lot of the time my characters tell me what to do and I have to do it.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My newest release, Side Hustle, is a three-part serial, releasing two weeks apart from one another. A Side Hustle is what someone does to make extra cash—it is not normally their real job or dream job. For Darcy, her side hustle is delivering pizzas while she waits to attend the police academy.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging? There are plotters and pansters. I’m more of a panty-liner (no pun intended). I do a little bit of both.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
If someone tells a good story around me, chances are it might make it onto the pages of my book. One of my best friends has a son who delivered pizzas—I’ve laughed my head off at the people he’s encountered while delivering pizzas. They have been hilarious.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel?
Before or during the process?
I’m mostly at my computer, surfing the Internet for details.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The Side Hustle covers were designed by NajlaQamber Designs.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
For my novels, the message is to never give up…grind away at what you want. Grind every day until the universe opens a door or steers you somewhere else. I’m always for the underdog, the person no one bets on, and I hope my works teach readers to not judge a person by the proverbial cover and make snap judgments on them, their life, or their actions. When I write a character, sometimes you’ll find yourself rooting for the bad guy—or who society says is the bad guy. But when you peel bak those layers, you’ll find there’s a beautiful soul underneath.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Writing humorous mysteries, I love Evanovich, Stephanie Bond, Liliana Hart, and Gemma Halliday.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My parents, husband, daughters, and my friend, Debbie Brooks. They ALWAYS ask how things are going. Being an author, and trying to get people to notice you, can be such a lonely job. It’s nice when people don’t forget that you are grinding away by yourself.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely! Thankfully I have a husband who supports it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
The outcome? No. I do occasionally have conversations that pop in my head that I wish I would’ve included though. Maybe I need to do a book simply of EXTRAS.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned a whole heck of a lot about Los Angeles and pizza delivery. Like I said, I live in Cincinnati, OH, and have never been in Los Angeles, California. The voice over artist who has done the audiobooks for my first two books literally walked the streets of UCLA for me, talking to me in a FaceTime session so I could place my character on the streets. I also have a friend I went to college with who worked on the set of Bones and now the set of Seal Team. I’d email him and he would tell me what life in LA was like. I couldn’t have written this book without the two of them.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Oh, wow. Never met her yet but I would know immediately if I saw her.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Darcy ages in Side Hustle and loses her young adult rating. As that old idiom goes, she’s not in Kansas anymore. Adulthood and its myriad of decisions and complications are staring her in the face…or back…or any angle someone wants to take a shot at her. One thing I can guarantee is that she’s still a game changer and will confront every hurdle with humor and an unparalleled sense of cosmic luck.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading Janet Evanovich right now and after that will be Stephanie Bond.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The book I remember most vividly is The Handmaid’s Tale. My English teacher gave it to me to read, and I found myself completely immersed in a book for the first time in my life. I haven’t seen the series yet, but it is on my watch list.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Oh wow. I’m a laugher and crier both. Naughty jokes always make me laugh, and I cry when my feelings are hurt or I’m mad or when someone else gets taken advantage of, and I feel bad for them. I’m kind of an avenging angel…lol. I will take up for people who can’t take up for themselves for some reason.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Jesus Christ. I mean, because he’s Jesus. (Maybe Tupac too…just because I like his music).
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Reading and walking with my husband.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Anything on Netflix, and I love Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. I want Negan to die…in a really horrible fashion so I can avenge the deaths of Glen and Abraham. Oh, and I love James Spader as Reddington on The Blacklist. He’s my favorite sociopath.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Mexican food and burgers. Favorite color is black. Music is Top-40
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Be a private investigator. I’m so suspicious by nature I think I could slide into that career with ease.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Spending the day with family and friends. Maybe hit up an all-you-can-eat buffet with my parents.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She lived, laughed, and loved Jesus.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/A.-J.-Lape/e/B00A4N8M8A/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1