Monday, February 21, 2011

Talking with Debut Author AJ Best

I am chatting with a soon to be author named AJ Best. AJas a bit nervous to sit down with me (I have no idea why???) and chat about how the publishing business is to a new author and more. So without further adieu, welcome soon to be published, AJ Best.

1)     1) 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 may lay I have 4 cats, 2 dogs, 20 fish, 1 bird and a fiancé.

2) 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**

3) 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.

4) 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.

5) 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.

6) 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.

7) 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.

8)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.

9) If you came with a warning label, what would it say?


10) 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.

11) 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.

12) 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 Dawn.


AJ Best said...

Thanks for having me Dawn - I feel like a celebrity. **does a little princess wave**

Jennifer said...

What a great interview! Thanks for sharing!

Bryan said...

This interview is hilarious and entertaining. I look forward to more from this lively character. :)

AJ Best said...

Thanks for stopping by Jennifer. If you have a chance, come on by for more of my antics.

AJ Best said...

Bryan - nice to know I am hilarious. I hope that my books have such great feedback. Check out for more.

Takatsu said...

Awesome interview Dawn and AJ! Loving the questions and the answers. There's so much personality in this, I want to read it again. Kinda inspiring for myself too, I don't sound nearly as lively. hahaha I just have to wonder what I would sound like in author interviews! Keep up the great work and looking forward to seeing you published, AJ!

Lady Charlotte said...

Great interview; it was really interesting!! AJ, just 'hearing' you talk makes me want to read your published work! Success to both Dawn and AJ! :D

AJ Best said...

Takatsu - you will be interviewing on a blog in no time at all! :) Thanks for the comment about being inspiring. Most of the time I just feel like I'm rambling, A LOT!

AJ Best said...

Lady Charlotte - you will be among the first to know when my published works come out so you can read them. Thanks for the well wishes.

Dawn R. said...

Hi AJ...thanks for coming by today and answering a few questions. :)

I hope it was quite painless for you. *grins*

bohemiannie! art said...

AJ - I can already SEE that book published and I want an autographed copy. You'll do that...won't you?

orlandovacationchef said...

Congratulations and best wishes. I've been following you on FB , didn't realize you were this close. All the best:)

AJ Best said...

@Dawn - painless? What fun is that?

@Bohemiannie art - if my book goes to print - I will be sure to sign it for you. I'm thinking it will only be in ebook format though. But you never can tell.

@orlandovacationchef - I'm closer than I ever have been am so very excited about it. Thanks for stopping by.


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