For today’s post I will be bringing you my first Author Spotlight on Southern Born Writer AJ Brown. I hope you enjoy getting to know him.
SS: First can you tell us something about yourself?
AJ: Anything? Well, there was this one time I had a…oh, not that. Okay. Ummm…Honestly, I’m probably pretty boring. I’m from the south and I have an unhealthy love for donuts.
SS: When did you first know you wanted to write?
AJ: I didn’t. I hated writing. The only thing I liked about writing was telling jokes. But after a series of nightmares someone told me a story about an author who had been having the same issue. His doctor told him to write the nightmare the next time he had it and he did. Long story short, eventually, he wrote the actual story of the nightmare and never had it again. I tried it and never had the nightmare again, but I did find that I liked telling the story. Thus, the beginning of me writing.
SS: What was the first story you wrote?
AJ: It was called Chuckie, the story from my nightmares.
SS: What type of genre do you write and why it stands out?
AJ: Honestly, I’m not really sure any longer. I guess I am a horror writer, though most of the horror in them these days are real life things and not monsters and ghosts.
SS: How many stories and books have you written?
AJ: Stories? Over a thousand. Books, as in novels? 5.
SS: What can you tell us about your writing process?
AJ: The easiest thing to say is i sit and I pound on the keys until a story is written. That would be the truth, but a lot of times I start a story and never finish it because another one pops up. A story really has to want to be written for me to finish it. So, i sit and I write in hopes of finishing the story.
SS: Of the books you have out do you have a favorite?
AJ: That is hard to say. I like both the novels I have put out equally. Both of them are emotional pieces that I enjoyed writing. Both Cory’s Way and Dredging Up Memories are good stories.
SS: What are your favorite characters?
AJ: Cory Maddox and Hank Walker. Why do they stand out? They are the two main characters of my two novels. I really enjoyed being in their heads and having them in mine.
SS: What is some piece of advice you found helpful when beginning to write? Forget the rules. Just write. If you try to write the perfect manuscript, you’re never going to write the perfect story, and the story is more important than following all the rules. You can always go back to the story during editing and make the story better, but do that after you get the story written.
SS: Do you have any special routine you have to follow when you write? For example, do you have to write in a quiet area of the house?
AJ: No. I just write. It really doesn’t matter where I am at. I can sit and write a story anywhere. Is Music a big part of it? Music is a huge influence to a lot of my work, and I enjoy listening to music while writing, but I don’t need music as part of a routine.
SS: What were some of your writing influences growing up?
AJ: Growing up, none. I didn’t do much writing other than school work growing up. However, my grandfather told great stories and I credit a lot of my ability to tell a story to him. Did you have a favorite writer? I do have a favorite writer and that would be Stephen King, but growing up, no, I didn’t have any favorites at all.
SS: What piece of advice can you give a beginning writer?
AJ: Be tough. People are mean and if you can’t handle criticism, then this may not be the business for you. This business is hard and it doesn’t matter how good you are, you’re not going to please everyone and you will have to deal with that. So many people can’t deal with it and they argue with the folks being critical with them, when, instead, they should just file it under the Learning Experience tab in the file cabinet.
SS: What do you hope your readers take away from reading your books?
AJ: Satisfaction. I want readers to enjoy my stories and be satisfied that the money they spent was worth spending and that the time they spent reading my books was worth it. I never want a reader to put one of my books down and think, ‘man, I wasted my money and my time with this’
SS: What can you tell us about your latest book?
AJ: Dredging Up Memories is a zombie apocalypse story that follows Hank Walker as he searches for his family while trying to survive the constant onslaught of biters. I know, I know, you are probably saying to yourself, ‘really, another z-poc story?’ Well, yeah, but it is not so much about the zombies as it is the emotional roller coaster and downward spiral into depression that Hank experiences. It is, in my opinion, a very unique take on the genre. Are you currently working on something new? Yes, but it is not necessarily a book of fiction, though there will be plenty of works of fiction in the book. It’s kind of how I view writing. I don’t think many people view it the way I do, so I’m trying to put that into words. It is called, Simply Put, How I See Words.
SS: What is something we do not know about you?
AJ: I have never smoked a cigarette, used drugs and I don’t drink alcohol. I’m a saint. Really, I’m not.
It was so amazing too have interviewed AJ Brown. I hope you will take the time to check him out. Join us next week for more Writing Tips and more Author Spotlights to come.
To find out more about Author AJ Brown here are his links:
A.J. Brown is a southern-born writer who tells emotionally charged, character driven stories that often delve into the darker parts of the human psyche. Most of his stories have the southern country feel of his childhood.
A.J. writes in a conversational style that draws the reader in and holds their attention. His characters are average people with average lives who are layered with memories and emotions and are fallible, just like anyone else.
A.J. draws inspiration from every day events and conversations. The characters of his stories are drawn from people he has met or seen during his life. Some of the best stories are inspired by wife, Cate, and his two children.
Though he writes mostly darker stories, he does so without unnecessary gore, coarse language, or sex.
More than 150 of his stories have been published in various online and print publications. His story Mother Weeps was nominated for a Pushcart Award in 2010. Another story, Picket Fences, was the editor’s choice story for Necrotic Tissue in October of 2010. The story, Numbers, won the quarterly contest at WilyWriters.com in June of 2013.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/AJ-Brown/e/B006UN58R6/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Type AJ Negative: https://typeajnegative.wordpress.com
Web site: http://theunderwriter36.wix.com/ajbrown
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/typeajnegative/