Sunday, November 3, 2013

#Interview with author AJ Lape

Let's welcome author

AJ Lape

to The Writing World...

One of my favorite things about being a book blogger is getting to know other authors and seeing what makes them tick. Continue reading below for my interview with this great author.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I live in Cincinnati, OH with my husband, two daughters, a dog, and a hamster.  We’re boringly normal, it’s sad.

What do you do when you are not writing? Burn up the roads in carpools…

Do you have a day job as well? Mom and full-time author

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book? It was Friday, the 13th, 2008. It was a particularly crappy day, and I fired up my computer and Darcy Walker took over. She came to me as the quintessential teenager.  She came with flaws, she came troubled, she came to me hilarious, but mostly, she came to me ‘real.’ If I read of a character that isn’t…I can’t relate.  The thing with Darcy, though, she finds humor in every situation, and she’s fearless. The first book I wrote is actually going to be the fourth in my Darcy Walker Series. It’s titled DEFCON Darcy.

How did you choose the genre you write in? Darcy came as a teenager so YA was the likely choice. I plan for her to age in the series, so she’ll eventually be marketed to the NA audience as well.
Where do you get your ideas? News events, pop culture, or my own warped subconscious.

Do you ever experience writer’s block? Yes…but I will force myself to write even if it is just a couple of hundred words a day. You’ll eventually overcome it, but the creative process is a muscle. You have to exercise it for it to keep its mojo.

Do you work with an outline, or just write? I’m more of a panster. I try to outline, but it honestly just freaks me out a little bit.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult? The book that influenced me the most was called The Archbishop of Canterbury—movie was Becket. I’m not sure why it influenced me like it did. I read it when I
was a senior in high school and loved the story of how Becket stood up to the king and eventually lost his life because he wouldn’t compromise. I’m drawn to people and characters that have moxie and stick their necks out for what they believe in.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published? Holy crap…do you have all day?  LOL. I just didn’t know how to get from Point A to Point B. Luckily, I stumbled upon some really nice indie authors on facebook and they told me things I should do.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change? The first book I published was Grade A Stupid. The only thing I’d change is that I’d change the age of my character Vinnie Vecchione. I had no idea Vinnie would be so popular with the readers. Now that he’s graduated, I have to creatively work him into future manuscripts. I think readers are going to love what I did with him in 100 Proof Stud. It’s hilarious.

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre? Social media, social media, social media. There are also some good advertising sites for authors, too, that I’ve stumbled across. I try to use all of them then keep track to see what works for me.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published? Not yet…and hopefully never.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book? 100 Proof Stud picks up four months after the end of the second Darcy Walker book, No Brainer. Darcy is dealing with the aftermath of its cliffhanger ending.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? Absolutely. First and foremost Darcy is her own person. She tells me what is going on, but a lot of things that Darcy does I have done myself. I don’t stumble upon dead bodies, but her questions about life, love, and the opposite sex come from my teenage experiences or my friends’.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? I love writing the first few chapters and the climax. I try my best to grab readers and not let go.
How did you come up with the title? I was watching the Food Network and they were talking about grades of eggs. Grade A Stupid came naturally because Darcy brings a whole other level of stupid to the universe. No Brainer and 100 Proof Stud just popped in my mind. No known catalyst.

What project are you working on now? Finishing up content edits on 100 Proof Stud

Will you have a new book coming out soon? 100 Proof Stud, 2014 followed rather quickly by DEFCON Darcy.

Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with? I love good versus evil, always interspersed with humor. Humor has saved me from a crap load of OMG moments in my life. As long as you can smile, very little is insurmountable.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? Read The Little Engine that Could. Don’t let anyone strip you of your dream. There are haters out there, and you can either let them strip you bare or take what they say with a grain of salt. If their words have merit, then read it and learn. If it doesn’t, then don’t waste your time trying to convert them. Go about your business and concentrate on those that love your character.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans? From the bottom of my very crazy heart, I thank you that you have welcomed Darcy Walker and her world into your lives. I pray she entertains you, inspires you, fills you with a lot of ohmygoddidshejustdothat moments.  And above all, I wish you courage to kick your own personal demons, whatever they may be. I believe that God helps those that call on him. I have an arsenal of personal moments to prove it. Hopefully Darcy can show you that you don’t have to be perfect to be successful.

I’ve now started some FUN and Wacky questions for those interviewed on my site.

Have you ever gone out in public with your shirt on backwards, or your slippers on, and when realizing it, just said screw it? Yep. I forgot my shoes once. I was in the carpool line and realized I didn’t have any shoes on and then had to get out of the car to go talk to someone. It was a major hillbilly moment.

Do you prefer fuzzy or tub socks? Fuzzy. I think I’m part reptile. My feet are always cold.

Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point? I make it…drives me insane if I see it unmade all day

Be honest, how often do you wash your hair? Once a day…but when I get it colored, I go one or two days with just water, no shampoo. I read somewhere that the color needs to “cement” into the shaft. I’m not sure if it’s BS or not, but I can use all the help I can get.

Do you get road rage? What pisses you off the most about other drivers? I have such freaking road rage that it’s pathetic. Everything ticks me off about other drivers. When they cut you off; when you let them merge and they won’t even give you a “thank you” wave. People that drive slow on purpose.  I don’t like people that are mean to senior citizen drivers either. If they’re too slow for you, then go around. Don’t lay on the horn and make them crash. Yup, I’m certifiable.

Do you go out of your way to kill bugs? Are there any that make you screech and hide? I will ALWAYS kill a mosquito, fly, or spider. If the spider is hairy, then I just run. That’s just too mutant for me. Other bugs I try to save. God sees that stuff, and I don’t want to be a sociopath.

Coffee or Tea? Iced green tea from Panera. That stuff was in the Garden of Eden.

What is your biggest phobia? I’m quite claustrophobic. I got stuck in an elevator in college. When the doors finally opened, I was caught between floors. I had to jump up and shimmy between the opening in between floors that was only about three feet wide. I slid out on my belly. The whole time I was afraid the elevator would start back up, and I’d get squished in the process. My torso on the seventh floor, my legs on the sixth. It was all kinds of freaked up.

What’s your biggest pet peeve when it comes to social media? (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) Aaaahhh, social media proves that some people don’t deserve freedom of speech…lol. They use social media to say things that they wouldn’t dare say to someone’s face. I don’t like it when they use their status bar to hurt other people that they know will read it. Seriously, sometimes it can be like the fifth grade playground. And also, that you can get hacked!! My twitter was hacked last year by some moron who sent some really horrible inbox messages to my followers. I spent three whole days apologizing for things I didn’t say. It was mortifying.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think this was a great interview. Thanks Ada, for letting us see the real you. God has given you a wonderful talent, please use it.

I will be looking forward to your next book.

Your best fan...


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