When many of us start writing, we don’t write well. I wrote books that were hundreds of thousands of words long. Some of them started in one tense and switched, mid-scene. Along with things like point of view.
Maybe one day I’ll post some of my craptastic early works, but I’m trying to entice readers, not scare them away, so let’s put that on hold for now.
The very first thing I wrote was fan-fiction. Buried in a box, somewhere in Northern Vermont, is a series of stories which feature a character who looks an awful lot like me, and all the Newsies (though I admit that Christian Bale did have a starring role in this book).
There’s another series with a different female character (again, she sort of (read, exactly) looks like me) and Brendan Fraser’s character from The Mummy.
I wrote fan-fiction as an adult, as well. I hated the way Camille ended, and rewrote it with a happy ending. (Nervy, right? Thinking I knew better than Alexander Dumas fils? I know. Here’s a match for your torches).
Slow Burn, my recent Kindle Worlds release, is Amazon Publishings’ take on fan-fiction. One author creates a world, writes a story, and then invites other authors to dance around in it. Fan-fiction is everywhere, my friends, just ask Bridget Jones while you watch Clueless and House of Cards.
As an aside, can I go ga-ga over House of Cards for a moment? A show based on MacBeth, which somehow managed to be turned into an episode of The Amazing World of Gumball? Blow. My. Mind.
Which leads me to an exciting new author who I met in the fan-fiction world. AJ Anders has released her first book, Precursor in her series, The Souja Guild. I was lucky to read this book in all its forms, and let me just say, “Wow!”
When I asked AJ about being interviewed for this week’s blog, she agreed! My interview with her is below, and she even gave me an excerpt from her soon-to-be-released story Foreseen, the second book in The Souja Guild, which releases May 23rd.
You write RH- what drew you to that genre?
I read the first book in the Ghost Bird series and discovered a whole new world waiting to be explored. The idea of a non-erotica reverse harem that was more plot based instead of all sex excited me as a reader. I was intrigued from the start. As more and more writers became aware of this undiscovered market, a wide variety of RH stories quickly became available. I was like a kid in the candy store jumping for joy at all the new selections available.
Your main character, Evie lives in a complicated world. Tell me about the world you built for her.
Evie’s world is unique and carefully crafted. As an author, I didn’t want to write the standard paranormal book. I wanted to create something new and exciting and that is how the Surmata were born. In the first book, Evie’s world is rather narrow. You really only get a small glimpse into the supernatural worlds that exist around her. With the second book, more and more details start to emerge, allowing the reader to start forming a complete picture of the architecture of each plane of existence. As each book becomes available, Evie’s world view will be expanded to included never before imagined places and people as well as introduce her to a darker underside of the one place she finally calls home.
So, your book is RH. Without giving away too much, who are Evie’s guys and what draws them to her?
Evie is a very lucky young lady. Because of her best friend Max, Evie meets the Shadewolf Kaveri, a bonded group of Surmata warriors who quickly bring Evie under their protection. Dashiel is the leader. Evie is drawn to his strength of character and alpha tendencies. With him at her side, Evie feels like she can take on the world. Cyne is the comic relief and wears his heart on his sleeve. He is Evie’s confidant and when he smiles at her, all the worries that weigh her down are blow away to nothingness. Jaxon is her shield. With him, she feels cherished and protected from all those who mean her harm. Aaron is the quiet intellect. His openness and unreserved manner allows Evie to drop her guard and be herself. Xander is overprotective but doesn’t try to stifle Evie. He allows her to stand on her own two feet, encouraging her to be her own white knight, never needing some male to come along to rescue her. And finally we have Jaoel, the grumpy, complicated mess. Evie’s not sure what to make of him, but she sees the gentleness that resides in his heart and is drawn to the person hiding deep within him.
What’s next for Evie and her guys?
That is a complicated answer. There are so many things happening in Evie’s world. She has a hateful father who will continue to play havoc with her new life. An over infatuated suitor whose black heart makes one’s skin crawl. Demons trying to break through the planes of existence to run amok in the earthern realm and a heartbroken best friend. Throw in her developing feelings for six supernatural beings that are forbidden to her, and Evie feels like she’s on a non-stop roller coaster ride. Evie’s journey will be a long one but she will grow into an extraordinary woman with six men at her side who think she hung the moon.
What inspired you to start writing and what plans do you have for the future?
After reading my first reverse harem story, I was hooked. I searched and searched for more stories and this led me to a group of readers that changed my world. Each of us shared a love of the genre and encouraged others to write fan fictions just to keep us in stories while we waited impatiently for the next original story to be published. After much persuasion, I finally tried my hand at writing a fan fiction. The encouragement I received from this group gave me the confidence I needed to pen my own original and share my imagination with the world. The Suoja Guild is only the first series I plan to write. I already have a new series outlined and I can’t wait for my readers to meet Harley.
Excerpt from Foreseen (Suoja Guild Book 2):
“You can’t cuss?” Evie remembered his angry words from earlier, how he replaced the cuss words one would normally say with other words or phrases. “Is it a religious thing?”
Laughter rang out, all the guys throwing their heads back with loud, barking laughter. All except Cyne, who glared at everyone. “It’s not fudging funny, you duckheads.”
Grabbing Evie’s hand, he pulled her out of the seat and sat down in her place.
“Hey!” Evie exclaimed, hands going on her hips.
“Shush it, Short Stack.” Cyne grabbed her around the waist and pulled her onto his lap.
“Cyne!” Evie exclaimed, shocked and unwillingly happy with his actions. His casual touches made her feel less hesitant about her own irrational desire to touch him.
“What, Tiny Tot?”
“Let me up.” His informality put her at ease, but there were others around, at least one of which she fantasized about kissing. She peeked at Dashiel to find him engrossed in conversation with Jaxon. No one paid Cyne and her any attention. Gaze returning to the man who held her, she halfheartedly protested, “I can’t sit on your lap.”
“Course you can. There are no seats left. This is me being practical.” He slung an arm around her hips. “Besides, if you sit on our laps all the time, all those human boys trying to get your attention will take a hint. It’s for your protection.”
Evie blinked at him in confusion. “What human boys, Cyne? No one’s paying me any mind.”
“Beautiful, but blind. It’s a deadly combination in a young woman this day and age.” He gave his head a sad shake. “No worries, Little Bit. We’ve got your back. You go on being oblivious to the guys following you around like puppy dogs, waiting for a treat. Or better yet, praying for a rub.”
“I’m the only human here, Cyne. Somehow your argument doesn’t hold water.”
“Oh, I know they aren’t here. Like I said, this is a practice run. Wouldn’t want you to freak out when we do it in public. Max asked us to look after you, and we gave him our solemn vow.” Laughter spilled out of Cyne, dancing merrily in the air. He bumped her up and down on his legs, hard, to stall further comments from her.
She harrumphed, crossing her arms in defeat. She hoped her bony butt poked his thighs.
“You never answered Evie’s question, Cyne,” Xander prompted. Still chuckling, he and Jaxon exchanged a fist bump, causing the muscles on their biceps to contract.
Cyne removed the arm wrapped around Evie’s waist and flipped off the two laughing team members. “It’s nothing, really. I had a bad habit of cursing when I shouldn’t. Selja Nimandy took umbrage with it and hexed me. I can’t curse, no matter how hard I try. Other words pop out of my mouth instead.”
Evie stared at him in horror. “She cursed you?” Evie turned to the others, her words harsh with indignation. “How could you all sit around laughing at him like this?” Angry on Cyne’s behalf, she couldn’t believe his chosen brothers-in-arms would be so callous. “Why aren’t you doing something about it?”
“Relax, Small Fry. It’s a harmless curse.” Cyne rubbed his head awkwardly. “For the hex to release, all I need to do is go one full day without cursing.”
“Really?” Her shoulders relaxed as the anger seeped away. “If you don’t curse until this time tomorrow, the hex will be broken?”
“Well, then, that’s alright.” Evie resisted the urge to pat him in reassurance. “Tomorrow you’ll be able to curse all you want.”
More laughter broke out, Xander and Jaxon practically rolling on the ground as they roared with laughter.
“T-tell her…” Jaxon tried to regain control of himself, long enough to finish his sentence. “Tell her how long you’ve been trying to break the hex.”
Cyne looked put out. Sighing, he murmured, “Three hundred and fifty-two days.”
Evie stared at him blankly, not saying anything. She wasn’t a prude, but she didn’t have an incessant need to curse either. “So…”
“Oh, God, the look on her face!” Jaxon fell over onto the ground, his feet, resting on his seat. A snort next to her pulled Evie’s attention to Dashiel. He laughed silently, his shoulders bouncing up and down with movement as tears ran down his face.
AJ Anders is a new and upcoming author with a lot of different hats. She is an active mom, keeper of a full-time job, and a passel of friends whose antics always keep her hopping. It’s amazing she finds any time to craft her stories for her readers to enjoy. Fiercely loyal and protective of those she cares for, AJ enjoys creating stories where there may be strife and tears, but in the end, it will be a well-earned happily ever after. Outside of writing AJ enjoys terrifying her friends with her driving skills and relaxing at home with a good book.
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