Interview – A.J. Walters, author of An Acute Attraction
Self-Publisher’s Showcase: Today we are joined by A.J. Walters, author of the erotic romance novel: An Acute Attraction. Welcome to the Showcase Lounge. Can we call you Amanda, or would you prefer AJ?
A.J. Walters: Hi there, Happy New Year and thank you for asking me to do this interview. I’d hate to confuse folk, so Amanda would be great!
SPS: For any of our readers that haven’t come across any of your work previously, can you take a moment to tell us all a little about yourself?
AJW: Eek! Where do I start? I’m a young 39, soon to be hitting the big 40, first time writer. Unfortunately writing isn’t my full-time job, as I work as a teaching assistant in a Junior School in Staffordshire. I’m also a very proud, single mum to two wonderful boys, who have been incredibly patient with me….
SPS: When did you first realise you had a love for writing?
AJW: Ooo! I think it was when I was younger, 14 years old or so, I was a huge fan of a pop group called Climie Fisher (Simon Climie and Rob Fisher). I sort of got inspiration from their lyrics to write poetry. I am positive I still have them somewhere in a box!
SPS: What are your perfect writing conditions? And, are you someone who feels the need to write EVERY day?
AJW: If I’m honest, it all depends on the mood I need to be in for a certain part of the book. For example, if I am writing a bit that requires lots of atmosphere e.g. A social scene, I’ll go to my favourite pub for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon, for a coffee of course!…..any excuse I know!! Being a working single parent it is very hard to find perfect conditions and be able to write every day. At home, silence or background music are preferable, but not always possible. My boys are brilliant though and will leave their mum in peace, to give me the time to do my writing.
SPS: What do you think led you to write in the genre(s) that you have?
AJW: I have read a broad range of books in different genres. ‘Chicklit’ were a big favourite of mine, especially one’s with humour in them such as Bridget Jones. Then going on to read ‘Fifty Shades…’, books by Sylvia Day, Stella Knightly, Cameron Lincoln and so many other amazing contemporary/erotic/romance authors, I wanted to infuse them….Ok, you’ve got me! I’m single, does that say it all?
SPS: Your debut novel, An Acute Attraction, tells the story of working, single mother Isabel Chambers. What sort of life has she led when we first meet her?
AJW: Blooming tough! I think I would say confusing as well. She lost who she really was, became withdrawn and led a life where time flyby’s, she got on with it, yet has nothing to show for it, apart from 2 children and a broken marriage. When you meet her though, she has began to find who she once was. With the help of her best friend, she is starting to live her life again.
SPS: In debut novels in particular, you can sometimes find some of the author in the story. Is there any of yourself in Isabel?
AJW: Absolutely! I am a bigger woman that has been through some of the trials and tribulations life throws at us, so I hope that makes Isabel more real and easier for the reader to relate to. What I really wanted to put across though was my sense of humour and how my mind works! I do worry about myself sometimes!!
SPS: The male lead is Marc Sanders, an attractive, successful Harvard Professor of Medicine. Is it love/lust at first sight?
AJW: It is definitely lust. Isabel didn’t go away with the expectation of meeting anyone, as you read the book this will become more apparent. She’s been single for a few years (so understandably, a little sexually frustrated), but love is, I wouldn’t say the last thing on her mind, but just something that has never come into play with her.
SPS: Marc is hiding a secret past. We won’t ask for details, but these things always have a way of being discovered, right?
AJW: (Taps side of nose)
SPS: Haha. OK. Have you produced the novel as a standalone work, or do you plan to continue to tell Isabel and Marc’s story?
AJW: The book started off as a short story on a blog. It was then going to be a stand alone, but now has turned into a series.
SPS: What sort of reactions have you been getting from readers so far?
AJW: Folk have probably heard this before from other writers, but I have been overwhelmed, amazed, taken back…by the response from readers, both male and female. Going back to the question about whether there is some of myself in the book and how my mind works, it seems to work. Apparently it makes for a great writing voice. I cannot thank those who have read it, enough. Especially if they have left a review….I am so happy and pleased that 98% of them rate it 5 stars!
SPS: What we can we expect next from the pen of A.J. Walters? More erotic romance, or will you be trying your hand at something completely different?
AJW: Well I am currently writing the next book in this series. After that, who knows…I am definitely going to carry on writing though, I love it!
SPS: Was the Self-Published/Indie-Published route always your preferred route for your work?
AJW: I didn’t have any idea which route I was going to go when I started out with the blog. I really didn’t think my work was good enough. Having the support of some amazing friends and fellow writers though, yes, I knew self-publishing was the road I wanted to take.
SPS: Has the experience so far been all that you thought it would be?
AJW: I came into this with no expectations at all, but I can tell you that I am having a brilliantly surreal time. It’s bloomin’ hard and tiring work with the promotion, but it makes it so worthwhile when I get the reaction and response I have.
SPS: If you could give one piece of advice for someone looking to get into writing, what would it be?
AJW: Don’t be afraid to put some of yourself into a character. It doesn’t have to be a main character, but if you have someone in there that is a tiny bit real, then the readers will relate to them more.
SPS: Before we bring this interview to a close, it’s your chance to name-drop. Anyone who you feel is deserving of more recognition at present or someone whose writing you have recently enjoyed? Now is your chance to spread the word…
AJW: Oh my gosh, where do I start? Firstly it has to be my extremely talented younger brother, John Walters who drew and designed the cover to the book. It has had as much praise as the actual book! Next would be my friend Cameron Lincoln, he has been a rock and extremely patient with someone who is as IT illiterate as me! He is also an amazing writer and poet, please check out his work! Can I sneak in my BFF, Bev Hartshorne and friend EA Stanbridge- both wonderful friends and muses, EA is also a fabulous writer.
SPS: Thank you for joining us today Amanda, and good luck in the future.
AJW: Thank you so much Paul. I was so nervous doing this, but thoroughly enjoyed it. 🙂
SPS: For more information on A.J. Walters and her work, please do visit her Author page here where you can pick up your copy of An Acute Attraction.