A.J. Maguire is a consumer of stories. She thoroughly believes that stories are the bedrock of humanity, and that the answer to every question in life can be found in the tales that we tell. She also believes that spiders are the spawn of Satan and that her cat might just be the reincarnation of Dionysus.
If, of course, a Greek god were capable of being reincarnated.
Her writing runs the gamut between science fiction, fantasy, and (soon-to-be) historical fiction. She even has a semi-horror/ghost story in the works that she intends to release as a serialized novel during the summer of 2014. Maguire focuses on complex female protagonists who are capable of laughter even amid tragedy, or sometimes in spite of tragedy.
Maguire is passionate about her craft and constantly working to improve. She’ll probably keep telling stories long into her old age (which is still several decades off) and believes that being an author is the single greatest, most wonderful gift she has been given — apart from her son. She looks forward to every story and hopes to release many more novels in the years to come.
Here is how AJ answered the GTKYT interview questions:
Top five favorite movies or books:
1. Outlander (the whole series) by Diana Gabaldon
2. Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
3. The Avengers (And just about every superhero movie coming out these days.)
4. Christy by Catherine Marshall
5. The Princess Bride
In 5 words, please describe your “Romance Writing Style.”
Five words? Hmmmm …
Adventurous, funny, fantastical (I do write in the Fantasy genre), snarky (my main characters tend to have a bite to their wit), and hopeful.
What is your “girlie girl” thing? I.e. getting your hair done? Nails? Shopping? Gossiping? Chick flicks?
I’d have to say my “girlie girl” thing would be reading Romance novels. I think I’ve read every Jennifer Crusie novel out there. I’ve read some Nora Roberts and Diana Gabaldon’s books can sometimes be found in the romance section of the bookstore.
This or That:
~ Wine or Beer?
Wine. Preferably red and sweet.
~ Sex in the City or Caroline in the City?
Caroline in the City.
~ Perfume or Jewelry?
Perfume/ really pretty smelling lotion
~ Painted nails or Au Natural?
Au Natural – but I fully respect women who can manage to keep good looking painted nails. I wish I could.
~ Tall or Dark or Handsome?
Tall. I’m not terribly short so I prefer a man who is taller than me.
~ Romantic Dinner at Home or Out?
Mostly dinner at home, but every once in a while it’s nice to go out.
~ Roses or Lilies?
Lilies! Preferably tiger lilies of all shades.
~ Diamond or Emeralds?
Emeralds. My birthstone is the diamond but I love emeralds the best.
~ Pirates or Ninjas?
… um … yikes … uh … can I have a Pirate Ninja? If not, I’ll go for Ninja. Real pirates had horrible hygiene. I imagine Ninja’s would have to be clean. They deal in stealth and they wouldn’t want their smell to give them away. (Nancy’s comment: Interesting answer!)
Do your leading men come from any place in particular? Dreams? Movie stars? Your partner? Past partners?
I am guilty of using movie stars for the way a leading man looks. This isn’t necessarily how they behave, of course. Nelek Dyngannon, the leading man in the Sedition series, looks an awful lot like Tom Hiddleston. And Dorian Feverrette from Witch-Born looks a bit like Philip Winchester.
If your sweetheart wanted to sweep you off your feet, what would they need to do??
Oh, goodness … Well … a trip to the office supply store is guaranteed to make me swoon. A close second would be the bookstore. And then there’s always Italian food. Buy me some pasta and my heart will stutter. Now … if he combined all three in one day I’d likely marry him on the spot.
Do you ever daydream about people you see at the park? Airport? Train station? Mall? And build romance scenes around them while you daydream?
Honestly … no. I’ve never done this. My daydreams tend to be more focused on specific works in progress and plot issues that need ironing out. I do, however, see certain people and try describing them in my head. If I happen to have a 3×5 card handy I’ll write that description down and use it somewhere.
What do you do in your down time?
“Down time” is a new concept for me. I just graduated with my BA from Northwest Nazarene University in May so for the last several years I haven’t actually had “down time.” Lately I’ve been playing Star Wars (because I’m a geek) or a text-based story-telling game called Castle Marrach (because I’m even MORE of a geek than anyone realizes.)
But really, I love stories in any way I can get them so I sort of run the gamut of novels, movies, games, and television shows. I even have an audible account so I can listen to books while I’m working.
When you go to Starbucks or Jamba Juice, what do you order?
Coffee with cream and sugar. I’m pretty plain like that.
When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?
Depends on if my son is with me. If he’s with me, then it’s the kid’s section. If I’m alone, then it’s the science fiction/fantasy section.
If we sneaked a peek in your purse right now, what would we find?
My iPad Mini. My notebook with the latest chapters of Tapped printed off and ready for editing. Checkbook and wallet. More pens than any decent person should be allowed to carry. A bottle of Tylenol (from when I stabbed myself in the hand coring an avocado) and a Spiderman toy, compliments of my six-year-old.
In 4 words, describe yourself.
Creative, Tenacious, Aware, Loving
Top ten snacks while writing:
3. Anything chocolate
6. Thin Mints
7. Cheese (Medium Cheddar)
8. Chex Mix
9. Muddy Buddies (the really, really unhealthy form of Chex Mix)
10. Peppered Beef Jerky
Thanks for playing our little game! Readers, AJ has a new science-fiction book out, called Deviation. Here’s a little bit about it.
The female race as we know it is extinct. In a last ditch effort for human survival, scientists altered the female genome, creating the mutated Novo Femina race. These deformed and cybernetic-enhanced women have been placed into tight subjugation by the religiously fanatic Makeem Loyalists. High Priestess Celeocia Prosser finds herself in the ultimate showdown of male versus female and sends her son careening through time to locate the one person in Earth’s history who might be able to tip the balance of war; Reesa Zimms.
Reesa, a science fiction novelist of some renown, is ill-prepared for her sudden appearance in the future. Accused of being either a prophet or a murderer, she comes face to face with the deformities she thrust onto the female race, and is forced to confront her own motivations for writing the atrocities in her books.
Patients are lining the walls in emergency rooms across the nation as more women show signs of the Mavirus Carcinoma. The disease, first reported in Rochester, New York, continues to spread while scientists and doctors remain confused as to its origins. The troubling aspects of the case make it all the more important to locate the source of the disease.” – A.P. December 20, 2181
July 18, 2010
“This is your last book tour, Reesa Zimms.” The woman holding the gun said with such authority that Reesa’s stomach knotted in reaction. “I need to know who Patient Zero is and I need to know now.”
There were several different kinds of heroes, Reesa thought numbly as she stared at the gun. John Wayne’s no-nonsense, hit-‘em-with-the-butt of your weapon came to mind, but she had very little in common with the heroes he portrayed and she’d be the first to admit it. Clinging to Jake’s belt, Reesa tried to work up the courage to at least think straight. Because if she didn’t think of something very quickly, her publicist of eight years was going to be shot right in the middle of Brady’s Belfue Bookstore. Her immediate instinct to run was curtailed by the chest-high bookshelves boxing them in and her legs refused to move.
Jake’s shoulder blocked part of her view, shielding her from the gun. He stood poised and unmoving, his six foot frame a solid presence in the store front. His attention never wavered from the threat in front of them. Reesa’s chest went tight;who would’ve thought Jake had it in him? Her mind ticked off several reasons why he’d place himself in danger for her, most of them dealing with their business relationship. She was his client, after all, but a publicist was a far cry from a bodyguard.
When Reesa still hadn’t answered, Jake shifted just-so, bringing more of his body between her and the gun. He hesitated, but finally managed to speak; “She already told you she doesn’t know.”
Reesa heard the slight waver in his usually self-assured tone – even if the woman couldn’t – and felt the muscles in his back coil. He almost sounded normal, as though there was nothing strange about a woman with a tattoo in her eyeball pointing a gun at them.
Hero, Reesa thought, her fingers tightening on his belt so hard she could feel the leather edge bite into her skin; maybe not John Wayne, but a hero just the same.
“In the first book, Martian Tribulation, page eighty-five, you wrote that the Mavirus had a starting point, a Patient Zero, but that scientists never found her.” Tattoo woman continued to speak to Reesa, ignoring Jake’s presence completely. “But that doesn’t mean you don’t know who she is.”
Internally, Reesa decided she was going to try her hand at the young adult market. She doubted J.K. Rowling had ever been held up by a fan demanding to know where Diagon Alley really was. For that matter, Reesa had never known her fan base included the cult-like insane until two minutes ago.
The blonde woman was dressed in an overly plush jacket that seemed to swallow her in cadet-blue, stained fabric. Her face, however, was clearly visible – all smooth contours and elegant features, and Reesa was struck with a strange sense of recognition. She was familiar, even with the tattooed eyeball, but Reesa couldn’t place her in her memory. She was beautiful like a diamond, Reesa thought; pretty to look at but cold and hard to touch.
For half a heartbeat Reesa hoped she saw conflict in Tattoo Woman’s gray-green eyes. And then those eyes hardened, slitting into a glare that froze Reesa’s blood. Tattoo depressed the trigger and the shot cracked into the little bookstore, echoed by the barely stifled screams of those unfortunate customers who’d come in for Reesa’s autograph. Jake grunted in painful surprise, slamming back against her.
Scrambling to catch him, Reesa released his belt and wrapped her arms around his lean torso. But he was three inches taller than she was and at least fifty pounds heavier. They toppled backward, crashing into the book signing table, which promptly slid into the nearest bookshelf. Reesa’s head connected with the hardwood floor an instant later, sharp lights bursting into her vision on impact. Jake landed heavily on top of her, his head smacking into her shoulder so hard that her fingers went numb.
Books showered around them, paperbacks plunking to the ground, their titles reflecting the halogen lights in a strangely innocuous way. Shocked out of the present, Reesa blinked at one cover in particular. Ender’s Game, it read, Orson Scott Card’s novel. Next to it was a copy of her third novel: The Jupiter Invasion, a Tale of the Lothogy. Its copper lettering taunted her from the floor just before Tattoo stepped back into view.
Tattoo’s perfect mouth twisted into a scowl. “I tried to avoid this.”
That sounds fascinating, AJ! Thanks for stopping by!
Readers, if you want to know more about AJ and her books, check out here website HERE.