Who I decide to make a villain/hero in my novels is a very organic thing for me—not in the nuts and granola, Birkenstock sense (hehehee)—but it’s all about making changes and adjustments as you go. Like all writers, I go into my head and let the characterstake over. Sometimes I get afraid of what they say, and then I get afraid to write it down, and at times I wonder, Is it okay to print what these people do because some of it is straight-up horror show and so soulless it’s like Dante’s outer circle. I guess it comes down to how comfortable you are with good and how comfortable you are with evil. Everyone is comfortable with good, right? But sometimes you don’t know what “good” truly is until you compare it to its polar opposite. I have one character that I write, Ivy Morrison, who is classic mean-girl—from her all-white, in-your-face ensemble, to a rockin’ body, and a face that looks like Barbie. Poison Ivy was hard for me in the beginning. I didn’t want her to throw mean barbs at Darcy or her friends because I wanted to jump on the page and punch her lights out myself. But at the end of the day, I thought, pretty girl + mean girl x teenage jealousy = high school. I couldn’t get around diving into the meanies of the meanies and show a true depiction of what high school life can be like without letting Ivy be, er, poison. The same thing goes for my villains. Once it is revealed to me in the writing process what a character is like, then the crime sort of goes hand in hand. Oftentimes I will write a character one way, and then in the back of my mind I’ll hear this little voice that says, He or she may do bad things, but there’s more to this character than meets the eye. When that happens, the backstory will unfold, and I will decide how much I will tell the reader in that particular book. Why? Because I may want to bring that character back, give them a larger part, or maybe even redeem them. Or perhaps they will always be victim of their flaws and just can’t get out of their own way. Whatever the case, when youare writing, you have to embrace “the truth.” You can’t sugarcoat a personality—or put lipstick on a pig—and have a reader walk away with a believable character. The pig will still be the pig.
(The Darcy Walker Series #3)
Publication date: May 13th 2014
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Sometimes life smacks you right in the kisser with a whole lot of ohhhh craaaaap.
Just ask Darcy Walker.
100 Proof Stud picks up four months after No Brainer’s cliffhanger ending, and Darcy discovers the aftermath pales in comparison to the crisis her heart is in. All of a sudden it’s raining men, and this teenage heroine’s personal life turns her inside out.
Before she can sort out her feelings, she chases a spray-painting vandal and stumbles upon a case of identity theft right in her own backyard. Darcy jumps into the fray headfirst to prove she can hang with the big boys.
But it’s not just to hang…nope, she’s chasing reward money.
Tapping her band of misfit brothers for help, she turns Valley upside down trying to unearth the criminals. Problem is, the cloak and dagger goes high-octane, and she raises the bar on “crazy” in the process.
Bullets ring out…dead bodies appear…and Darcy rubs shoulders with the ultimate sociopath. In the midst of murder and mayhem, will she finally follow her heart or build a fortress of lies around it? Will she even get the chance?
A. J. lives in Cincinnati with her husband, two feministic daughters, an ADD dog, a spoiled hamster, and an unapologetic and unrepentant addiction to Coca-Cola. She studied English, Journalism, and Political Science at Morehead State University and left the business world when her daughters were born. Her love for suspense and a good story was born from watching Mystery Science Theater with her sister during childhood. That and any B-movie with comedic undertones they could get their hands on.
From a small town in Kentucky, her sister and she lived in their imaginations on a regular basis, and A.J.’s love for the bizarre and paranormal still holds true to this day. She loves roller coasters, scary movies, and haunted houses and the weird sense of accomplishment it gives her when she can make it through without keeling over.
If Life has taught her anything, it’s the need to acquire a wicked sense of humor, come up swinging, and to never, ever give up…no matter what obstacle is in front of you.
When she’s not riding that razor-thin line between creativity and insanity, she likes to read, watch too much cable TV, or cheer like a banshee at her daughters’ sporting events.
A. J. loves to connect with fans! You can find her via Twitter and Facebook or send an email.