I’m pleased to have author AJ Griffiths-Jones here to chat about herself and her writing.
Nice to have you here, AJ. How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher: Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.
My first book was published in 2015. I currently have seven published books, all with Creativia/Next Chapter Publishing. They are ‘Prisoner 4374’ (true crime) ‘The Villagers’, ‘The Seasiders’, ‘The Congregation’, ‘The Circus’, ‘The Expats’ (all cosy mysteries) and ‘Black Sparrow’ (my first crime thriller).
Excellent. Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.
I write across multiple genres, crime, mystery, thriller, children’s, non-fiction, historical. I’m currently working on a series of six detective novels set in France of which I expect to finish book one in the next few weeks.
Wow! That’s terrific. Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
My goals are very simple. I aim to share my stories with my readers in the hope of gaining new followers who can appreciate the tales I have to tell. I’ll just keep writing until the ideas stop.
Sounds like a good plan.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
Typically, I’m looking to attract readers that like to try something out of their comfort zone. I’ve managed to surprise quite a few people in the past with my twisted endings and colourful characters, so I think anyone with a passion for a suspenseful read would love my work.
Those are the types of books I write, too, and also enjoy reading, so I must check out some of your titles.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
My motto is ‘There’s a reader out there for everyone.’ Don’t be put off by rejections, every author has to go through that process, but also don’t let yourself be pigeon-holed into writing run-of-the-mill stories.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
The first book that I embarked upon took ten years and a lot of money to research. It was true crime & therefore I had to procure prison files, photographs, letters, and went through a lot of legal red-tape to gain copyright. It also put off a lot of publishers, as I chose to write in the first-person, using the documents as samples of the criminal’s actual words. I don’t think many editors knew how to handle it.
I guess you learned a lot from that experience.
Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.
I haven’t taken any classes or formal instruction, but I’m a former English Teacher & I worked as a Language Training Manager in Shanghai for ten years, predominantly teaching banking staff to speak and conduct business in professional English. Hence, I’m very particular about grammar and punctuation.
Interesting. What are your hobbies besides writing?
I swim as many days a week as I can, to try to keep in shape. I also have a passion for cooking & created a recipe blog to share my unique recipes. My husband is a classic car enthusiast, so throughout the summer we go to a lot of shows and exhibitions, we also try to travel as much as possible.
Sounds like a nice variety of interests.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
I love the idea of being able to create alternative worlds for my reader to escape to, away from life’s daily toil, so I’m happiest when I’m in my study writing. The downside of being an author, for me, is the constant need to advertise, push purchasers to review and sell my wares.
I think most authors feel the same way. I know I do.
Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc.
Facebook: A.j. Griffiths-Jones Author Page & We love AJ’s award-winning books
Thanks so much for the interview, and I wish you the best on your forthcoming books.