A few months ago, Marissa DeCuir of JKSCommuincations began talking to me about one of her authors, A.J. Scudiere, and the AudioMovies she was releasing. Intrigued, and wanting to hear more about them, I decided this was the perfect opportunity for a little spotlighting. Here's Marissa herself, with an intro....
A.J. Scudiere is all about pushing boundaries and finding new stories to tell - and just as fun for us readers - new ways to tell those stories.
Before you check out her guest post below (thank you Lori for having us today!), there's something you should know about the award-winning suspense author. Yes, her novels are awesome. Yes, you can buy them in print and ebook format. But what is so cool and unique about A.J. is that she's on the cutting edge of the AudioMovie industry.
Now I love regular audiobooks, but A.J.'s AudioMovies are so much more than a story being read aloud. I'm talking full on movies with sound effects, actors, a score - and they remain unabridged!
You can buy her AudioMovies at iTunes, Audible.com and her website www.AJsAudioMovies.com, where you can not only find them on CD and digital download, but also USB. Check out the special edition USB swords (Vengeance) and bracelets (Resonance) - and the adorable Utukku creature (God's Eye).
Enough from me, let's hear from the talented author herself, A.J. Scudiere!
Write what you know?
No, know what you write!
If authors only wrote what they knew, the world would be missing entire genres of literature: such as fantasy and sci-fi and possibly even romance. So, clearly, we cannot use the old adage as a rote rule. The whole point of writing fiction is to move beyond the boundaries of what we see in our everyday lives. In order to put the first word on the page we have to believe in something beyond what we know.
Still, there’s far more than a grain of truth to it. The best sci-fi often comes from writers with an earthly scientific background and great fantasy reaches out to other worlds but maintains relatable characters and conflicts. But what happens when you need a relatively ‘real’ reality, but don’t know facts behind what you’re writing about? Well, get some advisors and go research!
With my first novel, Resonance, I read every polar shift theory I could find and incorporated my years of college science. For Vengeance, though I did not go out and murder anyone (thank goodness it doesn’t have to go that far!) I did practice shooting two-handed until I could put a perfect hole in a windpipe or a kidney. I consulted with a gun shop owner and a martial artist and I broke into my own home numerous times. I made sure all the feats Lee and Cyn accomplished were plausible. For God’s Eye, I re-read Dante’s Inferno, studied texts of ancient demon and angel myths and started learning Latin.
It was during this research that I suddenly hit a wall I hadn’t hit before: I discovered that I couldn’t learn enough Latin in the time frame I had for writing the book.
I’m a huge believer in another old adage: Ask and so shall ye receive. You can find anything if you ask around, but you have to keep asking. (Evidence: it took me five months to find a Fire Department that would let me do a ride-along in preparation for my fourth book, Phoenix, but I found an amazing one. Thank you South Columbia Fire and Rescue!) And it took a while to find my Latin scholar, but I did.
Beau Henson was more than happy to put his fluency in a nearly-dead language to work for my book. He gladly emailed back and forth (and back and forth and . . .), answering all my questions about dual meanings and what to do with certain messages because no language translates directly to another. He corrected the interpretations I gave to my character Margot and even gave me a Latin phrase she could easily misinterpret.
I know there aren’t a lot of people out there critiquing the words of the Angels and the Demons in God’s Eye. But it’s important to get it right for the readers who DO understand it. I love when a fan comes up and says “So Margot is equivalent to the ancient Shaman character in the journey myths?” and I can say, “Yes, she is”. I smile if someone tells me they don’t think Lee (from Vengeance) can shoot two-handed with that kind of accuracy. I respond with “Actually, I’m pretty close. And that’s with just two months of practice.” I’m a firm believer that a person could use
technique to get as good as Lee. Vermont
So you don’t have to write what you know; fiction should be limited only by the writer’s imagination. But those dreams in the clouds need foundations under them. The best writers learn. And by the time that first word goes down, they know what they write . . .
For A.J., texture reigns supreme. Whether it’s air or blood or virus, it can be felt and smelled. School is a privilege and two science degrees (a BA and MS) are mere pats on the back compared to the prize of knowledge. Teaching is something done for fun (and the illusion of a regular paycheck) and is rewarding at all levels, grade school through college. No stranger to awards and national recognition for outstanding work as a teacher, trainer and curriculum writer, like most true teachers, the real joy for A.J. is in the “oh!” - the moment when the student sees the connection and it all makes sense.
A.J. has lived in Florida and Los Angeles among a handful of other places. Recent whims have brought the dark writer to Tennessee, where home is a deceptively normal looking neighborhood just outside Nashville. Follow A.J. on Twitter: @ajscudiere or at Facebook.com/ajscudiere. Find a sample of the audiomovie for God's Eye here .