A.J. Calvin is a science fiction/fantasy novelist from Loveland, Colorado. By day, she works as a microbiologist, but in her free time she writes. She lives with her husband, their cat, Magic, and a fairly large salt water aquarium.
When she is not working or writing, she enjoys scuba diving, hiking, and playing video games.
Are you indie or traditionally published? What made you decide to take that route?
I chose to indie publish for several reasons. First and foremost, I retain control of my work.
I was pursuing the trad route for another series for several years, but grew tired of hearing the canned response of “I have x fantasy projects at this time and can’t take on another.” (The feedback for said series was largely positive, too, so this was frustrating.)
But after doing more research, I’ve learned there are a growing number of trad published authors who are switching to indie for various reasons. The trad publishing world doesn’t seem to be what it once was.
The freedom indie publishing gives authors is incredible, and now that I’ve released a couple books in that manner, I don’t think I’d change it for the world. (And that other series I mentioned above? I’m working on a release plan for it starting 2023.)
Tell us a fun story about your publication journey!
In 2020, I published a standalone urban fantasy (Hunted). It was dedicated to my two best friends.
One of them texted me to tell me she started reading it, and I was excited (and terrified) of what she would think.
A couple days later, I received another message: “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU DID THIS TO ME!!!” I knew immediately what she was referring to… I may have killed off a certain character that happened to be her favorite…
She loved the book, and we laugh about that exchange now.
How about a horror story about your author life?
I wrote a blog about my worst experience about a month ago. Lesson learned: There are scam publishers in the world, and authors need to stay away from them.
This is the link to the blog post here: https://ajcalvin.net/a-cautionary-tale-about-a-vanity-press/
This particular horror story was resolved 2 weeks ago. I’m so glad it’s over!
What do you think is the best thing about being an author?
I love storytelling, and to create new worlds is amazing. When others enjoy immersing themselves in those stories and worlds, it’s incredible.
Who do you think you inspire? If not, who and what do you want to inspire?
I believe I inspired one of my cousins to pursue writing, just by doing so myself.
I’d like to think I can inspire others to share the stories of their hearts. Some of the best books I’ve read are those that don’t fit the traditional mold.
What keeps you up at night?
The voices in my head. By that, I mean the characters from my stories – I’m awake at 3am more times than I’d like to admit, thinking about scenes or passages that I need to update or am planning to write.
What character archetype would you be if you were a character in a book, movie or TV series?
Probably the stubborn skeptic… It’s the scientist in me.
If you were a character in a book, movie or TV series, what would be your catchphrase or famous line or popular expression?
“That’s not how it works…” (One of my coworkers recently told me I say that a lot)
What food or drink best describes you?
I love good home-made mac and cheese (not the kind from a box.) I’m not sure what that says about me, but it’s one of my favorites.
If you were cursed to only be able to sing ONE song in karaoke for the rest of your life, what would you like it to be and why?
Rise Above This by Seether. It’s one of my all-time favorite songs and helped me get through some rough patches in life.
What else do you enjoy doing other than reading and writing?
Hiking, scuba diving, and nature photography
What do you consider as your weakness as a writer, and what have you done to overcome it?
I’m impatient – and not only in my writing. I’ve learned to outline my writing projects before I begin. That process forces me to pause and consider important events/details, and I believe my writing is much better for it.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Dan Simmons, Katherine Kerr, Raymond Feist, Dean Koontz, and more recently, Halo Scot.
Any book recommendations?
Here are my top 5 that I’ve read this year (so far and they’re not in order):
- The Heartbeat of a Million Dreams by Halo Scot
- The Martian by Andy Weir
- Bits & Pieces by Dawn Hosmer
- The Teeth in the Tide by Rebecca F. Kenney
- These Violent Nights by Rebecca Crunden
Anything else you want to tell your fans, our readers, and the writing/reading/blogging community at large?
I have several releases this 2022.
- April 30: The Ballad of Alchemy and Steel (a novella related to The Relics of War series)
- July 19: The Talisman of Delucha (book 2 of The Relics of War) December, date TBD: War of the Nameless (book 3 of The Relics of War)
In 2023, I plan to begin releasing my 4-book series, The Caein Legacy. In the meantime, I’m writing another series, The Mage War Chronicles. I plan to start releasing those after The Caein Legacy is out. More information about each series is available on my website.
Chosen for advanced training by the god of war himself, Vardak is considered a paragon amongst his people, the Scorpion Men. Yet his position and training come with a cost: He must serve the whims of the god, with no questions asked. Only days after his training is complete, he is sent far away from his desert homeland in order to act as the protector of the Fire Maiden’s mortal daughter, Janna.
Janna has been tasked with the recovery of a magical relic known as The Moon’s Eye, but she has little worldly experience to guide her. The Immortals deem the relic’s recovery imperative, for it alone can combat the rise of the Soulless—those sworn to the fallen, nameless god of death. The Soulless are ruthless and powerful, and eager to wage war upon the land in order to appease the god they serve.
Though Vardak is skilled in battle, he must lead Janna through several perilous areas in order to reach the relic she seeks, pushing his abilities to the limit. Unbeknownst to the pair, the Soulless raise an army and begin their conquest, leaving a path of destruction in their wake. Will they secure The Moon’s Eye before all is lost, or will the relic itself prove to be their undoing?
Genre: Epic/High Fantasy
Purchase Links: Book Funnel