Saturday, May 18, 2013

Funny and Refreshing: Meet A.J. York

I'm delighted to be receiving author A. J. York today to promote her new dust free novel, Delilah Dusticle.

Delilah Dusticle has special powers; she can completely eradicate dust. With her quiver pouch of special dusters, Delilah can run up walls and reach places others just can’t. As a maid in the Fenchurch-Whittington house, Delilah’s unusual skills soon get her promoted to Chief Dust Eradicator and Remover. Until one day a broken heart leads to her powers taking an expected turn. 

**Free this weekend only on Amazon. Download your copy by clicking on the link below**

                   Find it on Amazon                                               Find it on Goodreads 

Hi A.J, thank you for being with us. Please do tell, what inspired you to write this book?

Well, the inspiration came after a series of events. We moved to Gothenburg, Sweden two years ago as my partner had been offered a job at an international school. Up until then we had been living in the UK. My mother is Swedish and I was born in Gothenburg, so I was delighted to have the chance to live there. I did some work at an English speaking theatre and some teaching, but I soon realised that I wanted to run my own creative venture, rather than work on someone else’s. I had just finished a Masters in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy at Goldsmiths University of London and had previously worked as a project manager, so I was confident I had the skills. I just didn’t have a project to work on.

During this time we had been renting a flat in the centre of Gothenburg. The building was built in the early 1900s and was stuffed full of lovely old features. The flat also had a room off the kitchen where originally the maid would have slept. We were due to move out and we were doing a final clean in a room that had floor to ceiling bookcases filled with books. I am rubbish at dusting and more dust fell on me than on the duster. To top it all I then managed to break the hoover. I sat against the bookcase a bit sweaty and fed up with the duster in my hand. I then started to wonder about the maid who used to work there all those years ago. I thought about what she would have been like and that she must have had some special skills for eradicating dust. Over the coming days Delilah’s character and story began to develop in my mind and I felt compelled to write it down. It didn’t occur to me straight away that I had got my wish and that I had just started my own creative endeavour.

Did you listen to specific songs while writing?

I am one of those people who needs quiet to concentrate, so I guess I was listening to the sound of silence. It does stick out in my mind that I was listening to BBC radio via the internet around that time and they often played “Somebody that I used to know” by Goyte.

Any advice for aspiring writers?

I still feel like an aspiring writer myself, learning something new every day and working hard to improve my writing. One thing I did as a part of my initial research was to look at one or two star reviews of other books to gage what not to do. The most common criticisms were underdeveloped characters, rehashed stories, poor grammar and punctuation. This may seem obvious, but there are a lot of books with low reviews, so it must be a trap indie authors easily fall into. I looked long and hard at my strengths and weaknesses. I have a strong drama background that helps when it comes to developing stories and coming up with ideas, but my grammar can be my weakness.  I was very lucky that a good friend and highly skilled journalist Anna Davidson edited the book for me. The artwork is also really important and my partner Gavin Childs, who is also an artist, designed the cover. 
I can only draw stick men and smiley faces :0)

What are you working on now -- or would you rather surprise us?

I am working on the sequel, which is full of surprises.It is called Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure and is full of funny twists and turns. It is a book for young people, but I believe adults will delight in it too. 

Make sure you stop by A.J. York's Blog to meet her writing mascot Grumpy Stone . You can also find A.J. on:



Thank you for being with us A.J, and good luck on all your future projects.

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