Am I a lucky son of a gun or what?? I get to
coerce convince AUTHORS to do my bidding answer questions in an interview! I love talking to authors and getting inside their heads. Today I am thrilled to have AJ Lauer back. Not only is AJ (which is short for Armed Justice) an author who wrote Armageddon: Pick your Plot, she’s also a friend and Blogging from A to Z co-host.
UNCONVENTIONAL LIBRARIAN: Welcome to our interview! Let’s get started. Do you drink coffee?
AJL: I don’t, actually! Coffee rather makes me feel like I’m going to have a heart attack, so I prefer tea.
UL: Yeah, please don’t have a heart attack. Tea is very posh. Do you like donuts or cookies? Do you dunk?
AJL: I do enjoy both of those. My favorite cookie is a peanut butter cookie with the cookie wrapped around a Hershey’s Kiss. They’re delightfully melty right out of the oven. I usually drink my milk on the side, not so much with the dunking. Always with the milk though – I grew up in Wisconsin 🙂
UL: I thought Wisconsin was known for cheese? Oh well, we can both agree on “melty”! How did your book get started?
AJL: It was my co-author Dan Keidl’s idea, actually. He is a graphic designer and every year for his birthday he does some sort of awesome project for his birthday party. In 2012 he decided that he wanted to hand out a Choose Your Own Adventure book as a favor to party guests and asked me to help write it. We wrote the whole thing in just a couple of weeks! We hadn’t considered actually publishing the book until people who had received copies insisted that we should, but we’re extremely glad that we did.
UL: I’m glad too. Cuz I loved the 42 skillion ways I died in the book. What else have you written?
AJL: Nothing else that has been published – yet. I have one full first draft that is in editing stages, and two books that I’m currently writing. One of those is another Pick Your Plot with Dan, which we will hopefully publish soon. If you sign up for my email list (http://blog.ajlauer.net/p/join.html), you can get a free ebook copy of Percy’s Armageddon: Pick Your Plot Prequel, which is a novella we wrote for April A-Z a couple years ago.
UL: wooooooo, prequel?? I’m intrigued! If you could have any superpower what would it be?
AJL: I’d love the ability to travel anywhere on a whim. I don’t really care whether that would be by flying myself or teleportation, so long as I could take someone with me for company.
UL: Yeah, teleportation would totally be cool. What makes you happy?
AJL: I am generally a happy person, so this list is long. But things that are guaranteed to make me happier are long hikes, good books, British TV programs, traveling to new places, working on house projects, and tasty food (including but not limited to: cupcakes, tomatoes just picked from the garden, freshly baked bread, green tea mochi icecream balls, and bacon wrapped dates). I also have an incredible fondness for sweaters.
UL: Hmmmm, cupcakes, who knew?? Wrapping up now, anything else you want to tell us?
AJL: I think Pick Your Plots can be fun *and* educational because they give us the opportunity to explore all the what-ifs of a storyline. They also allow us to get to know our characters in various ways as we put them through different stressors, rather than only following them through one scenario. That makes them great for young readers because it lets them see how their choices cause different consequences for the characters. I’d love to see Pick Your Plot books used to teach students about creating storylines, but also about consequences and how our decisions can have a huge impact on everyone around us.
Thanks so much for reviewing Armageddon and for letting me stop by today!
I agree with you AJ, I think that’s why kids love the choose your own adventure type stories, they feel like they are in charge! And a kid who feels like she is in charge of her own reading will read more. Win win win!
And you’re welcome for stopping by!
Remember, you can buy AJ’s book anywhere good books are sold. Orrrrr you can just go here.