AJ: Because I have to. I write every day. Have done since I was eight years old. I was obsessed with horses then. Death and horses. I'd write these long, teary romances where everyone died at the end, even the horses.
DJ: I have been writing since I was about ten. I’m compelled to write. I think it had to do with the way I grew up. I always said if I hadn’t been a writer, I would have ended up doing something far worse.
What are you currently working on? What’s it about?
AJ: I am currently working on book 13 in my Orgasmic Texas Dawn series with D.J. Manly. It's a bittersweet reunion of three sets of US Marshals and their families. I don't want this series to end!
DJ: Oh my God, I think I’m working on everything. I’m working on series with A.J. of course but am just finishing up a mystery.
AJ: I would love to see actor Michael Greco play Dean Honeybone in my Honeybone US Marshal series. I think he is one of the most underrated and underused actors in the world. Now that he's relocated to the US I hope that all changes for him.
There are four Honeybone books so far, with more to come. I loved writing this series and spent time working with an actual US Marshal who is my personal hero. His wife is an assistant District Attorney and their stories were amazing.
The things he told me about air travel and how marshals are trained to see beyond the norm made my hair stand on end. Dean Honeybone is one of my favorite characters. In book one he almost dies transporting a serial killer to Australia. He's a man with such darkness in his heart because of his work. When he rescues six-year-old Kaia Pendleton in the plane crash, he learns to live - and love again. I love this character and I can so easily see Michael Greco playing him. He's an intense, emotional actor and also seems to have an innate gentle quality I really like.
How much research do you do?
AJ: A lot! I really work hard on my books. I met the US Marshal over Christmas Eve dinner in Honolulu three years ago and plagued the poor man with questions. I will never forget how he took me to the airport and we sat watching people coming and going. He pointed out things the rest of us civilians would never notice. He knew who the pedophiles were. Who the drunks were before they'd even stepped into a bar. He knew right away which passengers would be flagged - and why.
I am slowly, but surely releasing all these tidbits in each Honeybone book. And I am so much more aware now each time I travel.
I also did a lot of research on werewolves for my first werewolf story, Tame, which I wrote for Amber Allure. I uncovered a little known fact about Argentina and used it for Tame and the sequel, Savage. There is a town there that is so afraid of werewolves they did, until a hundred years ago drown the seventh born child in each family.
To prevent the murders, the local mayor became the godfather to these boys. The tradition continues to this day!!
Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?
AJ: I have written about eighty books with the amazing D.J. Manly. I think in any genre, we have a unique relationship. D.J. is one of the best writers in the world and one of the best M/M authors out there. I am one lucky person to be able to work with D.J. as much as I do!
Are the names of the characters in your books important?
DJ: I stress over character names a lot. I try not to use the same names all the time. When I write and the name doesn’t suit, it bugs me and sometimes I change the name before I get to chapter Two.
Are there any occupational hazards to being a writer?
DJ: Yes, for sure. Bad back, eye strain, partners feeling neglected, family members never hearing from you…and overall lack of time to just do nothing.
What is your favorite part of writing a book?
DJ: Coming up with the idea, dreaming about it in my sleep.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
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