I recently met this young man with a fire burning in his belly for writing. To say he is passionate about writing is an understatement. It is my pleasure to introduce you to AJ Waters…
1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
That’s a hard one. When I was in school (and I’m talking 5 or 6 years old) my favourite lesson was what they called “write a story”. Creative bunch, I’m sure you can tell. Now, the aim of the game was to write a story on a single page. Mine went on for a lot longer than that. The other kids wrote about things like dragons, princesses, magical puppies and all that other dumb shit kids find wonderful. Not me, though. No, I wrote a horror story about someone sending naughty kids into the woods to get eaten by a fat monster covered in boils, warts and scabs. My teacher was not amused. However, if we’re talking “published”, then I dunno, 25, maybe? I dunno…
2. How many books have you written?
Three that I’m willing to admit to.
3. Anything you won’t write about?
I’ll only write horror, but that can involve absolutely anything. So no, there is nothing I won’t write about. And to be honest, I think any writer worth their salt should do so without boundaries. If you haven’t got the guts to spill, then there’s always a job in the postal service. I get annoyed when people say things like “I will never ever write anything to do with this, that or the other…” and what have you. That just tells me they’re in it for themselves. I once killed off a character that I absolutely adored and I felt he didn’t deserve it, but I knew in my heart that it had to be done for the sake of my readers. And sometimes that means making those that you have created suffer. If there are writers out there that can’t do that, whether it’s to do with death, abuse, torment, anguish, racism, or just plain butt-fuckin’, then don’t call yourself a writer. I’m not saying you have to write these things, of course you don’t, but I think you have to be willing to if that’s what it takes. So no, there is nothing I will not write about.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
Currently I am 27, I’ve no partner nor do I have children, and I intend to keep it that way. I’ve nothing against people who want to be parents, it’s just not for me. And I am currently unemployed.
5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
As I said before, I’ve been writing from a young age. But what made me want to become a writer was when I was sat in my lunchbreak (back when I was working) and was bored to tears with nothing to do but watch plasterboard dry. So after that day I decided to go to a charity shop and pick up a book for the next day, just so I had something to do other than literally stare at a wall. I picked up a random book, took it to the till, paid for it and went home without even thinking about it until the next day at work. My lunchbreak finally came around, so I sat down on an upturned bucket and started reading. Before I knew it, the work day was over and I’d spent half of my working day reading (thankfully my boss wasn’t around that day so I managed to get away with it). I then read that book all the way home on the train and sat in my room reading all night and finished it in my lunch break the next day (boss was present. Spoilsport). I was in tears when it finished. I wasn’t ready to let go. I didn’t want to say good bye to these characters that I’d fallen head over heels in love with and I didn’t want to not find out how their futures would turn out and if they would be okay. That book was “The Stormwatcher” by the late & great Graham Joyce. And When I lied in bed that night thinking about the trauma I had gone through, I thought “Wow, I want to make people feel like that. I want to be a writer.”
Of course, nothing I have written has even come close to that caliber, but I’m still using training wheels at this point.
7. What do you like to do for fun?
I’m a big gamer! Big time! I have a small Tenno community that has saved the galaxy on more than one occasion (you’re welcome, by the way), but in all honesty, I just love writing. So far, everything I’ve written has just been for fun. I’m aware I’m not going to make a career on self-publishing pulp horror novellas and short stories, but these are just things I do for fun and practice. What I’m really working on, is going to be my personal game changer.
8. And traditions you do when you finish a book?
Honestly? I listen to “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis & The News. Then I get drunk. Very drunk.
9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?
I’ve asked writers this question myself before, and most of them give the same answer: “I am a writer. Where don’t I write? Whether I’m walking to work, travelling on a bus, taking a bath or just doing daily chores or shopping in the supermarket. The world is my page and my mind is my pencil.” Yeah, in England, we call those people ‘tossers’. I write in my bedroom to a back drop of brutal slamming death metal.
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
I think, when I apply myself, my writing is solid. I just need to stop being lazy really. But like I said, the stuff I release at the moment is strictly for funzies.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
I’ll take success over fame any day. But yeah, I want to be able to pay my bills with my imagination.
12. Where do you live?
A cat named Junior. He is the devil.
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
The buzz I get when I surprise myself.
AJ, thank you for taking the time to talk to me and let the readers get to know you better. I wish you every success in the future!