Today I’m pleased to bring you an interview with AJ Calvin, author of Exile. This interview is part of my stop on the blog tour organized by Escapist Book Co. Thank you for allowing me to participate, and thank you to AJ Calvin for answering my questions.
Do you read reviews of your books? If so, how do you handle bad or good reviews?
I do read reviews of my books because it’s hard for me to not know what people think about my work, good or bad. I love getting feedback, even if it’s sometimes painful.
Unless I’m tagged by the reviewer in some way, I do not interact with them. Books, like any art form, are subjective and not everyone is going to like the end result. I feel reviewers are free to share their opinions, and commenting (or even liking) a review that someone has left without telling me about it feels…awkward. So I just don’t do anything.
If the reviewer happens to tag me in a post or message me privately, then I always try to thank them for their time. If their review happens to be positive, then I’ll share it too.
What was your favorite book as a child? Did it influence you to become a writer?
I’m not sure I had a true favorite, and I’ve never been one to reread books much. The only books I can recall rereading as a child were the Bunnicula books by James Howe. I thought they were hilarious and the characters were great.
I started writing stories for fun a couple years before I discovered those books. I’m not sure if they influenced me to become the writer I am now, but they certainly gave me a love for wacky stories with supernatural elements.
And I’ve always told myself if I ever own an orange cat, I’ll name him Chester, after the cat in
What is your favorite thing to listen to while you write?
I actually don’t listen to anything while I’m actively writing.
I love music (I almost went into college as a music performance major,) but I tend to start analyzing what I’m listening to rather than writing… When I’m writing, I do best without background noise.
Do you ever have reader’s block or reading slumps? How do you get yourself out of them?
I do on occasion, and it’s usually when I’m trying to go through a long series and things stagnate. I have a really tough time leaving a series unfinished, but sometimes I have to step away because I’m losing interest. When that happens, reading starts to feel like a chore, and I read less and less.
I’ve learned if I take a break and read something new—usually in a different genre—I can get back into reading again and enjoy it. I usually will go back to the series later, and most of the time, I enjoy it more after that break.
Do you read the genre of books you write? Do you read your own books after they’re finished?
I write epic fantasy and some science fiction (although the sci-fi stuff isn’t published yet.) Yes, I read both genres too, but not exclusively. I recently realized I read more fantasy when I’m writing sci-fi, and I read more sci-fi when I writing fantasy. I wasn’t consciously making the switch, but I think it helps my brain to have something different to read than what I’m actively writing.
For those who follow my blog, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy lately. I’m writing a sci-fi book at the moment.
As to your second question, yes. I will sometimes read through my published books after they’re released, but I don’t do it often. I think the exception is The Ballad of Alchemy and Steel, only because it’s a novella and I can read it in an hour when I need something to make me feel happy. It’s the only book I’ve written that doesn’t involve a character’s death or any true fight/battle scenes, and sometimes, I just need to read something with a happier tone.
Series: The Caein Legacy #1
Published by A.J. Calvin on 05/24/2023
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Action & Adventure, Fiction / Fantasy / Dragons & Mythical Creatures, Fiction / Fantasy / Epic, Fiction / Fantasy / General
Buy on: Amazon CA // Amazon UK // Amazon US // Barnes & Noble // Apple Books // Google Books // Kobo // Books-a-Million
Andrew grew up in the royal palace of Novania, the eldest son of the queen. He went on to achieve fame and glory as a renowned soldier, and was eventually named commander of the king’s army. The kingdom believed he would be named heir to the throne, but he has long known he is ineligible. The king is not his father.
The truth of Andrew’s lineage is only partially known to the king; the identity of his father is a mystery that even Andrew is unaware of. He knows only that his father was a dragon-mage, and the dragons have fled to another world. Andrew is a skin-changer, but the laws of Novania forbid his very existence. If the king were to learn the truth of what he is, he would face execution.
The laws are equally hostile to humans born with the Mark of the Magi and the ability to wield magic. Andrew’s younger half-brother, Alexander, bears the Mark. The pair keep one another’s secrets into adulthood…Until the king dies unexpectedly and Colin ascends the throne.
When Alexander’s Mark is revealed for all to see, Andrew is faced with a choice: To watch his brother be killed, or reveal his true nature in an effort to save him from the headsman’s axe.
Content Warning: attempted murder, blood, death, divorce, violence, domestic abuse, murder, questionable sexual content, execution