The final interview of Sapphic Fiction February is with the one and only Adrian J. Smith. AJ writes many different types of books, from police procedurals to vampires to sweet age-gap romances, but women-loving-women is always at her heart.
It’s very fitting that we’re closing Sapphic Fiction February with AJ, because she also runs a book club! Every month, on a Saturday, a group of Sapphic Fiction readers gather on Zoom to talk about what they’re reading, normally with a guest author. And today, Saturday 4th March at 8pm UTC (3pm Eastern Time), that guest author is me! I'll be talking about my latest book, The Summer We've Had. If you’re free today and want to join us, find out more here.
And don’t forget to check out AJ’s books while you’re at it! She’s a brilliant writer and an incredible person – in case you couldn’t tell from the interview you’re about to read!
Hello AJ! Introduce yourself! Tell us a little bit about you - who are you, and what do you do?
I do a little bit of everything vicariously through my characters! But I'm an author and a minister. I've been publishing books since 2013, so happen 10 years for me! I've been happily married for 8 years and have to minions who run around to chase, along with a dog and cat.
What made you want to sit down and write your first book?
I wrote my first solo book meant for publication when I was in graduate school. I really just wanted to find a world I loved and characters I could sink in to. I hadn't found that yet. The sapphic genre was very small ten years ago, and only a few authors were out there publishing it. I wanted characters I could related to.
How do you develop your plots and characters?
I am a plot driven author, so I typically come into a story with a plot first, a what if question, or a moment in time that I feel the deep desire to explain. The characters for me come later, in how they would react to that plot and what drives their reactions (trauma, past history, how they were raised, etc).
Which of your characters do you relate to the most, and why?
Definitely Det. Grace Halling...because we're both idiots when it comes to our emotions, and we both really struggle with the personal side of life, but we're both also extremely ethical and see the line clearly.
Has your own writing ever made you cry?
Does anyone you know in real life read your books?
Yup. My secretary/admin haha and my mom has read quite a few of my earlier works.
Imagine your book, or one of your books, was made into a film. Who would play the lead roles?
Oh, I hate this question. I can never answer it. I would love Emilie Ullerup to play Grace Halling.
When you’re not writing, what do you do to relax?
What is this word, relax? I don't understand it! I do crochet, but most of my time is taken up with day job and writing (I work about 100 hour weeks doing both).
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given with regards to being an author?
Treat it like a job. If you want to make full time income, it is a job and needs to be treated as such. Also, inspiration doesn't know to show up unless you spend it an invitation, so make the time to send an invite and then be there for the time you set up.
How about in general life?
For advice? Oh, that's harder. Find joy, keep it, and don't be an asshole.
What is a motto you live by?
Change is our only constant.
How can people connect with you?
Finally a light-hearted one. If you were a sandwich, what sandwich would you be?
Mayo, peanut butter, and banana. It's a family thing, weird, and kind of gross.
Of all sandwiches to end the event on!
The journey still isn’t over… keep your eyes peeled for one final Sapphic Fiction February recap post in the next few days!
If you enjoyed this interview, then make sure you’re following my social media accounts (@kblakemanwriter on Twitter and @katherineblakemanwriter on Instagram) to get all my latest updates! And if you want to support my own Sapphic Fiction journey while you’re here, my new novel The Summer We’ve Had is available now!