AJ Salem was born in Haifa, Israel to parents who immigrated from the other side of Dracula's mountain. She was just a toddler when her family picked up and made the big move to New York where necessity had her learning English from Sesame Street and weekly trips to the public library where her mother encouraged her to stock up on books.
AJ graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a BFA in Illustration and has been working as a Graphic Designer. In 2009, after completing her first NaNoWriMo, she decided to make a career change but credits her previous education and experience to preparing her for becoming a novelist.
When she isn't writing or reading, AJ is rearing her four children, crocheting and watching too much British Television.
What books have you written? What are you currently working on?
Almost Demon is my first novel. I have the second book of the Sigil Cycle series, Born Human, in the works.
How many books will be in the Sigil Cycle series?
The plan is to have seven books. That’s how it’s been plotted. So, yeah, I know what happens at the end.
I am a book reviewer and would like to request review copies of one of your upcoming novels. How do I get one?
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
What are your favorite books?
I love reading. Some months, I can average a book a day so it’s hard to pick a few. I’ve tried my best to list some here: Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas, The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Abhorsen series by Garth Nix, The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. Anything written by Christopher Pike.
If you want more recommendations check out my Goodreads page.
Is Almost Demon going to be a movie?
I hope so. The series is written in a way that it could be easily adapted to a movie. Just waiting for the right opportunity to present itself.
How did you get started writing? When did you realize that writing was your choice as a profession?
As a teenager, I kept a journal filling it with observations and opinions but it never occurred to me that I could turn my love of notebooks and reading into a passion for writing novels. Fast forward to college, where I majored in Illustration with the idea to learn a skill. I’ve been a Graphic Designer for the last eight years and then in 2009 I tried NaNoWriMo for fun. Then I did it again. And again. One day, I woke up and realized that I wished every month of the year was November. I knew then that being an author was my calling and that’s when I made the conscious decision to treat writing as a job.
Where do you get your ideas?
All of my stories start out with a character and a scenario. When I’m in the outlining phase I flesh out the timeline, plot and secondary characters. This way, when I sit down to write the rest plays out like a movie in my head.
When can I read an excerpt/first chapter of the next book?
Do you believe in ghosts, angels or demons?
Yes, yes, and yes. But not in the conventional way. If I meet one, you’ll be the first to know.
Who are your characters based on?
The personal identity of my characters belongs to them exclusively. I just watch on as they run amok, finding themselves and molding their place in the story in an unfiltered, unedited way lets the reader grasp their true significance. It seems to me they are real people, doing real things in their own way.
I’ve seen a lot of changes in book publishing over the last five years. How do those changes affect your writing?
To know that my words can reach so many people is an inspiration to produce innovative and meaningful books. The opportunities these new changes provide motivate me in more ways than one and as a result I’ll definitely be writing even more than I do now. My Sigil Cycle series is a prime example.