AJ Jarrett currently lives in the Midwest with her husband and four children. A lover of M/M romances, she has started writing her own stories for others to enjoy. In her opinion there is never enough hours in the day but she makes it work, finding time late at night when everyone else is sleeping to write and let her imagination take over.
When she is not chasing around her kids she can be found sitting on the couch with her trusted laptop, giving life to the voices in her head.
Q: The presence of a tiger shifter in The Wolf’s Runaway Tiger added an exciting new dynamic to the Nehalem Pack. Can you give fans of the series any clue about new shifter species in the upcoming books?
A: At this point I’m not sure. When I plot out a story it typically starts out one way but then by the end all my well-thought-out ideas have changed. So it’s a very good possibility that I may add another type of shifter to the Nehalem series, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Q: The Nehalem Pack series has it all: entertaining dialogue, vivid description, hot and sensual scenes, as well as exciting action. Do you have a favorite part of this series to write?
A: I really love writing action scenes. Not that I’m a violent person, but I love when a scene unfolds and someone comes barreling in to save the day. Occasionally someone will get hurt or die, but without action and suspense a story can fall flat. I find it easier to write those types of scenes because as I’m writing them I can see the events taking place in my mind as if I were watching it on TV.
Q: The two couples who have mated so far in the Nehalem Pack series have defeated great odds and been through extreme circumstances to find one another. Is there a level of fate that is working in their lives to slowly bring mates together, or is it merely coincidence that they have crossed paths?
A: I’m a firm believer in that a person will find love when they least expect it, and I’ve written these characters to find love by chance, not by some cosmic pull of the stars and the moon. There are people who believe fate brings us together, but I like to believe at times its just dumb luck. It could be as simple as walking into a grocery store and boom! You find the love of your life in the cereal aisle. It could happen, and that’s what I wanted these characters to experience. They want to find love but are not necessarily looking for it until it jumps up and smacks them across the face.
Q: The conflict between the hunters and the wolf pack in this series seems to be boiling below the surface. Can we anticipate this rift coming to a head in the near future?
A: Yes! That is my plan. As the series moves along there will be more hunter involvement, but I don’t want to give away all my secrets just yet.
Q: When you start a series, do you plan all the books and heroes out beforehand or do you make them up as you go along?
A: A little of both. I typically start out with the core characters then build around them and add as I go. I do draft up an outline, but I don’t always stick with it. Most times the characters take off in their own direction and go left when I want them to go right, but it’s their story to tell so I’ll run with it and see where it takes me. In The Alpha’s Captive that is exactly what happened. I had originally written Devon to be a strong dominant male who didn’t have a sensitive side, but Devon didn’t like that too much and changes were made. Devon did end up being a strong dominating man but with a caring heart who loved almost to a fault when it came to his family and to Aiden.
Q: What’s the biggest thing that you’ve learned about/from writing that you didn’t know when you first started?
A: To not overthink something. When I started writing even with my paranormal series I found myself being too literal with every aspect of the story. If I didn’t think something was logically possible I’d remove it from a storyline. Since then I’ve learned to have fun when I write. Tell a story that has all those crazy, oh-my-gosh-that’s-not-possible stuff in it. As long as it’s explainable within the world you’ve built it’ll work.
Q: Tell us something we don’t know about you that might surprise us.
A: This might seem more weird than surprising, but it’s something I don’t tell people. I have an unnatural fear and dislike for dolls that have eyes that blink and look like they’re following you when you walk around the room. Not sure if it has to do with a suppressed childhood memory or something from a past life but I can’t stand those types of dolls. I’m thankful my daughter has grown out of the toy phase of her life because still to this day I refuse to buy any of those American Girl dolls because of their eyes.
Q: Who do you look up to? What are some of their qualities that you strive to possess as well?
A: This is going to sound completely corny but I’d have to say my husband. He’s the most organized, down-to-earth, caring, and supportive person I’ve ever met. He doesn’t know a thing about writing or the process I go through when creating my stories, but he’s always there to listen or lend a hand if I need something. Just recently he showed me how to make a spreadsheet on my computer to help keep track of my characters and locations for each book in each series. Before that I had little notes written to myself all over the place. And every time I needed something in reference to a certain character or book I had to go searching. So the main thing he possesses that I strive for is organization.
Q: What is the scariest thing that ever happened to you?
A: I’d have to say when my daughter ran off from me in a store. She was two, and I had just had her brother. We were shopping for shoes and the baby started to fuss and I turned my back on her for like a second and she was gone. I thought my heart was going to stop beating. I found her a few aisles down because once she realized I wasn’t following her she freaked out and started to cry. Let’s just say she learned a valuable lesson that day, as did I. Always have one eye on one kid and a death grip on the other.
Q: You’ve written in a variety of subgenres. Which is your favorite?
A: I’d have to say paranormal hands down. In the paranormal world the possibilities are endless. The laws of society and physics don’t necessarily have to apply to the world you’ve created. You can make it your own, and as a writer if you’ve done your job perfectly then your readers will jump into this extraordinary world you’ve built for them and want to continue coming back to the characters and world they’ve come to love.
Q: Is there any character from the Nehalem Pack series whose story you look forward to writing?
A: Yes, Erik’s. I purposely wrote him to be underage but to find his mate early on. I wanted the readers to grow attached to him and sympathize for him. It’s a forbidden love. I love stories like that and can’t wait to dive into his book, but he’s still not of legal age so it’ll have to wait.
Q: Do you feel that a character who is cast as a villain can be redeemed?
A: Some, yes. It depends on the severity of what they’ve done. I think most people love a bad boy, a character you want to hate but can’t help falling for and rooting for them to get their happily ever after. Some of the most entertaining books I’ve read are about characters who I hated in the beginning yet longed to know if they could change and find happiness.