Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Book two info...and MAJOR SPOILER if you haven't finished "Documentary."

 Happy Valentine's Day or Single Awareness Day or just Thursday! 
I've been reading reviews, and I got the sense that if I don't tell you anything about this second book soon, then...

HAHA, I'm kidding! I'm glad you care =)

Also, I know what I promised in exchange for 25 reviews/ratings and we've actually doubled that? Seriously, that's crazy and amazing and thank you to anyone who emailed me or tweeted me or liked me on Facebook. Whether "Documentary" bothered you, made you swoon, made you unable to put it down, made you put it down right away, made you angry, made you "meh"...whatever your emotion, I'm grateful you gave it a chance in the first place!

So the teaser from the next book will come next week.
The second book is called "Remake," and there's good news and bad news.

BAD NEWS: I LOVE THAT YOU LOVE DYLAN AND KAI, BUT... for now--maybe ever--I'm done with Team Dick. I'm not going to force a story where one doesn't exist. No drug addiction. No conniving groupies. No baby mammas coming forward, no long-lost siblings, no going on tour and the two of them being tempted by others, and jealousy and cheating. And all those things are juicy and salacious, and I like reading about them, but that's not for me as a writer. I don't trust myself at creating that type of drama without it coming across as really, really, unnecessarily contrived or even a poor regurgitation of the well-crafted stuff you have read that manages to effortlessly spin those tales. And I can't in good faith manufacture drama for them for reading sake.

This was never meant to be a "rock star" series, and "Documentary" wasn't really intended to be a "rock star" novel (if I'm comparing it to the books about rock stars that I've read). Kai and some of his friends just happen to have pretty unusual jobs, and I wanted Kai different. Music and concerts and extravagance and lavish consumption and surfing and all those things about their lifestyles will certainly still be there going forward, but it's far more like Abbi Glines' Sea Breeze series and Bella Andre's The Sullivans series, though, in terms of how this will work (characters from previous books becoming main characters and those previously main characters then making appearances). 

I hope to finish it completely (as in ready to go for publication) before "Walking Disaster" (by Jamie McGuire) comes out because I will be doing NOTHING but eating and showering until I finish reading WD. =)

GOOD NEWS: Kai and Dylan are in the 2nd book (heavily), and since it doesn't follow either of them, it's probably no mental stretch to figure out who it's about... It's Erica Evigan's story. It was left purposefully really open-ended in "Documentary." The two stories are way too connected for me to not have mentioned in the description of "Documentary" that there was a 2nd book because it is a continuation of the story that was always at the center of "Documentary," and really what set in motion everything that happened in "Documentary" in the first place. This was always the plan.
If you're thinking, But, A.J., are you about to put me through the ringer emotionally with this story? Will it still have romance and fun and friendship and laughs and other stuff? It will be chock full of everything you loved (and maybe hated lol) about "Documentary." That I can promise.

The last little boost of courage to finish "Documentary" in the first place came from reading this Tumblr post by the AMAZING, insightful and talented Cassandra Clare ("Mortal Instruments" author). I go forward with "Remake" with that post in mind. [Please note that her post discusses sexual assault and may be triggering]. 

And I'm doing so without changing one bit of the content. Abandon hope all ye who enter here: There's sex, crude language, drinking, fighting, Elliott twins, melodrama, awful people, assholes, and messy and trainwrecky behavior because this is life. As much as I believe in fiction being just that--fiction, where a lot of liberties and artistic license are allowed--as Ms. Clare puts it, "[I]t’s your job as a writer, even if you’re writing fantasy, to reflect reality."
I'm not sure I know how to do "light," and I'm not sure that's really my thing as a writer anyway, but I do have other stories planned for other characters that won't necessarily deal with as heavy of a subject matter going forward; I say this with a caveat though. 

While I'm definitely not writing a how-to guide for life in your twenties (I really couldn't; mine have been a mess in a good and bad way), and I certainly don't think that by writing about certain things one is condoning or intending to glorify them, I don't want anyone who has been through the things that hurt us and make us sad and sometimes change who we are forever, to ever not see themselves reflected in fiction. I may be in the minority, but I don't want the fictional world to be one where everyone only exists in a vacuum of awesomeness, and where real pain and really bad things don't exist. 

Seems a little unfair to people who have been dealt circumstances in life that a lot of us will hopefully never have to know.

Anyway, shutting up now.  

Look out for the "Remake" teaser here and on my Facebook page.


  1. As much as I would love to read more Kai and Dylan...I love the fact that you aren't going to make the next book all about them. I just finished the Groupie series and it was just too much. I like that you don't want to create nonsense and drama just because. I am also a fan of the Bella Andre Sullivan series and glad you are taking that include everyone but each book focus on the next. The Sinners series is like that as well. As a reader it fulfills my need to still "keep in touch" with the characters I fell in love with in the first book, but you have created additional characters that I want to know more about. For me it's the twins...I'm a surfing nut what can I say. Anyway...really loved this book and look forward to the next!!

    1. Hi, Holly!!

      Thank you for writing! And you're so right! Yes, I love Kai and Dylan, but they and I worked too hard on their relationship to mess with it. LOL.

      Well, it just so happens that after "Remake," Wesley Elliott (who is my FAVE character because I know him so well in my head) will get his turn to shine. I'm scouting the best surfing locations right now to feature in his book. ;)

      Thanks for reading Documentary and thank you for your kind words =)