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AJ, thanks so much for stopping by. How did you get started writing?
I started writing very young—in grade school--because my mom was studying for her Ph.D., and brought me with her to the library. There was nothing else to do but roam the stacks and read books. It wasn’t long before I started writing my own stories. Then, a teacher took an interest in my writing. After that, there was no other profession for me.
Oddly enough, it was that same teacher who suggested I would be a better playwright than novelist, and so I pursued playwriting for many years. I was a ghostwriter of motivational, inspirational and business books for many years. But writing other people’s books for a living is soulless work. Writing Forever Man has renewed my desire to write my own books again.
What was the inspiration for your book?
I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that it started with one of my sexual fantasies about running into an old lover while away on business. It was more about stepping outside of your life for a weekend, and giving in to old temptations. I’m happily married, and I think most people in long-term relationships have similar fantasies.
Though the book started from a sexual fantasy, it became so much more than that. I wanted to explore an age-old love that had never been admitted, or acted upon. What would happen if two people secretly in love with each other for years bumped into each other by chance in a romantic city? Would they finally take a chance and go after what they want? It became an opportunity to not only explore the rush of giving in to a persistent longing, but also how loving authentically helps you live authentically.
So, what are you working on right now? Got any releases planned, or still writing?
I’m working on a new series set in a small town on the North Shore of Lake Superior. It features two young men, childhood rivals, who return to their hometown the summer after college and fall in love. There are side stories, interweaving with the main story. I’m super excited about it.
The Philadelphia Story starring Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant. I’m a sucker for old Hollywood, classic films. The characters in Forever Man talk about Casablanca, another classic film. There are a few similarities in that, just as Ingrid Bergman’s character has to choose between Rick and her Nazi resistance husband, my character Ren has to decide between staying with Cole, the love of his life, or continuing on with his plans to marry Paul, a good man with whom he has built a life that inspires the GLBTQ community.
Book that inspired you to become an author?
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Her character, Jo March, was a huge inspiration to me. I wanted to be like her, to move to a big city and write books.
Alright, you have one superpower. What is it?
I would love the ability to stop time. I have so many stories I want to write, and not enough time in the day to write them!
Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
I am most like Ren because I too have struggled with finding the courage to ask for what I want, and trust that I’m making the right decisions. We’re different in that I’m lucky in love—my decisions have to do with my career.
That’s all from me, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by.
Ren and Cole never acted on that thing that always bubbled beneath the surface of their friendship, not until a chance encounter in a Santa Fe bar and a song that would tip the scales forced them to confront their feelings. Will the influence of a music superstar, a New York socialite and a mystical property manager finally bring them together, or will a history of missed opportunities, their own fears and an impending wedding keep them apart? Can they just have one night, and then walk away?
Forever Man is a story of the consequences of the choices we make, and how the courage to change can last a lifetime.
Here's an excerpt:
Ren turns to see Cole standing not five feet away, a bit out of breath.
"Did you mean it?" Ren asks.
"You're in love with me?"
Ren doubles over again, trying to catch his breath. Cole crosses to him, rubbing his back but saying nothing. After a moment, Ren straightens out and asks, "How long?"
"I want us to be together—”
"No. How long have you been in love with me?"
The answer to this one question is all Ren needs to know. Because this man, this friend, this lover of his has always given in to whims and drama and intensity, and Ren has to be sure that he is not that. He has to be sure that this is not new.
Cole steps into Ren's space, tilts his chin up and kisses him. The kiss is firm, an answer, a promise.
"I can't remember a time when I wasn't in love with you."
About the Author: A professional writer for more than 20 years, A.J. DeWall began her career as a playwright. She is the ghostwriter behind dozens of nonfiction books, including several award-winning bestsellers. As a writer of fan fiction, her online titles have hundreds of thousands of reads. Forever Man is her first novel. She lives in New York with her wife and son.
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