Inside Scoop


One of the things I love most about writing is that I’m able to insert a part of myself or someone I know into the written words. I have no idea if other writers do this or not, but I’d venture to say we’ve all done it a time or two.

I thought it might be fun to give you some juicy details about my books; inside scoop, if you will.

  • The idea for “Losing Faith” started out as a biography or sorts, then manifested to full-on fiction in the span of one walk on my treadmill.

  • Grace (the main character in “Losing Faith”) has a tattoo to honor her friend, which truly mimicked my own life. A year after losing my best friend to cancer, my son and I got tattoos in her memory. Mine are two interwoven hearts (one green, one pink…her favorite colors); his is much more extensive and takes up his entire left calf.

  • Ryan, Grace’s love interest, came to life after I was watching Beauty & The Beast (the TV show, not the animated movie). Hunky Jay Ryan was exactly the muse I needed to create my leading man.

  • In “Loving Emma”, we see Liam and Emma taking a weekend trip to Monterey. The hotel where they stayed is one my hubby and I stayed in too…a few times; once on our 1 year anniversary of dating, and again a few years later right before the birth of our daughter.

  • Liam’s love of cannoli was inspired by my hubby’s love of that decadent dessert. I learned how to make them last year…and they are divine!

  • Liam travels to the Grand Canyon seeking solitude. It was important for me that I include this particular place, as it was the last place I traveled right before my friend (the inspiration for “Losing Faith”) passed away.

  • Mia, in “Saving Cruz”, loves the movie An Affair to Remember, and has even named her house plant after Cary Grant. That movie is a favorite of mine and my mom’s and we both love Cary Grant.

  • My spunky heroine Amita in “Taming Marco” is greatly annoyed by abbreviations (typically those we use when texting). This bit of quirkiness is something that peeves me to no end, so I thought it would be fun if it was reflected in a character.

  • When my cousin/confidant/beta reader was perusing the early draft of “Taming Marco”, she complained to me that I had just skimmed over information of Mia and Cruz’s wedding and honeymoon. “He’s loaded,” she said to me. “He could take her anywhere. I want to know where he’s taking her!” So I asked her….if you could go anywhere in the world and money was not an issue, where would you go? Without pause she said, “The Seychelles”. In that brief conversation, Mia and Cruz’s honeymoon destination was born.

  • One more quirk my oh-so-wise cousin pointed out was a scene where Marco and his brother Roman were talking over coffee. “Where did the coffee come from?” she asked, highly put out and humorous as only she can be. You see, the coffee had mysteriously appeared at the table; no mention of a waitress. See folks, this is why we love our beta readers!

  • One of the funniest oops’s I’ve had so far, was when my editor was going through the manuscript for “Saving Cruz”. Along with all my other flubs and oddities, she pointed out that my characters have a new and different way of removing their clothes….pants first, then shoes. (smacks self on forehead again, just because). Mind you, this manuscript had been looked at by at least 3 other people and NONE of us had picked up on that. I guess we all remove our pants first too!

  • In “Revealing Bella”, book 4 of the Moran series, the love interest Jace was fashioned after model Christopher Mason, who I had seen in a music video. One look at those wavy blond locks and I was hooked. He WAS my Jace!

  • In the Moran series as a whole, there are three teachers (Sophia, Caleb, and Jace). This is my nod of appreciation to all the wonderful teachers I worked with at my previous job.

  • In “Educating Sophia”, book 5 of the Moran series, the love interest Caleb came to me after the hubby and I binge-watched “Hell on Wheels” on Netflix. The lead actor, Anson Mount, was the perfect professor for the final book of the series.

  • I was recently asked why I don’t set any of my stories in the town/area where I live (I live near the ocean in California). First…what’s fun about that? Researching a city I’ve never been to (or making up a fictional one) is part of what I love about creating each story. I’ve never been to Miami, but when planning my Moran series I did extensive research on the area. I even watched one of those live cameras for a few hours to get a real feel for the area.

  • My mom is the first person who reviews any and all of my drafts. Nothing fazes her…not raunchy sex or bad words. She will usually review a manuscript 2-3 times for me prior to it heading to the editor; and once more before the book is released ‘just because’.

  • In “Taming Marco”, Amita has a great love for The Phantom of the Opera, which is a great love of mine as well. I’ve seen the show live and have watched the movie countless times with my daughter. It seemed only fitting to throw that little tidbit in there and watch Amita run with it.

  • In “Saving Cruz”, Cruz has a great love of Spanish guitar music and so do I. In fact, though I rarely listen to music when I write, I did listen to a variety of it while drafting this story.

  • In “Breaking Roman”, book 3 of the Moran series, Sabrina works in the Human Resources department at The Moran Group. I worked in HR for 10+ years; a bit of writing what you know, I suppose.

  • Also in book 3, Roman’s mom makes paella for his birthday dinner. I had paella for the first time about 6 months prior to writing this book. Loved it so much, it HAD to be included somehow.

Hope you enjoyed a bit of the inside scoop. Please email me if you have any questions about the books.

Happy reading!

AJ

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