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Member: AJS

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Personal Website:
Twitter: @AJScudiere
Goodreads: A.J. Scudiere

Who are you and where did you come from?
In kindergarten, my best friend was put in the advanced reading group. I was not. And I was pisssssed. I thought, "I'll show them! I'll become the best reader they have ever seen!" In my mind, this was a serious threat. By the time I finished 2nd grade, I had read: Carrie, Cujo, Christine, the whole Flowers in the Attic series, The Amityville Horror and far too many other things a 6 year old should not have their hands on. This explains a lot about me. In 3rd grade, I started writing . . .

Where do you want to be in 10 years?
I want to be writing full-time and attending events. I want to watch as Author's Combat Academy (a conference we are starting this year) draws the best writers and fighters around. I want to do more volunteer work. My current schedule doesn't allow me regular time to commit to something like I'd like to. As my kids will be out of the house, I'd like to travel more and write it off as research expenses! :)

What is the biggest mistake you've made in your life?
This is really hard. I haven't killed anyone or cost anyone their livelihood yet. I believe in letting regrets go. I missed a good friend's wedding because of money and logistics. I let a different friend walk on me and didn't realize it was as bad as it was. I tend to see cliffs and throw myself off them, and it took a long time (and a marriage) to learn that not everyone wants to come with me, not everyone just believes they'll land safely. But I learned from all of these and I try to do better each day.

What would you do for a Klondike bar?
Dive head first off the high dive. Bungee jump. Cage dive with sharks (in a good cage, I'm not crazy.) Sky dive, scuba dive, . . . Apparently I'll dive off or into just about anything, and I don't need a Klondike for it either. But a good fudgy brownie is always appreciated.

Flash Round Favorites
Author: Nabokov
Color: purple
Sound: orchestras behind a really great song
Season: fall
Animal: anything that needs a home
Smell: carbs
Food: escargot
Place to Visit: anywhere with wildlife
Place to Live: here
Movie: The Usual Suspects
Alien: dancing baby Groot
Number: 13
Texture: anything but onions
Planet: this one. I belong here.
Favorite Memory: Can't choose. I have lived a lucky life. I have held each of my two children moments after they were born and I laughed with them today. That's awesome. My husband and I get re-married every five years and we just passed 15! Holding the first physical copy of my first book and knowing I had finally done it! Holding each first copy of each new book and knowing that it's not quite as special because there are a handful of them now, which is really cool in itself. The first time a fan said, "I came here to see you." It almost made me cry.

Favorite Place To Write
In my office. I have my squishy keyboard and all my stuff. But I hope to be out on my back deck soon . . . you know, after it's constructed and exists and all.

Greatest Inspiration
Everything. I take in little things here and there and mix them together. But I check my work against 3 authors: Nabokov--is the writing fluid? does it creatively but clearly tell a rich story? Orson Scott Card--did you hold all the pieces all along? Tim O'Brien--did I tell a true story? did I give the reader the feeling of being there?

Best Elevator Pitch For Latest Book. 300 words or less
There is a science to myth: The Salem Witch Trials are believed now to be the result of ergot poisoning. Porphyria makes its victims appear dead and fanged, like vampires. Zombies could be the result of rabies or even tetrodotoxin--which has a proven history of use. But werewolves? Aside from a few overly hairy people, there isn't much that has been proven. In NightShade nothing is as it seems . . . Eleri Eames didn’t think she’d ever get to work for the FBI again, so she jumped at the chance to join the special ops team, NightShade. But all too soon her chance to start over begins to reveal some alarming facts. Donovan Heath is branching out. His job as medical examiner was lonely and relatively quiet, and he’s ready for something new. When an Agent with the FBI’s NightShade division offers him a job, Donovan takes it. But his new senior partner, Eleri, has deep secrets and Donovan isn’t sure he can trust her with his own. In case their first assignment—finding a charismatic cult leader and his true believers—isn’t crazy enough, they’re also charged with finding a prominent Agent’s missing daughter. It seems they can’t save the innocent without sacrificing something of themselves. Will their secrets save them . . . or destroy them?