An Interview with Author A.J. Culey!

Today, I'll be interviewing children's and YA author A.J. Culey! A.J. is also a schoolteacher, and her books are chock-full of humor, excitement, and animals. You can connect with A.J. on GoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter.

Welcome to the blog, A.J.!




First, tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm a teacher in an urban school district. I love to read, write and travel. I'm a typical writer with my fair share of cats who like to settle on my keyboard as I'm writing or on top of my Kindle when I'm trying to read.


What books have you written, and what genre are they?

I write young adult fantasy and children's books. My recent releases include A Fairy's Job (a picture book), Tyrabbisaurus Rex (a chapter book) and Sehmah's Truth (young adult fantasy).


Tell us more about your books!

Tyrabbisaurus Rex is about a rabbit who believes he's a dinosaur. He's determined to escape his fate as a classroom pet. My books for children are typically humorous in nature and are aimed at giving children opportunities to laugh, even when life is sometimes a bit too serious.


What ages are your books for?

My chapter books and picture books are usually written for children ages 6-10. My young adult books typically are for ages 14 and up.


Where do you get your inspiration from?

My inspiration for Tyrabbisaurus Rex came from my own life. I'm a teacher and for many years, I had two rabbits as classroom pets. These bunnies really were the inspiration for Rex's character.


How did you come up with your characters?

Many of my picture book characters were originally created for my nieces and nephew. They were always asking me for "just one more story" about a particular character. My goal in creating most of my characters was always to infuse a bit of laughter, silliness and humor. If my nieces and nephew laughed when I described a character's quirks, I knew I'd landed on a keeper.


When did you first start writing?

I've identified as a writer for most of my life. However, it wasn't until about ten years ago that I really started taking my writing seriously and giving it the time and attention it deserved.


Where do you like to write?

I mostly write at home, but also in coffee shops, local restaurants and at the library.


What are some of your favorite books?

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems, The Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling, The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima and the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh.


Do you have any advice for up-and-coming authors?

Don't stop writing. Nothing beats time and practice. The longer you spend in a world you're creating, the easier it is to return to that world and continue its story. The more time you devote to the craft of writing, the more your craft will grow. Just believe in yourself and keep the words flowing.


What's your next project?

A picture book about a cat who can fly and the sequel to Tyrabbisaurus Rex.



Thanks for chatting with me today, A.J.!


To find out more about A.J. and her books, check out these links:


A.J.'s website: http://www.ajculey.com/


A.J.'s Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/A.J.-Culey/e/B01DLOBKIC/


The Tyrabbisaurus Rex Twitter account (which is hilarious, so go check it out NOW!): https://twitter.com/tyrabbisaurus




A.J. and Tyrabbisaurus Rex!


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