A.M. Griffin is a mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies.

For more information please visit www.amgriffinbooks.com

1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?

Thank you for inviting me! I’ve always loved to write. It was instilled in me by my mother who’s also a writer. As a little girl, she would encourage me to write everything down from short stories to my thoughts and ideas. I came from a household where pens and paper were in abundance and readily available so a thought could be written down. My fondest memories are seeing my mom at her desk, typing away on her typewriter. Not much has changed from the past to the present. I can still walk into my mom’s house and find her sitting at her desk but now she has a desktop computer!

Writing for me provides an outlet from the norm. I have a vivid imagination so having that outlet gives birth to so many worlds and new ideas. I love being able to shed this physical world and delve into my head. I’m also an avid reader so delving into someone else’s head is always a plus!

What’s frustrating? Writer’s block! Or, just not being able to put what’s in my head and heart on the page correctly. I describe it as wanting to speak but keep flubbing the words. It happens to the best of us and usually I just have to practice patience and let whatever is causing this to happen (anxiety, stress, fear) to pass.

2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?

My first love is sci-fi romance. When I published in 2012, it was a sci-fi romance (Dangerously Mine) that quickly turned into one of my best-selling series (Loving Dangerously). First and foremost, I write romance. So, every book of mine will have a heavy romance theme to it. My sci-fi books happen to be romance stories set in faraway and distant planets.

I love setting my stories in space and distant planets because I love that unknown aspect of it. Also, I love that I can make up my own rules and I’m not pigeon held to someone else’s thoughts and ideas about a place. My imagination can run free and my mind does just that.

My current Sci-Fi bestselling series (The Hunt) takes place on a gaming planet where aliens have abducted humans from Earth and are forcing them to compete for their freedom. The humans, of course, are giving these aliens a run for their money and aren’t the easy prey the aliens had expected. I’ve had readers describe those stories as The Hunger Games on steroids. Ha!

But even in those stories romance is a heavily influencer. There’s a nerdy woman up against a hairy alien in The Game Warden’s Mate, an abuse survivor up against an alien prince in Hunted by the Alien Prince and my favorite, a single mom up against an alien vampire who’s bent on selling her to a buyer in Hunted by the Alien Vampire. There are other books in this series, these are just a few honorable mentions.

You can find my books on Amazon, Google Books, Apple, KOBO, and Barnes and Noble to name a few. I can be found on social media, Facebook (Author A.M. Griffin), IG and Twitter (@AMGriffinBooks). Please reach out to me. I love hearing and connecting to readers!

3) What projects are you currently working on?

I was blessed to be a part of the Intergalactic Dating Agency series last year with some other great authors. My three-novella series is titled The Teague Bride Experiment. In these stories, humans have agreed to send eligible females to a distant alien planet in exchange for scientific advancements here on earth. These stories are about adventure, starting over trust and of course, love.

I’m currently writing the second installment of that series but with a twist. A small group of aliens have crash landed on Earth and while they await rescue, they find love in the women who are trying their best to keep their new alien neighbors secret. Hopefully, I’ll have these stories out by the end of the year (finger’s crossed).

4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?

My most significant achievement is winning a reader’s choice award for my novel, Dangerously Hers. That book was a labor of love. The heroine, Jess, had previously been introduced as a bitter survivor of alien abuse in the second book of the Loving Dangerously series, Dangerously Yours. I hadn’t intended to write about her at all, but her voice was so strong that I needed to tell her story. I was so pleased that everyone loved Jess as much as I did and allowed her to have her redeeming moment. But I also love the small wins that come from readers contacting me to let me know how much a story has resonated with them.

Hopefully, in the next five years I’ll still be creating the stories that I love and the stories that readers feel drawn to.

5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?

Rejection? Of course! Rejection can be as big as a story rejection from a big publisher or as small as receiving a 1-star review. Whenever anything that’s close to your heart (in this case, my craft) is put out into the public sphere, rejection is inevitable.

I’ve known to grow a thick skin about it. Since these are my thoughts, ideas and creativity, I can’t expect everyone who reads it to like it. That’s just not a practical way of thinking and I can’t take it to heart. There needs to be a healthy separation of rejection and how much I read into it otherwise I wouldn’t make it very long in this business.

6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?

I don’t adhere to a particular writing schedule, but I find I write better at night. I start off with an idea that has flowed to me and I begin from there. I usually know what direction I want my stories to go in and about fifty percent of the time, I can keep up that momentum and allow myself free range to write it if I don’t have a word count that I need to adhere to. But if I do need to maintain a certain word count (usually where the word count is restricted), I’ll outline the chapters and what I want to happen in them. Otherwise, I’ll go off the rails and the 35k story is now pushing 60k.

The time it takes to finish a novel depends on how fast the story is flowing to me. I can finish a novel in a month, or it could take three months. It just depends on what’s going on in my life and the world at the time. I, of course, would prefer to write them faster but alas, I’m far from speedy or perfect.

7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?

Of course not! A 90-year-old has just as many or probably more stories to tell than a 20-year-old. Success is in the eye of the beholder. Success for me is much different than success for my mother.

For me, success was getting published and having my stories read by people all across the world. But for my mother, success means finishing a story and tucking it away quietly and starting another. She’s never published and doesn’t want to and that’s fine because it’s not her goal.

I would tell any aspiring writer to determine their personal goals and work toward them. Also, realizing that their goals might change from time to time and need to be re-evaluated. And that’s okay, as well.

8) Are you an avid reader and have you always been? What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?

I am and have always been an avid reader. My mother would make us read every day. It didn’t matter what we wanted to read, just as long as we read. My older brother used to use his time reading comic books and I read anything I could get my hands on. I read magazine articles, books, poems, encyclopedias, it didn’t matter.

I can’t remember one book that stands out from my childhood, but I do remember I was really into the Judy Blume books. Then in my early twenties I found Johanna Lindsey and absolutely fell in love with her books. There have been many authors along the way that I’ve fell in love with.

Right now, I’m waiting on the next Ilona Andrews book. They’re a husband/wife team and I’m following two of their series at the time (Clean Sweep and Hidden Legacies).

9) The Pandemic was a challenging time for some writers and creative individuals but also for others it was time that they needed to focus on their creative passions. Which side of that spectrum do you fall on? Are there any lessons or nuggets of wisdom that you gained during the Pandemic that help you within your writing career? Did the quarantine stifle your creativity or did it make you even more driven to get things done?

I am on the side where my creativity has taken a hit. I, like the rest of the world, has been consumed by all things pandemic since 2020 and it has taken a toll on my mentality and creative spark. I clawed my way out of it briefly last year and was able to release 5 books, but this year has been more of a struggle. What the pandemic has taught me was to be gentle to myself and others. We’re facing unprecedented times, and this is a new reality for most of us. I practice more patience now than I ever did. It’s also taught me to love and allow myself to be loved. I’m focused on resetting and moving forward but also recognizing that moving forward looks different for everyone.

10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry as it is being represented today? Do you lean more towards traditional publishing or self-publishing as a preference? Does being a hybrid author interest you?

The publishing industry has changed so much since 2012, when I first started. Amazon was publishing author’s, but they hadn’t yet launched their own lines such as KU and hybrid authors practically didn’t exist. You were either self-publishing or with a traditional publisher. Then that all changed.

Amazon totally revamped the way publishing was seen and done. They offered a new way of doing things and we all thought it was a good thing, until it wasn’t. LOL. I’ve done both which makes me a hybrid author. I think nowadays being self-published or even a hybrid author isn’t looked down upon as it was back in the day. More and more authors are finding their worth and are looking to make being an author a business venture and investing in themselves. Meaning, since they are spending the money to market themselves, they want to be able to keep their royalties earned and more and more are choosing self-publishing over the traditional route.

It has always been that authors had to woo a traditional publisher. Pretty soon I think it will gravitate toward the publishers wooing the self-published authors to sign with them.

11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?

I think my unique quality is my imagination, which comes in handy since I write sci-fi romance. I’ve been asked how I come up with my story lines and all I have to say about that is my imagination is da bomb. My imagination empowers me to think out of the box, as well as gives me the perfect avenue to express myself. Writing calms and grounds me, which, in these difficult times is a life saver.