Welcome, A. J.!
I live with a bunch of cats and a human roommate. Oh yeah, there's a dog, too, but we don't talk about the dog. Meh, dogs. Can you tell I'm a cat person?
I have a Tennessee Walker gelding named Zephyr. Horseback riding is one of my favorite things, ever! I am now getting into mounted archery so I can pretend to be super cool!
I love giving people a reason to smile and laugh even if they are laughing at me rather than with me. My books are filled with goofy humor. One of my sisters reads them whenever she's going through a hard time because they always give her a reason to smile.
This part is always hard. Someone asks me, "What are your books about?" and I fidget and look around as if the answer might be floating somewhere in the atmosphere around me. Uh, I dunno...stuff. Haha.
My Worlds Akilter series follows the adventures of a human woman, Amiah, and small golden folk about 6-7 inches in height called lidra. And a mouse. And lots of cats. Their adventures include Earth and another world, Deart. Deart is hovering on the brink of falling through dimensions and crushing Earth. For now, a magical barrier keeps that from happening. The first book in the series, To Save Two Worlds (is twice [as] much fun) is all about stopping the magical barrier from failing as well as introducing the characters [whose] adventures continue in the next 4 books. So far, there will be 5 books total in the series, but who knows, maybe there will be more someday!
Here is the cover for the latest, scheduled to be released sometime early 2017!
Author's Rating: PG
Ten Things You Should Know About
A. J. Bakke
I have not named a character after someone I know, but I did dedicate my book, Attacking the Darkness, to my Uncle Paul who passed away suddenly several years ago. He invested a lot of time into his nieces and nephews. He took us spelunking to hard-to-find caves to explore. He challenged us to pine cone battles in the woods. He helped a couple of my younger sisters build robots. He made wizard staffs with glowy tops. He was a very fun, punny guy and I miss him a lot. I wish he could have read my books. I know he would have gotten a kick out of the cheesy puns and wacky adventures.
2. At what moment did you feel like you could say, “NOW, I'm an author?”
Probably after publishing my third or fourth book when I was really able to let go of the notion that I needed to be traditionally published in order to be a "real" author. I still occasionally feel the sting of someone not taking my writing seriously since I'm not traditionally published, but for the most part, I've gotten over it. I feel much more confident these days, and I have a lot of fun writing my books and publishing them on my own schedule. I really appreciate my friends who proof read for me in return for eternal gratitude and lattes.
3. Do you write using a keyboard, pen and paper, or both?
Keyboard. All of my writing is done on my laptop. I take a lot of notes in my brain throughout the day and then transfer them to my story when they are pertinent. I do occasionally store notes in my phone if I'm not at the laptop to write, but not very often.
4. What project are you working on now?
Attack of the Killer Rutabagas! Book 5 in my Worlds Akilter Series. It is a lot of fun! As one might guess from the title, a reader can be prepared to encounter many goofy adventures!
5. Have you always liked to write?
Yep! It just took about 30ish years for me to find a story and world that I clicked with. That, and realizing that I need to stick to my own style and not worry about what everyone else is doing or try to mimic them or follow a certain set of rules. I use the rules that apply to me and discard the rest. Several readers have told me that I have a distinct writing voice and they really enjoy that.
6. Do any of your characters sound/look like famous actors in your head?
Corrin, from The Hidden Level and Crashing the Game, looks somewhat like Heath Ledger. I didn't plan it that way. Just kinda happened. I was trying to give an artist a good approximation of his appearance for a picture and Heath Ledger fit the bill.
7. Do you write/read every single day?
Every morning, I write whether I want to or not. And most evenings, I read for about half an hour to an hour before bed. I think that reading is very important in order to write well. I try to soak up other author's amazing skills by osmosis and hope that some of that awesomeness will carry over to my work! Without losing what makes my writing "mine," of course.
8. What is one of your favorite beverages/snacks while writing?
Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!
9. Do you have any furry writing buddies? (Or scaled or feathered?)
I have anywhere from one to six cats piled on the couch with me while I write.
I enjoy sculpting every now and then. I used to draw, but not so much anymore. Most of my creativity goes into writing these days. But here is a picture of one of my favorite sculptures I managed to somehow piece together.