AJ Eversley has certainly made the most of the pandemic. She has not only kept up a full-time day job, but her full-time other job is going from blossom to full bloom in rapid time. She's the Bon Accord-based author of seven titles in the Watcher series and the EverMarked series, both of which are gaining traction to become breakout successes.
Starting with the first book Eversley originally self-published in 2017, she has published six more: seven titles in four years is pretty good by anyone's standards, especially publishers' standards.
"I published the first three books in the Watcher series, and then was picked up by the publisher for the first book of the second series, which is Evermarked," she recapped.
"As soon as they found out that it was connected to a previously-published series, they wanted to republish that. They actually ended up taking all seven books altogether to be published under Aelurus Publishing."
Watcher is young adult sci-fi that is described as "Divergent meets Terminator" on Eversley's website at ajeversley.com. She said the idea came to her as a vision of a young woman standing on the roof of a tall building overlooking a city that has been taken over and destroyed by robots and clones called Carbons. This is how the first scene starts the adventure.
"I just had this scene in my mind of she's trying to protect whatever's left in her world, and how [is she] going to do that, how is she going to accomplish that?" she explained, offering insight into her inspiration.
"I'm the type of writer that, I have ideas in my head, but I really don't know where the story's going to go. I tend to let the characters dictate that. The idea of Watcher really just came from that first initial scene, and then it flows from there. I continued writing."
Writing is a lifelong passion, one that only seems to be met by her passion for reading. Along with her two full-time jobs, she also has a side job as a beta reader for other writers who need feedback. She guessed she reads around four or five books a week.
"I would say I'm a very avid reader and then I also enjoy other media. Television and film are definitely big inspirations for me, as well as music," she continued.
"When I was really young, like Grade 3 or 4, I remember writing little short stories. Most of them were about my teddy bears, and nobody read them, but maybe my mom. After that, I actually got very focused on sports. I went to college, played college basketball. That became my passion, but throughout that I loved reading, I loved storytelling in general movies and television."
A back injury about seven years ago gave her lots of opportunity to read. She discovered there were stories she mostly liked, but there was always a part of her that would think about how she would have done things differently.
Eventually, she decided to try it herself.
"On a whim, I wrote my first book and it spiraled from there. I realized that that was something I was really passionate about and really enjoyed doing."
While she's in the middle of producing new titles, she has started to dabble in screenwriting, ostensibly with a mind to adapt her stories to TV or film. It makes sense to her, since she writes with a cinematic point of view already, she admitted.
From March 2020 to June 2021, she finished seven full-length novels and three film and television scripts.
"I find the creativity side of things flows quite easily with me. Sometimes I need to be reined back a little bit, but that doesn't seem to be a problem for me ... I'm one of the people that, ironically, during the pandemic, when everybody was at home and not working and a lot of creative people said they'd lost that creativity because they were too focused on everything going around, I was the opposite."
She spent the last part of this year working on getting an agent and moving her work forward. An announcement, she said, will be coming soon.