special guest is A.J. Cosmo to chat with us about his new juvenile fiction work
that he authored and illustrated, Soaked.
During his virtual book tour, A.J. will be awarding a $75 Amazon or Barnes and
Noble gift card (winner’s choice) to a randomly drawn winner. To be entered for
your chance to win, use the form below. To increase your
chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there,
Cosmo is the full-time independent author and illustrator of over forty
children’s books including the best selling “The Monster That Ate My Socks.” He
is also a consultant and publisher to other independent writers and
Welcome, A.J. Please tell us about your
Aiden who, on the last day of class, stands up to Jacob, the all-powerful
school bully. Jacob texts the entire school on the way home declaring a
“$500 Gamestop gift card and full immunity for the kid that brings me
Aiden Jones.” Aiden has to rely on his friends, and his wits, to make it
home safe and ultimately stand up to the bully that plagues everyone.
What inspired you to write this book?
wanted to tell a modern story of bullying and childhood war. I believe strongly
that media attention to violence and war-themed video games have produced a
culture that seeks violent solutions to nearly every problem. Our children take
that information and use it to template their lives. The bully in Soaked knows the powder keg and all it
takes is a simple text to bring war to a neighborhood. You cannot solve
violence with more violence. Aiden, our hero, learns that his
“cowardice” (pacifism) is actually his greatest strength and he uses
non-violent means to systematically destroy the bully.
Excerpt from Soaked:
We ran into the woods and weaved through the trees. Ben grabbed my hand and
pulled me into one of the crusty drainpipes that marked where future homes
would be put. We waited there for the patrol to run past.
left him,” Ben said.
left him? How about we left him?” I said.
was your idea to make a break for it. Your plan, you’re blame,” Ben
stopped, looked out of the pipe, and waited for the sound of the rallying kids
to come near.
sorry,” I said as I looked down at the dirt.
stomped by overhead and we dropped our voices.
shook his head. “They’re not after me,” Ben whispered. “I could
walk out right now and no one would care.”
say that,” I said. I couldn’t help but feel a bit betrayed. “What
makes you think they wouldn’t bother you?”
nearly got soaked back there.” He pulled out his cell phone. He looked at
his phone as if it was the most precious thing in the world. And you know what?
To him, it was. I knew that if something happened to it that it would take at
least three grades before he would be able to get a new one.
it okay?” I asked, not caring about the phone at all.
tapped the phone. Then he shook it, pawed it, and pleaded with it.
What exciting story are you working on
not ready to divulge too much yet, but the theme of the story is the transition
between immaturity and maturity and the title of the book is “Poop.”
When did you first consider yourself a
I looked around and saw that my only income was coming from writing (and
illustrating) and that I literally could do nothing else with myself. I still
have a hard time believing it, but the more you call yourself something (or are
introduced as it in a public setting) the easier it is to accept it.
full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than
write and how do you find time to write?
work every day. Every. Day. And the
time varies from a few hours to the entirety of daylight. It helps to give
yourself hard deadlines, even if you’re the only one paying attention to them.
I carry many projects at once and am considered a workaholic. I average a book
every two weeks. At such a breakneck pace, even my mother hasn’t heard of all
As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?
young it was a paleontologist (dinosaur scientist) and from ten years old on it
was either a film director or a screenwriter. At no point did I ever consider
being a full-time writer (though I did write my first novel at 18.) Honestly I
think children need to have a wider variety of career options shown to them at
a younger age. Nurse, cop, firefighter, and scientist need to be alongside
accountant, teacher, mechanic, inventor, programmer, and barista.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
One thing that I wish authors would talk about more with readers is how
important their feedback, specifically their reviews, are to us. True, some
writers never read their reviews, but just the fact of having them in the first
place puts an enormous weight behind the work. So if you read this and want to
help a writer, any writer, leave them a review. Heck, review all of their work.
Tell your friends to do the same: you’ll be the house on Halloween that gives
out full-sized candy bars.