Quintette of Questions: AJ Collins

Today I’m asking AJ Collins 5 questions about her latest book!

1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title?

Oleanders are Poisonous: The title went through at least half dozen (probably more) changes as I tried to capture the mood, meaning and genre of my story. As I came up with each ‘perfect’ title, I excitedly ran each suggestion past my writers group, and there was never a consensus, so I slunk back to my desk to await more inspiration. In the end, it was a scene from my book that inspired me. And voilà! Joy at last.

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

Lauren: I could see a young Saoirse Ronan (with dark hair of course) capturing Lauren’s vulnerability and feistiness.
Harry: Oh look, let’s give a young Alex Pettyfar a go; he’s hot, English, can speak in sentences … what’s not to like?
Snap: Such an easy choice: a young Jordan Gavaris. He starred in the Orphan Black series – tall, intelligent, irreverent, fabulous and kind.

3. What five words best describe your story?

Honest, poignant, heartbreaking, gritty, brave

4. Who is your favourite fictional team/couple?

I melt over Hazel and Augustus in The Fault in Our Stars. Their strength, risking love in the face of adversity, rips my heart out.

5. What song reflects a theme, character, relationship or scene in your book?

Smile by Uncle Kracker – It’s Lauren’s theme song in the book

About  Oleanders are Poisonous

It’s bad enough sixteen-year-old Lauren is losing her mum to a horrible disease and that her best friend is leaving town, but now the only person she thought she could trust is about to betray her in the worst possible way. A complex, mature YA coming-of-age story, filled with heartbreak, laughter and poignancy.

Buy Oleanders are Poisonous

About  AJ Collins

AJ Collins is a Melbourne-based fiction author. A recipient of first prize and several commendations for the Monash WordFest awards, AJ has been published in various short story anthologies and magazines, and was awarded a place at Hardcopy 2018, a national professional development program for writers. Her work has also been read on Radio Queensland.

AJ graduated from RMIT’s Professional Writing and Editing Associate Degree in 2014 and has since established a successful editing and publishing business, AJC Publishing. Previous to this, AJ had an eclectic career from managing commercial mortgages, to working in a legal tribunal, to fronting her own function band for over twenty years. A one-time devotee of adrenaline sports, including bungee, skydiving, parasailing, sky-walking, sky-jumping, and volcano climbing, AJ is now happy to be settled at home with her hubby and two fur-kids, writing her adventures instead of living them.

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So many book launches and author talks have had to be cancelled, I’ve decided to run as many Quintettes as I can to share some great upcoming work – and let you stock up on things to read while we’re all self-isolating.