Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Soaked by A. J. Cosmo: Interview with Excerpt


Welcome! Thanks so much for stopping by and answering a few questions.
Laurie, thank you so much for hosting me.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?
The hardest part of writing is just sitting down and writing. There's tweets to tweet, blog posts to write, emails to send, covers to make, laundry to do, dishes that need cleaned, workouts to perform, loved ones to comfort, and church to attend, and all of that eats away at writing time. Honestly, I could leave all of that stuff hanging and just write, but the truth is that I use them as an excuse not to work. Writing is hard and is fraught with self-doubt. It whispers to you non-stop that it needs to be done, growing annoying at a snail's pace, but so easily ignored that anything can take its place.

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
Just do it. As trademarked as that sounds, it really is the biggest piece of instruction I can give. Most beginning writers look for permission, validation, structure, instructions, heck even secrets, before they begin to write. Few people realize that writing teaches writing; the more you write, the easier it gets and the more fully you understand the process. It's funny to apply writing instruction to other disciplines: Learn all about cooking by reading the top ten meals for kings! Make your next painting by following this easy formula!  Find out the seven secrets famous architects use to build skyscrapers! If you’re a beginning writer, the most important thing you can do it finish your first project. Then finish your second, and your third, and your fourth, and so on and so forth until you are no longer a beginner writer.

Have you attended a high school reunion? What did you learn?
A little back-story here: in High School I was and overweight wallflower with a distinctive laugh and a knack for embarrassing himself. I went to college, worked hard to lose weight, moved to California, and fought to make a living out here. I was determined to return to my home state and show everyone that I had completely transformed. Gone would be the awkward kid, in his place an attractive professional artist.
My first high school reunion was held at a pizza parlor. It was catered with the world's largest pizza. I dressed in a suit and tie, my classmates dressed casually. Most everyone was happy to see me and were impressed with what I had done. However, what I learned was that most of them hadn’t changed. They were exactly as I left them and that's when I realized that what made me different was that drive to prove myself. Being a wallflower was a blessing because it made me fight for something. Had I been the loved quarterback, I never would have left home.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?
Soaked is a quick read that pulls you in from the start. It's an action novel for kids that can keep attention while discussing serious life issues like bullying, friendship, and loyalty.

What is the next big thing?
I'm working on finishing up the Monsters A to Z series, which is a collaboration between myself and 25 other writers. It should be finished by October. I also have three iOS books in the works that have some interactive and animated elements. Also, the follow up to Soaked titled "Poop" should be out in time for Christmas. It's not a sequel, but it is the next middle grade novel in the works. I'm keeping the plot under wraps for now but it has to do with the transition children go through from immaturity to maturity.

Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?
I think I am more like an afternoon person, if that's such a thing. LOL I am groggy and grumpy when I first wake up and it takes a while for my brain to get going. I also can’t stay out too late without yawning myself embarrassed, so that leaves the afternoon for activities. I don’t mind it, I work fast, but it can be challenging to find time. There's always so much to do.

New York or LA? Why?
I currently live in Los Angeles and have yet to visit New York. Large crowds tend to make me uncomfortable, so New York will be a challenge. However, I have many friends that live there now and commute to Los Angeles regularly, so it's only a matter of time. The two cities represent the two extremes of American ambition. Los Angeles offers the dream of fame, social wealth, while New York promises fiscal wealth. Everything is an intense competition and that can be a source of growth as long as you keep things in perspective. The common advice is that if you want to work as a screenwriter you have to move to LA, or an author to NY, but I would say that you don’t move to these places for the agents, you move for the competition. 


by A. J. Cosmo


What a way to start summer… I should have never stood up to that bully Jacob. It was just a water balloon thrown to save my friend’s behind during recess. Now we’re on a bus heading home and everyone gets the same text: “$500 gift card and full immunity to the kid that brings me Aiden- Jacob.” I’m Aiden by the way, and the entire fourth grade is staring at me. Hopefully, with my friend’s help, we can get off at the next stop, three miles from my house, and make it home before the entire neighborhood finds us. 

Soaked is the first middle-grade novel by author/illustrator A.J. Cosmo. Filled with humor and suspense, this surprising page turner is a tale of friendship, courage, and standing up for what’s right. For 3rd-5th grade readers.


I'm a coward.

That was the first thing that crossed my mind when the water balloon splattered on Jacob's face. Jacob, the boy who never needed a hall pass. Jacob, the kid who never ate his own lunch. Jacob, the one you cleared the bathroom for.

Cowards don't do this, I thought. Cowards run. Let everyone who has ears to hear know that I, Aiden Jones, am a coward.

Jacob let go of Ben's collar and let his victim join my side. Our classmates fell into a sick silence. No one knew what to do because no one had ever challenged Jacob before.

What about me though? What did Jacob have in store for me? Would he drag me into the bathroom and give me a swirly? Would he hold me under the water fountain? Would he stuff my pockets with water balloons and make me do jumping jacks?

Jacob just stared.

The summer sun pulled the water from his shirt, just as it soaked up the moisture from the plants and our skin. Since the drought began in the mid-west, our cozy little school had turned into a solar oven. The worst part was that the principal could have cranked up the air conditioning and given us all relief, but she didn't, not even on the last day of school. That's just the kind of lady she was.

"Jacob--I didn't mean to--I mean," I said.

"You almost got my phone wet," he growled.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A.J. Cosmo is the author and illustrator of over forty children’s books including the best-selling “The Monster That Ate My Socks”. He lives and works in Los Angeles, loves reading and video games, and is hard at work finishing the Monsters A to Z series. “Soaked” is A.J.’s first middle-grade novel.





Soaked Purchase page


A. J. Cosmo will be awarding a $75 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn host.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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