A. R. Grosjean – Interview and $0.99 Pre-order

Long and Short Reviews welcomes A.R. Grosjean who is celebrating the upcoming release of Hidden Agenda, available for pre-order for only $0.99.

She began writing as Amber Rigby because that was who she was. She thought that when she finally got published, that was the name she’d use so people would see the name and know it was her. That way, she could prove she did it when everyone else said she wouldn’t. When she finally got her first book traditionally published, she was married and her husband asked if she would use their last. So, she decided to use both her maiden and married names: Amber Rigby Grosjean, and she published a few books under that name.

“After a while, I decided the name was too long and it was a constant reminder of what my family put me through. So when I began publishing books myself, I shortened the name to A.R. Grosjean. So in a sense, it is my real name and a pen name at the same time. I only use this combination for the writing world. Otherwise, I’m just Amber Grosjean,” she said with a laugh.

Amber never really thought much about writing when she was a child, even though books where always around the house.

“My mother and little sister always had a book in their hands. I had turned 11 a few months prior. My grandparents, my little sister, and I were on a trip to see my uncle. Since the trip was going to take a few hours, my sister and I brought paper and pens to color and draw. On the way home, I was looking up at the clouds for an idea to draw and a story popped into my head instead,” she remembered. “I began writing as if it was something I’d done a thousand times before. The love that came with it stayed and has only grown since that summer day. To this day, I have no idea where the idea for that first story came from. It was like it was given to me to begin this long journey of being a writer—like it was my destiny.”

She continued, “There was something about creating something out of thin air that had me hooked. I considered myself a writer from that moment on. I couldn’t see into the future so I’m not sure how I knew that I’d be published someday. Maybe it was just hope that had me, but growing up I thought I did know I was a writer. I was writing a book or a story, so in my mind I was a writer. People kept telling me I wasn’t going to get published and I wasn’t a real writer. It was only a hobby, they would say. But I didn’t listen to them. I was too busy proving to them I was.”

To date, she has 23 books published, one coming out next month, and two still in the works. She has three favorites: 1. Fairytale’s Truth 2. Murder Through Time 3. Peterson Estate #1 Birth of a Witch.

Fairytale’s Truth: This is a children’s fantasy adventure. I used my first granddaughter as the MC. Her personality and some true events she’s done has been added to the story. It made her live forever. Of course, I did get permission from her parents before writing the story. My granddaughter had a rough beginning in her life and almost didn’t make it. She has a pacemaker. She’s seven now and has had that pacemaker for quite a few years (she was just over a year old). This is the first book in a series called Fairytale Adventures.

Murder Through Time. I love time travel and this story is probably my best written story. I love the detail and had so much fun moving through time. I thought it was interesting how one person could be killed multiple times and the reason for her murders was actually clever, I think. I can’t take credit for it, the character came up with it.

Peterson Estate: This was my original top favorite story because it had been with me since I was a kid. It was the first finished book I ever wrote and the third book that was traditionally published. Emily Peterson, the MC has been with me almost my entire life and has helped me through a lot of things growing up. I actually lost this story once and Emily kept coming to my dreams demanding I told her story. I rewrote it from memory which turned out making it even better!

One of the stories she’s currently working on is called A Mother’s Pain (women’s fiction/inspirationatl). There are a few true events in this story that happened to her, but she fictionalized it so there are also added elements that didn’t happen. Anna went through a lot as a young mother and wife. She struggles and she is forced to live with her parents twice (husband included). The second time around, her mother pushes her away and finds a way to be the children’s mother instead of Anna. Now Anna must find a way to become strong and fight for her children. This story will be dedicated to all struggling mothers.

“How do you come up with the titles to your books?” I asked.

“I begin with the idea for the story and think of something clever for the working title. Once the story is written, I may change the title or keep it. It just depends if I like the title or not. It also depends on how many other books use that title. I’ve learned that there are a lot of books that use the same titles. It may cause confusion when mine comes out. The title also has to say something about the book, the story within it. I always have something before the story is written. That gives me a chance to start sharing information about the book so I can begin the marketing phase.”

Amber has an entire room devoted to her writing, something she’s always wanted. Her desk in black and small with a shelf. On the desk is a lamp, a Nana mug with pens, a paperweight for decoration, a few pads of stickers, two planners (2023 and 2024), a notebook with all her stories’ notes, her laptop, and a lot of sticky notes. Around the desk, she has two bookshelves (one short, one tall) with books, cleaning supplies, bathroom stuff (because other things are in this space), more mugs that she doesn’t use for drinking, and various other things. There is also a printer, charging station, and drawers filled with whatnots and more pens.

“I have a lot of pens!” she said.

I asked her to share her most embarrassing moment.

“I was in the zone while writing one of my books and I reached a scene that was funny so I laughed. I had no idea my husband was standing over me, watching, until he said something. I jumped. Then we both laughed. I had to tell him what I was writing, and it made him laugh that I had laughed. At the time, I was in a room that didn’t have much light, and my desk wasn’t facing the door at the time. It was easy for him to sneak up on me anytime he wanted which caused me to move the desk,” she explained with a laugh. “Today, I have a room that is well-lit and the desk faces the door, sort of, so I can always see when someone enters the room through the corner of my eye, even when I’m in the zone. No more surprises! My husband has caught me yelling at my characters too, by the way.”

When Amber’s not writing, she likes watching TV shows or movies. She also enjoys crocheting and making clothes.

“I have made blankets for my grandchildren when they were born. And I made two stuffed animals. One was a bear for my granddaughter with a pacemaker to match hers and the other was a unicorn bear for my youngest daughter. I also like to doodle and make other crafts. And I like to play games online. Those are addictive. I do have a part-time job cleaning rooms for a hotel. My husband and I have gotten to know the owner and the manager there (we lived there for two years). My husband also does security for them. And I do other things like computer work and printing. I call myself the secretary,” she said with a laugh. “If the manager needs a form, I create it and print out copies he needs. I save the forms in case he needs more later: ‘No sitting on the steps’, ‘out of order’, the form they fill out when getting a room, etc. I’ve gotten creative on some of the signs I’ve made using pictures for a visual effect.”

I asked, “What would we find under your bed?”

“I thought this question was funny so I had to answer it. When my husband and I lived at the hotel, we didn’t have much space so we had to utilize every inch we could including the space under the bed. At the hotel, you would find out out-of-season clothes, extra food, and pans under the bed just because of the lack of space. Then we moved to the house and gained four rooms and a closet (living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and office). Now we don’t need the space under the bed as much so there isn’t much under it. But you will find a suitcase with my husband’s out-of-season clothes, an empty duffle bag to take our clothes to the laundromat, and Christmas stuff so our kids don’t see it. And maybe some dust.”

I was curious how Amber came up with her characters’ names.

“I’ve gone through a lot of different methods. First, I used only the names of people I knew or knew of. But that was making things harder on me,” she explained. “I bought a book called “Creating Characters” by Readers Digest and there was a section on character names. It said you could just make up the names based on personality, their job, or whatever. So I tried that when I wrote Murder Through Time. A last name—Guilnet (not guilty). When the narrator did this book, hearing the name being spoken sounded so cool. It sounded French and make it appear more real. I thought this concept was cool, but I didn’t want to overdo it. I also get some names online on a name builder site. That’s fun.”

Finally I asked Amber if she had a question for our readers.

“There is a fine line between the fantasy and science fiction, and sometimes I have to guess because the two ran side-by-side. You can have a story about witches and depending how the story is told and what’s in the story, it can be either/or, so it’s hard. All things in outer space is science fiction. Time travel is science fiction. That much I do know. Someone once said that science fiction is ‘it could be true but probably not’, but I believe Superman is science fiction, and I know it’s not possible for people to fly without any assistance. So that’s confusing. Maybe a reader on here could set me straight. I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on it.”

Two lives are forever changed when a virus sweeps the nation.

Thomas stole a serum, trying to better his life. When someone steals it from him, it leaves him questioning the people who hired him. What is the serum? Did he just help them release a deadly virus?

Rick was just a janitor. During the outbreak of a deadly virus, his wife speaks her mind and gets the two of them kidnapped. Now she’s dead.

Thomas and Rick separately search for answers. They join a group searching for the same thing as they are. The group knows who released the virus. Did this man do it? Or was it someone else? Why would someone intentionally release a deadly virus? And how does Ming and Rick play into this? Did Ming know the truth?

About the Author I was bullied my entire childhood and through high school. It ended when my family and I moved to Fort Wayne, IN during my junior year in high school. By then, my life and choices had already been affected. I tried to commit suicide when I was ten years old. I’m thankful today that it wasn’t successful. A year later, I discovered writing and knew that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I read everything on writing and did everything on my own, not knowing what I didn’t know. It took me twenty years to get my first book accepted by a traditional publisher. I’d say another ten years later, I changed my publishing routine to self-publishing and rewrote all of my books and changed my pen name to A.R. Grosjean, which is what I write under now. To this date, I have 23 books published in various genres including fantasy, science fiction, romance, paranormal, thriller, mystery, children’s books, YA, and more.

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