Hello everyone! Today, I’m excited to be interviewing AJ Steiger , author of the young adult novel Mindwalker. Mindwalker is one of the best books I've read this year and you can read my review here!
Thanks AJ for agreeing to this interview, let’s start of by telling us a bit about yourself and what got you into writing?
I’ve always been a writer. Even as a little kid, I was constantly making up stories. I lived in my imagination.
Your debut novel , Mindwalker is about a futuristic world , tell us about that world and about the story in general?
Mindwalker takes place in a future where people can choose to have their bad memories erased. Seventeen-year-old Lain Fisher is a Mindwalker in training who uses a direct neural interface to wipe away people’s traumas. When a troubled classmate asks her to erase a horrific childhood experience from his mind, she agrees to help him, but soon discovers that he's connected to something much bigger, something the government doesn't want the public to find out about. As she learns more about her society and the origins of Mindwalking therapy, she begins to question whether she's doing the right thing.
Where can we buy it?
Lain is an incredibly interesting character , do you relate to her inn any way?
Lain’s a little more naïve than me, at least in the beginning, but I do relate to her in many ways. She’s someone who strives to be optimistic and see the best in people, but that gets her into trouble sometimes. She also has a tendency to push herself too hard.
How much research did you do to create the world in Mindwalker?
I read a lot of articles about neuroscience and some books on psychology. Those topics have always interested me. I learned that the idea of wiping away bad memories isn’t at all implausible. It’s something that scientists are already researching as a form of therapy. Of course, as a writer of dystopian novels, I imagine all the ways it could go wrong, how memory modification could become a form of social control and a way to hide inconvenient truths.
What is your favourite genre to read?
It’s a tie between science fiction and fantasy. I’ve branched out a little more as I’ve gotten older, but those remain my first love.
Can you recommend a book for young adult readers?
There are so many good ones, but I really liked The Adoration of Jenna Fox. I love stories about the ethical dilemmas created by new technologies.
What are you working on right now?
I’ve already finished the sequel to Mindwalker. I’m working on a new young adult novel called Alvie Fitz, about a girl with Asperger’s who’s fighting for legal emancipation.
Do you have any advice on creating and developing flawed and realistic characters?
A character’s flaws and strengths are always tied together, in my mind. Someone who’s very kind, for instance, might be easy to take advantage of. Someone who’s very independent might have difficulty asking for help when they need it. It’s a matter of looking at how their positive attributes could become disadvantages.
(Quick fire questions)
Do you have a favourite TV show?
Neon Genesis Evangelion. Outside of anime, probably Lost.
What about a favourite movie?
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Keep an open mind, but also an active mind. Don’t take “common sense” as an answer. Always ask questions.
Winter or Summer?
Winter. I enjoy the cold but I wilt in the heat.
Tea or Coffee?
If I have to pick one, coffee. But ideally, both.
Cats or dogs?
I’m much more of a dog person.
Thank you for taking time out of your day to chat with us but before you go, where can we find you?
You can find me on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/AJ_Steiger