Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A.J. Braithwaite-- The Roman and the Runaway

A. J. Braithwaite is an Englishwoman who now lives in Canada on a small farm where she is striving to be as self-sufficient as possible. She started writing 'The Roman and the Runaway' in 1985 (when she was still at school herself) and finally got around to finishing it in 2009.

The Roman and the Runaway: In with 'the wrong crowd', Luke Brownlow's schoolwork is suffering and his parents take drastic action: banning him from seeing his friends and making him change schools. Luke falls out with
his family completely and escapes by forming an friendship with their neighbour, Ned Kelly.

Luke plans to get expelled from his new school, but has to reassess the situation when he discovers that his new headmaster is the neighbour he has been getting to know over the summer. An antagonistic fellow student and the arrival of a runaway teenage girl make it harder to avoid confrontations with Ned than Luke had hoped. By the end of the school year he is in imminent danger of expulsion and is sure that he has lost the respect of the man he most admires.

Q: What will e-readers like about your book?

It's fast-paced and quietly funny, with believable characters and
situations, addressing some real-life issues about teenagers' relationships
with authority figures, family and friends. Plus: no vampires!

Q: Why did you go indie?

I don't have enough free time to spend chasing elusive agents and
publishers. Sharing my story with people has always been my first priority
and the Internet makes that possible to do that with very few hurdles. Going
indie fits in well with my general drive towards self-sufficiency. It's been
a great experience and it's wonderful to get direct feedback from people who
have enjoyed the book.

Q: Who are your favorite authors in your genre?

Diana Wynne Jones is my all-time favourite children's/YA writer. I like
Terry Pratchett, Eoin Colfer and Megan Whalen Turner, too.

Smashwords link:
Feedbooks link:


  1. HI AJ - 24 years & it's YA. Doesn't sound like the setting is historical so I wonder how you managed to keep it up to date - especially dialogue. Not being critical, snarky or making unkind assumptions - that's not me. I also write (& SP) YA & sometimes it's tough to be current, if there is such a thing w/ kids - like incorporating something such as texting or the use of acceptable slang (other than 'like'). "Teenspeak" seems to morph monthly. Just curious 'cause I struggle with it over the course of a much shorter span of idea to ms to pub.

    I hope you have great success with your book.

  2. It's a good question! I started from scratch again in late 2007. The story is 24 years old, but the dialogue isn't!