Ah the dreaded About Me section. We meet again. How I loathe your incessant demands that I talk about myself in a manner as to encourage people to read my writing. Is it not my writing that I wish people to see? Can it not speak for itself without my clumsy attempts at summarizing the entirety of my soul and existence? No? Well all right then.
I should mention, my name isn’t actually A.J. Priest. My decision to use a pen name was based largely on a couple years of moderating a public chat room. I’ll leave the details of that to your imagination.
All my life I have been fascinated by stories, both fiction and history, the reading and the telling. In spite of this, I never considered that perhaps I was meant to be a writer. Story was simply something that I loved. It was part of my life and always had been. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when I first considered writing might be something I should pursue, but my big decision point came in 2011 when Ted Dekker hosted a writer’s conference called The Ragged Edge. I realized then that my passion was, and always had been, story. And I had ignored it for most of my life because I was afraid to dream of what it might become should I nurture it. That’s not to say that I got over my fear right away, and plunged headfirst into this newly recognized dream. I’m still scared as all get out, and I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve simply decided not to let that stop me anymore.
As for what I write, I’ll try just about anything once, but I tend towards a speculative fiction persuasion. I also write flash fiction. But simply stating what genre a story is in doesn’t capture the heart of it. Whether I’m flying with dragons, battling demons, or tinkering with clockwork what makes me truly fall in love with my stories are the characters. The darkness in their lives, their brokenness, and their will to keep going make me fall in love with them over and over as I learn more about them, and seeing them heal and overcome often brings me to tears.
In June of 2015 my world came crashing down around me. My dreams, my plans, and what I believed about myself turned to dust. When it was over I was left with nothing. Nothing but my faith in God, and this crazy dream I have of reaching people with my words. So here I am, embarking on a daunting journey one word at a time. And you’re invited to come along.