A. J. Wilson
A. J. Wilson’s Russian Redemption explores possible desensitization of constant exposure to violence, and depths of subhuman behaviour that can result from it.
Paul Collins–Tell us about your background. Who you are, where you are from?
A. J. Wilson- Born at the end of 1962 at St Mary’s Hospital, Luton, Bedfordshire – England. I shared my childhood with two brothers (John & Paul) and a sister (Linda). Other than me being best described as a ‘difficult child’, it was a well balanced upbringing, facing the same challenges as many families – nothing too out of the ordinary.
Joining the British Army at the age of 16 probably kept me out of the judicial system as it would be fair to say I was ‘wandering’ down the wrong path! My two brothers were already in the Army and my sister was destined to join the Police force. All very disciplined and structured – yup, I was the ‘black sheep’.
I still managed to find trouble during those 15 years of military service but also managed to have a lot of fun as well. Numerous jobs, a wife and three children, a failed business and a move across the other side of the world later I’ve written a book, a story, a reflection of a dark period in world history. People ask if the characters are based on actual people I have met over my life time – when you read the book you’ll understand when I say “I bloody hope not!”
Paul Collins–What themes does your book explore and what do you hope the readers will take away from the experience? Is there a particular feeling or experience that you hope to evoke for the reader?
A. J. Wilson- The book is set in war time Russia, without being a ‘war story’. Russian Redemption explores the possible desensitization of constant exposure to violence, and the depths of sub human behaviour that can result from it. It looks at the controlling dominance of the Countries leaders to exploit the people of Russia for their own ends, only to be disposed off on a whim without thought or feeling. I think I want the book to make people reaffirm the importance of life, it is (in my opinion) the value we put on a single life that defines our humanity.
A. J. Wilson- To be absolutely honest I have yet to understand that myself. It is so difficult to explain; I just felt a compulsion to write. Not just a ‘want’ as writing a book had never occurred to me, or interested me, at all. Then all of a sudden I just needed to. Once sat at the laptop it was just like sitting in a cinema with the whole thing being played out on the screen and all I was doing was trying to capture in words what the other senses were experiencing. There were other ‘unlikely’ experiences as well; my publisher for example. A simple google search for publishers brought up pages and pages so I phoned one at random, Judi at ProofreadNZ/ Santel e-publishing. By total fluke Judi lives 10 minutes up the road from me and has Russian relatives that lived through that period that the book is set in (even though she is distinctly American). Sufficed to say I didn’t ring any other’s and she has been absolutely invaluable as a guide, a teacher and now a friend. It all sounds very strange but I’m sure there are other writers out there that can understand what I am saying.
Paul Collins–If you could compare your book to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why?
A. J. Wilson- I couldn’t, and here’s a real eyebrow raiser, Russian Redemption would not be my choice of reading; I like David Eddings, JK Rawlings, CS Lewis and of course JR Tolkien. So this is totally outside of my comfort zone.
Paul Collins–Tell us about your latest work and what inspired you.
A. J. Wilson- For me the whole journey of taking this from blank page to published novel has been more than I could of hoped for. It has been unbelievable. I don’t think I had a lot of control over writing Russian Redemption, it must be someone’s story because that could not have come out of my head, all i did was provide the conduit! So I guess I won’t have a lot of control over if there is another book, we’ll have to wait and see.
Paul Collins–How can your readers contact you? Or buy your books? Or where can they sign up for a newsletter.
A. J. Wilson- The e-book is now available through Amazon/Kindle, paperback to follow via CreateSpace very shortly.