A. J. Darkholme

Author, Poet, Artist, Philosopher

Most notable work:
The Morningstar Chronicles
(Novel, Series)

The Introvert

Q: Is A. J. Darkholme your real name?
A: I wish haha But no, A. J. Darkholme is not my real name. I mostly created it to protect the family I have one day from "fame overload". Also, I always thought it would be cool if, one day, I was in an English course or book club where they were analyzing my poetry/novels, and the professor asks, "What do you think the author/poet was feeling? What do you think he meant here?" - only to explain what I think and be told I'm wrong and hear what scholars came up with... so I could stand up dramatically exclaiming I am, in fact, he.
Q: How did you come up with the name A. J. Darkholme?
A: Well, I wanted something near the top of the alphabet, so when my name was listed alongside of others, it would show up among the first. As for "Darkholme"... I strongly believe in the power of sound and the natural, implicit connotations of words, or "phonosemantics". With that said, "dark" reflects the dark side of human nature, while "home" carries that warmth and comfort we associate with home. Spelled like "holme", I like to think it keeps that feeling, while adding a deeper parallel to "Stockholm Syndrome": seeing the alternative side of something though you're captive to it. On a geeky level, it's also a tribute to Raven Darkholme (Mystique) from the Marvel Comics franchise; someone who, although she's on the "bad" side, isn't evil herself. She believes in a dream of peace, yet also knows that sometimes peace can only be achieved through action once other efforts have been exhausted. She fights when she needs to, but as a shape-shifter, her main tools of revolution are persuasion and charisma. I felt I could relate to that and I try to make my writing reflect that same philosophy. So altogether, I wanted it so that when someone hears the name "Darkholme", though they may have never heard of me, they already know the content is going to be dark, but comforting with a dash of "take-chargeness".
Q: Who did your cover art for "Rise of the Morningstar"?
A: I could go on and on about Shichigoro Shingo and his amazing "dark cartoony steampunkesque" artisty, but I think rather than try to do his work justice with my words, you should check out his site for yourself and fall in love with his characters as they speak to you! His website is http://shichigoro.com/. Let him know you heard about him through his cover art for "Rise of the Morningstar"!
Q: When is the next "Morningstar" book coming out?
A: WHEN IT'S GOOD AND READY TO COME OUT! haha Just kidding. But seriously, I have no idea yet - It's about 40% complete (and frequently interrupted by a never-ending stream of exciing pursuits). With that said, I'm aiming for November 2020! (I'm really slow at this - bear with me lol)
Q: Where can I buy "Rise of the Morningstar"?
A: Check out my books page for a direct link and a look at some of my other books! (If you see "Coming soon!" next to any books, that is where the link to buy it will appear as soon as it's purchasable.)
Q: How much will "Rise of the Morningstar" cost?
A: It will retail for $17.99 USD ($20 CDN), buuuuttttttt if you like up and become followers of my fan pages on Facebook, Twitter, and the others, I'll be holding random giveaways, contests, discount codes, and all kinds of other ways to get your hands on it EXCLUSIVE to fans!!
Q: I like the dark, broken face wallpaper you have in the background. Who is the artist?
A: That would be the incredibly talented Polish photographer and artist Jarek Kubicki. Check out his site at http://www.kubicki.info! Be sure to tell him how good it makes my site look haha
Q: Who (which company) created your website?
A: That'd be none other than Mistero (http://www.mistero.co)! I definitely recommend them (and I'm not just saying that because they're helping self-publish my books! haha In fact, if you're looking to self-publish your books, want to keep 100% of the rights to ALL your work, and want to join their author ranks with me, send them a message and take your destiny by the horns! ... Or halo... everyone's different haha
Q: Who is your publisher? Or are you self-publishing?
A: I'm glad you asked! I am actually self-publishing! When I was looking at options trying to maximize the percentage I'd get from each sale - and more importantly keep the most rights to my work - the best option was self-publishing, and using an American company, called Lightning Source, to print and distribute it. Lightning Source is a sister company to the biggest in the biz: Ingram, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and many more. With them, I can have worldwide distribution, Print-on-Demand, eBook sales - basically the whole gamut for much much cheaper than with others. AND, because I was with Mistero, they hooked me up since they have a working relationship with them. So that helped facilitate the process for me, and still let me focus fully on my writing.
Q: What/who are your influences?
A: Mostly a hybridized mash-up of things like psychology, creative expression, and wanting to help the people of the world find meaning in their lives some way. But as for things that already exist: Breaking Bad (psychological transformation through baby-stepped opportunity and greed), Dexter (double-life/moonlighting), Star Wars (a balance and recognition of the light, dark, and general power/capabilities in everyone)... a bunch of stuff really. Then just bringing it all together in the best way I know how - rambling on paper haha For more specifics, check out my influences page!
Q: I love your poetry! Are you ever going to release a poetry book?
A: Heck yes! But I'll wait til I have a collection of about 30 or so for each volume. Gotta make it worth your while ;)
Q: What would you say is your favourite book of all time?
A: Oh man... ummm... SO many books have influenced me over the years from my first-year Psychology textbook, to the Bible, to C. S. Lewis' Signature Classics, to The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales haha... but if I had to choose just one? I'd say my Calvin and Hobbes collection of all the comics; I don't think any other collection has made me look at the world and all it's complexities so lightheartedly, yet so deeply that I can't help but love and appreciate life for all the things that make it worth living.
Q: Can I share/use your poems and books in my classroom, book club, etc.?
A: Absolutely! It'd be an honour. Just send me an email at darkholmemail@mistero.co asking for formal permission, and we'll make it happen. Definitely keep me posted too! Take pictures, tell me how it went, and I'll post it up for the world to see :)
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