A Day In The Life Of A.J. West

Starting the day....

We live in South London, so the morning alarm tends to be sirens and shouting but I love the busy, racketyness of the place. It inspires me every day.

Breakfast is a protein shake with a raw egg and a banana. Lots of energy for my brain which can get tired easily when I'm working on a manuscript.

Hours writing at a desk can lead to a lot of pain. I've suffered from sciatica in the past so I try to go to the gym four times a week strengthen my back and stay flexible. Healthy body, healthy mind they say. It's also a great time to think about the chapter I'm about to write at the library, detangling problems and coming up with little ideas that might fit the narrative.

I walk past this really cool statue of Agatha Christie every day and always take a moment to let her know how my writing is going. She helped to connect me to her mutual fan, Patricia Cornwell who has been a major influence on me as a debut novelist.


At the Library...

I write in the London Library because I like the atmosphere there. It's peaceful, but there are lots of people to watch, some of whom have inspired characters in my new book! I have a particular desk in the corner of the writing room that feels snug, and nobody else seems to want it, so we are a pair of rejects in happy communion!

I'm very easily distracted by other people's sniffing, coughing, whispering, shuffling, foot tapping, blinking, clicking and existing generally, so I often put my ear buds in and listen to soft, classical music. When I hit a state of complete creative immersion, I can write for hours without stopping or noticing the world around me. It's a firm of meditation that leaves me feeling completely relaxed and satisfied at the end of the day. There is nothing at all like it.

Working here on my second novel is a complete game changer for me. Being around other writers (present and past) and having so many historical reference books at my fingertips puts me in the perfect frame of mind to travel back in time.

Other than writing, I media train authors, preparing them for press, broadcast and digital media interviews. Just because someone has written a book does not mean they're confident speaking about that book. Far from it! I love helping them to shine.


Home Time...

That's it, the end of the writing day, almost 10pm. Long day and about 7

hours writing. Let's hope it pays off!

AJ's debut novel, The Spirit Engineer, is out in paperback on the 21st July. Available to pre order now


Useful links...

24 views0 comments