by A. J. Cosmo
Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter at the end of this post.
What a way to start summer… I should have never stood up to that bully Jacob. It was just a water balloon thrown to save my friend’s behind during recess. Now we’re on a bus heading home and everyone gets the same text: “$500 gift card and full immunity to the kid that brings me Aiden- Jacob.” I’m Aiden by the way, and the entire fourth grade is staring at me. Hopefully, with my friend’s help, we can get off at the next stop, three miles from my house, and make it home before the entire neighborhood finds us.
Soaked is the first middle-grade novel by author/illustrator A.J. Cosmo. Filled with humor and suspense, this surprising page turner is a tale of friendship, courage, and standing up for what’s right. For 3rd-5th grade readers.
An Interview with the Author:
1. How long have you been writing?
Professionally, I have been writing full-time for four years. However, I have been writing one thing or another since the third grade.
2. How long have you been a published author?
I’m what I like to call “professionally published” in that I am a self-published author who takes as much care in all aspects of my craft as a traditionally published author would. The goal is to be indistinguishable from authors and books that have entire imprints behind them. I’ve been doing this for four years now and every day is a learning experience.
3. What titles do you have available?
I currently have thirty-nine titles written and illustrated by me on Amazon right now. Some titles are no longer available, so the actual count is closer to fifty.
4. What made you choose the subject of this book?
Soaked is about bullying, but more than that, it’s about doing the right thing when you really don’t want to do it. Righteousness is a jagged pill and following it leads to much discomfort. Like many people, I pretend not to be able to help, even when I know I can, simply to avoid any more discomfort in my life. The hero of Soaked is a boy whose “character flaw” is that he acts on his righteous impulses even though he really doesn’t want to.
5. Do you have any new titles coming soon?
We’re almost done with the Monsters A to Z series and should have the final book out by October. I’m also creating some interactive iOS books. My next middle grade novel like Soaked should be out for Christmas and is affectionately titled “Poop.”
6. What is your favourite genre and why?
Either science fiction or fantasy, but I think my real favorite genre is “magical realism” which is a blend of those two. Think A Wrinkle in Time or Jurassic Park; extraordinary things happen to everyday people and while you’re in the story you totally believe that these things are possible. We beat imagination out of children through curriculum and literature is one way to reclaim it as an adult.
7. What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process?
The “oooh, oooh!” moment when you realize a solution to a problem you have been having and then there’s the incredible “where did that come from?” moments where you are surprised by what you just created. Those moments are why writers often claim to not be the true authors of their work. It literally feels like something is speaking through you.
8. If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why?
Neil Gaiman, he’s a reasonable person and so gifted that he makes the process seem ordinary. Plus I’ve never been one to recoil at the macabre, so I couldn’t imagine turning down an idea.
We ran into the woods and weaved through the trees. Ben grabbed my hand and pulled me into one of the crusty drainpipes that marked where future homes would be put. We waited there for the patrol to run past.
“You left him,” Ben said.
“You left him? How about we left him?” I said.
“It was your idea to make a break for it. Your plan, you’re blame,” Ben growled.
We stopped, looked out of the pipe, and waited for the sound of the rallying kids to come near.
“I’m sorry,” I said as I looked down at the dirt.
Feet stomped by overhead and we dropped our voices.
Ben shook his head. “They’re not after me,” Ben whispered. “I could walk out right now and no one would care.”
“Don’t say that,” I said. I couldn’t help but feel a bit betrayed. “What makes you think they wouldn’t bother you?”
“I nearly got soaked back there.” He pulled out his cell phone. He looked at his phone as if it was the most precious thing in the world. And you know what? To him, it was. I knew that if something happened to it that it would take at least three grades before he would be able to get a new one.
“Is it okay?” I asked, not caring about the phone at all.
He tapped the phone. Then he shook it, pawed it, and pleaded with it.
It didn’t work.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
A.J. Cosmo is the author and illustrator of over forty children’s books including the best-selling “The Monster That Ate My Socks”. He lives and works in Los Angeles, loves reading and video games, and is hard at work finishing the Monsters A to Z series. “Soaked” is A.J.’s first middle-grade novel.
Soaked Purchase page
A. J. Cosmo will be awarding a $75 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: