Author Interview: AJ Campbell author of Leave Well Alone

It's a delight to welcome AJ Campbell on The Crime Warp today. AJ will be telling us all about her debut novel Leave Well Alone published by Code Grey  Publishingwhich was released in August this year. I know how exciting it is to have your first book published so I really look forward to chatting with AJ . So off we go... 

Tell us a bit about Leave Well Alone.

Available here
My debut novel Leave Well Alone was published on August 1st this year, a psychological thriller with an emotional story of mother/child relationships, love, loss and betrayal at its core. It also explores mental health issues and the consequences of leaving these unchecked. Reviewers have described it as ‘one of the most intriguing, well-written thrillers I’ve read in a LONG time’ and ‘a truly unique psychological thriller’. 

How long did Leave Well Alone take to write?

It took me close to five years to write Leave Well Alone, but during that time, I also took several creative writing courses to master the craft. I also had some mentoring with Julia Crouch, the queen of domestic noir.

 Is there a subsidiary character you have created and are particularly fond of and why?

Emily – Emmy for short. Emmy is the girlfriend of my protagonist’s brother, Ben in Leave Well Alone. A medical student, she is kind, fun and always knows the right things to say –  the type of woman everyone wants to be around.

Moving onto your writing habits. Where is your favourite place to write and why?

I find it difficult to write anywhere other than my desk in my little office with my beloved cocker spaniel, Max, by my side.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if so how do you overcome it?

I rarely suffer from writer’s block. When I do, I take my dog for a long walk and usually manage to overcome it. I do, however, suffer from procrastination at times. You know, tidying the cutlery drawer, making a list of my lists, kind of thing. When I feel myself starting the next mindless task, I make a cup of tea, sit at my desk and give myself a little pep talk, then open up my WIP. 

What about you as a person? Can you tell us two things about yourself that your readership may be unaware of?

When I was sixteen, I quit A levels. I hated all three courses, and had no idea why I had chosen them. I switched to a BTEC in Business and Finance and went on to qualify as an accountant. It taught me that not every path is right for everyone. We are all individuals with our own journeys.

In addition to my writing, I run a small online marketing company with my husband and am a fulltime carer for my severely disabled son.

 Which author are you cosying up with tonight?

Tonight, I will be cuddling up with myself! Lol. I’m reading through the first draft of my next novel! After that, I will start Predator by Zoe Caldwell.

 Who or what inspires you to keep writing?

My passion for the craft – I love nothing more than the eureka moment when a plot comes together and then fleshing out the scenes.

What are your aims for the future?  Have you ever thought of setting a book somewhere exotic so you could visit that place or perhaps live there for a while? 

The Whitsunday Islands, Australia. I visited Hamilton Island in my twenties during my backpacking year – a truly stunning destination. I would set one of my cozy mysteries there!

Do you have competing ideas for future projects and have you ever worked on more than one at the same time?

Yes! I am currently working on my second novel Don’t Come Looking and a cozy mystery series. I plan to publish Don’t Come Looking and the first two books in the cozy mystery series in 2021.

Leave Well Alone Blurb

A broken family. Skeletons in the closet. Lives in danger.

When Eva’s brother Ben announces he has found their mother, Eva is determined to have nothing to do with the woman who abandoned them eighteen years ago to a traumatic childhood in foster care. Eva is happy now, in a loving relationship with rich and dependable Jim, and she is pregnant.

Nothing can change Eva’s mind. Her eyes are firmly on the future. But when her baby is born with a serious hereditary illness, she is forced to confront both her mother and her past. Eva begins to find forgiveness. But as old secrets and layers of deceit emerge, she makes a shocking discovery on a USB, leaving her fearing for her baby’s, Jim’s, and her own life.

How far will Eva go to protect her family? Find out now in this unique psychological thriller.

email :

Find me at:

 IG: @ajcampbellauthor

 Facebook: AJCampbellauthor

Author Bio

Until the birth of her twins in 2005, which radically changed her life, AJ was an accountant for several investment banks in London. One of her twins was born with severe disabilities, as a result of which she had to give up work to care for him. It was during this incredibly challenging (and rewarding) time that AJ began to draw on her love of the written word, partly for day-to-day inspiration and partly for her own mental health. She started writing her debut novel, Leave Well Alone, and then enrolled in several creative writing courses with the Faber Academy where she progressed with her writing career.

AJ lives on the Essex / Hertfordshire border with her husband and three sons and splits her time between caring foher son and family and writing.