Chapter I: Early Life
A.J. was born in Dearborn, Michigan, and grew up twenty minutes south of the city of Detroit in Taylor, Michigan. A.J. was blessed with two wonderful parents, John and Rhonda, who supported him in whatever ventures he wanted to pursue.
From childhood sports became the passion that ruled A.J.'s life. From the moment he could participate in organized sports he did. He played baseball, basketball, and football throughout high school at John F. Kennedy High School. He was a four-year varsity letterman in each sport and eventually played one year of college football at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.
After a few years of coaching high school football and baseball back in his hometown, while working at his father's church Beacon Baptist Church, A.J. moved to Dallas, Texas in 2013 to pursue a career in teaching. It was this move that put him on the path to chase the dreams that drive him each and every day.
Chapter II: Change of Direction
In 2013, A.J. moved to Texas and became certified to teach history, where he began teaching history in 2014. It was in 2014 that he proposed to his wife, and the love of his life, Jessica, a long time friend from high school that had moved to Texas in 2013 as well. They were married on April 24, 2015.
He taught 7th and 8th grade history in Plano, Texas from 2014-2018. Teaching was always something that A.J. wanted to do and he has been able to do it each day, loving every minute of it. He had the privilege of coaching football and basketball for the first three years he was teaching as well, something he enjoyed doing.
Chapter III: Writing Career
Something inside of A.J. told him he needed to start writing and once he started he hasn't looked back. It has become the foremost passion of his life and he's been able to live his dream through his writing.
In December of 2015 he responded to a Twitter ad from Waldorf Publishing who were looking for co-writers for books they needed written. Over the next year he was given the opportunity to work with four men on completing their books. In 2016, Waldorf signed him to his first contract for his own novel, The Askren Boys, releasing September 1, 2018.
Another moment of fate occurred in July of 2016 when A.J. was connected to Detroit Sports Nation, giving him the opportunity to cover the Detroit Tigers, combining two of his favorite passions: writing and baseball. In December of 2016 he was promoted to Editor of the blog and continues to write for them.
Chapter IV: June 19, 2017
On June 19, 2017 A.J. and Jessica welcomed to the world John Robert "Jack" Reilly to the world. They had been planning a family for sometime and were overjoyed when Jack was born.
In the vein of tradition, something Jessica and A.J. hold to, they did not find out the sex of their baby until he was born. The surprise was wonderful. When Jack was born a swell of pride overcame both of them through smiles and hugs everywhere.
Jack's given name, John Robert, was given to him based on the two men that have had a great impact over Jessica and Adam's lives. Her grandfather, Robert, was one of the greatest, fun loving people she ever knew and was more than happy to give her son his name.
John is after A.J.'s father who is the single greatest inspiration in his life. Though his father's love, dedication to his family, and hard work, A.J. has tried to emulate his father through every action of his life. At the end of the day, the hope is that he continues to make his father proud, as he tries to be the same father his father was to him.
Chapter V: Back Home
In June of 2018, A.J. and his wife decided there was no place like home. They moved back to the Metro-Detroit area, near family, so they could raise Jack in their home state. Since the move, A.J. started AJR Media, LLC.- a business specializing in freelance writing and editing, with a growing client list. To work with A.J., click here. He has started his next novel, hoping to secure a contract by the end of the 2019.
In November 2018, A.J.'s debut novel, The Askren Boys, won the Literary Classics Gold Medal in the Coming of Age category, as well as the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.