Things You Didn’t Know About Me

We’ve had a couple of days of useless trivia this week, now I’ll give you some useless trivia about me:

  • I choose to be an indie author because I hated the fine print in all the contracts I have ever been offered.
  • My friend works in internet security and introduced me to the new indie publishing platforms because she was looking into ebook fraud for her job. (You can thank her)
  • When I first thought about publishing Tortured Dreams, several people suggested I not use my name because I was a woman and “women do not sell well in the hardcore serial killer genres.”  Most people suggested I use my initials and last name, to make them appear to be written by a male.  I rejected the idea.
  • I do get hate mail because of the Dreams and Reality novels and I like it.  It’s not specifically the hate mail that I like, but the fact that readers of modern serial killer fiction take offense at my work because it is “too gory” and “there isn’t any feminization of Aislinn Cain because she is asexual and without children or romantic interests”.
  • My favorite piece of hate mail told me I was “a heartless bitch that was single-handedly trying to set back the feminist movement with my anti-female literature.”  It ended with “you must be a man pretending to be a woman, because no real woman would do this.”
  • I have never figured out how to take a decent selfie.  The camera is always at a strange angle or the lighting is weird or it’s too close to my face, etc.
  • Despite being together over eight years, there are about 20 pictures of my SO and I together.  Most of them (like 10 of them) were taken at our nephew’s wedding in October.  We have never discussed it, but I don’t think either of us likes to pose for pictures.
  • My two closest friends are both first cousins on my mother’s side.  One is twelve years older than me and the other is two years older than me, however, I have been calling them “friends” for as long as I can remember.
  • My oldest cousin and I became “friends” when I was in grade school because she used to take me to movies.
  • The other cousin and I became “friends” because we are the two youngest children of our generation and both female.  So, when we were little, we played together fairly regularly.
  •  When I was 10, my grandmother gave me and my cousin who is two years older than me bras for Christmas.  However, she didn’t warn anyone that she had bought them, so we opened them at the extended family Christmas gathering in front of all our cousins, aunts, and uncles.  She was very embarrassed.  I, thankfully, do not embarrass easily.
  • I oddly have 11 first cousins on my mother’s side and 11 first cousins on my father’s side.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many first cousins either of my parents have.
  • I do not like ice cream very well.  I might eat three bowls a year.  I do like orange sherbert, but I prefer to eat it in Push-Up Pop form than in a bowl (yes, I know that’s weird).
  • I do not like to eat reheated meat.  This makes Thanksgiving a problem because we always have leftover turkey.
  • I leave my pizza out on the table overnight, because I do not like reheated pizza nor do I like it cold.  My favorite is supreme – see reheated meat comment.  I keep waiting to get food poisoning, but I haven’t or if I have, it has been so mild I didn’t notice.
  • I like my steaks rare, but all other meat has to be well done, including cheeseburgers.  If I see or taste even a little pink in my cheeseburger, I will stop eating it.
  • I will not eat ground beef in any form other than a cheeseburger.  I have an issue with the texture when I chew it. (I am aware that I’m odd)
  • My 21st birthday was a nerd’s blast… My best friends got me drunk and we played Trivial Pursuit.  No one won because in the middle of it, I decided it was bedtime (it was like 9 pm), so I curled up in the living room floor and slept on a bean bag until around 2 am.  At 2, I got up and moved to the guest bedroom.  I did not have a hangover and I remember all of it, but my stomach churns every time I smell tequila.
  • Most of my friends and family hate playing Trivial Pursuit with me.  One of my cousins will play, but she’s the only one.  If we play a trivia game as a group, they pick Wits & Wagers and it’s a race to see who can bet the most money on the answers I give.
  • My mother once beat me at Trivial Pursuit because she is a Chuck Norris fan and her last question had to do with the city of Damascus… She knew the answer because of the movie Delta Force.
  • I love the idea of Christmas, but I hate decorating for it.  When I was younger, I loved it, but at 19, I developed a bunch of allergies all of this sudden, including an allergy to all evergreen trees, shrubs, and plants.  Since then, I have not enjoyed decorating.  However, my favorite part of Christmas is giving gifts to everyone.  I love to give gifts and Christmas provides the perfect “you can’t complain that I got you a gift” excuse.
  • In fourth grade, I started learning to play the cello.  I can still play a little, however, I quickly developed mild arthritis in my hands (by the time I was a teen) and I’m tone deaf, so I quit.  My cello was taller than I was.
  • Sometime in my early-twenties, I grew an inch.  All through junior high and high school, I was 5 feet, 2 inches tall, but when I was 26 someone took my height and I was 5 feet, 3 inches tall without my shoes.  I developed the character Aislinn Cain when I was 17 and only 5 feet, 2 inches tall.  So the fact that she and I are the same height now is a complete coincidence.
  • Due to hormone changes at 19, I gained 70 pounds in less than 2 months.  My weight increase was so dramatic I went from wearing a size 8 to a size 18.  I bought suits only once during that time, when I was suddenly a size 12.  They were wearable for less than two weeks.  That is most expensive wardrobe change I have ever had, because I was working for the state government and wore suits to work all the time.
  • I wear a size 6 1/2 shoe, which means my feet are literally too small for my body and do not stabilize my upper torso (I’m top heavy).  It’s why, even as an adult, I’m so clumsy.  One of my nephew’s calls it “Barbie Syndrome” and he has introduced me as his “aunt with Barbie Syndrome.”
  • I spent most of my life believing I had brown eyes.  When I was in my thirties, I went to my doctor for a migraine and he remarked on how fetching my green eyes were.  It was only then that I discovered I actually have hazel eyes and migraines change the color (sometimes dramatically) based on the blood flow to them.
  • I have Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder where my immune system attacks my mucus membranes.  This means I have chronic dry eyes, chronic dry mouth, and chronic dry nasal passages.  I spontaneously get nose bleeds in the winter because of it.  It has also damaged my teeth beyond repair.  It doesn’t help that I take clonazepam for anxiety as one of the side effects is dry mouth.  It is so bad that my dentist wanted to pull out all my teeth at 17.  I wouldn’t let him.  It is the biggest regret I have and the only reason I never fully smile.  Biotene did not help with the dry mouth and Restasis did not help with the dry eyes.  So, now I don’t bother with treating the symptoms.
  • Several years ago, I fell in a hole (because I’m like that) and tore a flexor tendon in my ankle.  I have never had it fixed, because that would require surgery.  However, it also made that ankle weak and unstable, so I tend to wear shoes or boots that give it extra support.
  • In junior high, I played football.  Not soccer, not powder puff football, but actual football as a linebacker.  I was one of six girls that made the team that year.  We went undefeated.  I never played a single game because I was doing step ups in practice and tripped on the stairs, dislocating my knee for the second time in my life.
  • Before that, I was a cheerleader who was constantly injured because I’m clumsy.
  • Despite all the injuries, I have only had stitches on the few occasions that I had surgery.  I have never cut myself bad enough to need them.  I dislocate joints, pull muscles, tear muscles, tear tendons, tear ligaments, etc, but I rarely cut myself.
  • I will cry if I get a papercut, but I have never cried with a dislocated joint.  As a matter of fact, I rarely cry when I am in serious pain.  I cried more over the nerve pain in my lower legs than I did over any other injury, even the ones that required surgery to fix or my migraines.
  • I like shows about paranormal stuff.  I don’t watch Ghost Hunters or any of those, but I religiously watch Mysteries & Monsters Unsolved, The Unexplained Files, Ancient Aliens, and watch reruns of Fact or Faked, UFO Hunters, and Monsters & Mysteries in America.  The only “ghost only” shows I watch are My Haunted House and Paranormal Witness.
  • I can name more British TV shows from the 1990s and early 2000s, than I can modern US TV shows.
  • I absolutely love Monty Python and should have won a singing contest because I was the only person in the group that could sing all the lyrics to Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.  I didn’t win because I can’t carry a tune.  I love the sing-along version of Life of Brian, it is the only way I will watch it.  I have also seen Spamalot more than once, but the first time I saw it, it had Tim Curry and Hank Azaria in it.  I own all the movies, the TV show box set, and the extra DVDs they’ve released with “favorites” and Live at the Hollywood Bowl.
  • I taught myself to read Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics because that is actually my favorite time period from history.
  • The most awkward class I ever took was a class on the Middle Ages.  For some reason, I find the time period hilarious and often laughed out loud during class.  I even had to excuse myself from class one day because I found the topic so funny – we were discussing Bubonic Plague.  I do not have Pseudobulbar Affect.
  • The first day of one of my college history classes at the University of Missouri, our professor told all the girls in his class we should drop it while we could because women were not suited to study history and we would fail.  I didn’t drop it.  I did fail.  It is the only class I failed in college.
  • I can’t think of myself as “famous” or even “well known”.  I don’t feel like either.  It actually embarrasses me to hear praise for my books.  Thankfully, the computer hides my blushing, but it makes personal appearances tricky.
  • My cousin who is my friend and 2 years older than me, has spelled my first name correctly only once: on the commemorative champagne flutes she had made for my upcoming wedding.
  • Hadena James does not include my real last name, just my first and middle names.  Both sides of my family are Scottish in origin, but my father’s side is Scottish via Australia via US (yep, you know what that means…).  It is a single syllable with 5 consonants and 1 vowel and most people do not pronounce it correctly the first time.  However, my ancestors had a sense of humor; when they bastardized their Scot-Gaelic last name for the purpose of immigration, they did it in such a way that my last name is now a Gaelic word meaning “mercenary”.
  • Finally, one character from my books actually has my real last name in it.  Another has what my last name would have been if the family hadn’t changed it to make immigration easier.

Ok, enough about me.

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