Today I have something different to share with you, an interview with my oldest son, an author and single parent. As someone who loves to read it’s been a huge pleasure to have the opportunity to read books written by a family member and now Justin wants to offer you his books for free this week.
I want you to meet my son, Justin.
When did you decide you wanted to be an author?
I always liked writing as a child and enjoyed the writing center we had in elementary school. I loved trying to come up with new ideas for books I could write and have a hard copy of from the writing center so I spent a lot of my time on them. As an adult I found the desire again to write while in the military. I would carry paper and pen with me so it would always be there when I had downtime. I am very thankful I had writing to keep me sane while I was deployed in combat. A couple of years after leaving the army I settled down and started a family, it was then I found I had the time to set aside to dedicate to writing each day.
How did your first book, The Dad’s Art of War come about?
I had been talking about writing a book about the struggles of being a first time dad. I didn’t feel I was the normal type of dad, I was pretty wild before settling down which led me to consider writing a book for the unexpected father, the guy who never saw themselves as the parent type. While talking about this with you, my mother, you dared me to write it. I thought “what the hell” I wasn’t doing anything else in my free time but sit around. When I first sat down to write this book I did it more to show I couldn’t write a book but found it coming together and decided to publish it. From there I was hooked and had new ideas constantly.
Do you have a writing process?
Yes, I do. It’s taken me a few years to find out what works well for me. Some authors write ten drafts trying to get every thing right, every comma in the right place. For me that doesn’t work. My writing is also different in that I don’t like to work from an outline. I did use them when I first started but the writing felt too forced and took the enjoyment of writing away from me. Today, what I do when I have an idea is I imagine it in my head then I write the first draft letting the story happen on its own. I don’t know where the story will go, so basically my stories write themselves. As for drafting. I found over the years my first draft is kind of barren, the second draft is where I add the color, character development and descriptions. I then do a third review where I cut the fat. This is where I replace words that are used too repetitively, or material that doesn’t enhance the story.
What do you want to accomplish with your writing career?
I think every writer, whose true passion is writing, dreams of doing it full-time. That doesn’t mean I envision becoming wealthy. I just want to make enough to feel comfortable making this my full-time job and feeling secure enough not to need outside employment. Having the freedom to write over everything else is what I am working towards.
Tell us about the book you are most proud of and why you are offering it for free this week?
The Box is something I started to work on when for the first time in my adult life I had time to focus on writing and nothing else. Before writing The Box I had been writing mostly novella length fiction. By the time I sat down and started working on The Box I finally felt I had found my voice and writing style. I feel this novel is where I first came into myself as a writer with an original voice that can define my career.
I’m offering it for free because being an unknown author it’s hard to get people to read your material. It’s great that so many can now self-publish but it’s flooded the market making it harder to get noticed. For me, as a writer, laboring so many hours on a project it’s more important to know people are enjoying reading my work than just trying to turn a profit on it.
Download The Box free now!
Tell us a bit about the box
The box is a psychological thriller that takes place in an experimental government-run prison system. Basically, the government wants to see what the psychological effects are when the memories of hardened criminals are wiped clean. None of the inmates are aware they will be guinea pigs of the government but then again most of the staff have no idea what is going on there either. As with many secretive programs there’s always unexpected side effects. 🙂
Download The Box Free Now
Are you working on any new material
Yes, actually I’m nearing completion of my next full-length horror novel titled Duality. And simultaneously the first part of a novella series that will be released shortly, I can’t tell you any thing about it yet because I test my stories on my mother and want to surprise her. 🙂
Now as a special offer just to readers of Living In Denim, Justin, is offering a free PDF or Mobi (a Mobi file can be downloaded into your kindle or Kindle app) copy of any, or all, of his books to you. You can request copies in the comments below or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click the caption under the covers to learn more.