An Interview and Offer of Free Books

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.

justin and snake


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.

Justin Russell

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  Click the caption under the covers to learn more.

Militia, Apocalyptic fiction
face your fear
Face Your Fear, Justin’s first short story, Psychological suspense







Confession, suspense
be mine
Be Mine, Ghost story of possession. Sexually explicit
dads art of war
The Dad’s Art of War, the book that started Justin’s writing career.
dividing zero
Dividing Zero, a look at our economy from one family’s point of view.
fitness 101
Fitness 101: a self-help guide to find the fitness style that works best for your lifestyle and personality.
Meat, Graphic Horror
Sanity, graphic horror
twisted tales
Twisted Tales includes: Sanity, Be Mine, Confession and Meat




    • Marlene, I know the types of books you read and no I don’t think his books are ones you would enjoy. Now if you were a Stephen King fan, probably. I am just trying to help him get the word out. He’s unemployed again this time because a huge contract was canceled on his boss. His boss turned down other work for this contract (for a chain of banks). They started the work and then out of the blue the bank calls and puts a hold on the work while they close down half of their branches. No idea how long before his boss can get new work and he’s not getting any response from companies he’s sending his resume to.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Boy do I understand his frustration. You should hear my son talk about how he’s been laid off so many times and he was the most hardworking and knew the most. He kept learning everything to be able to float to any job. No one cares anymore. It’s all about the numbers. Selling books is a tough job too. There are no guarantees anywhere. At least my son doesn’t have kids to feed. That kind of work instability can take it’s tole on a relationship. 😦 The only think of Stephen Kings I can read is his book on how to write. Just started it. It’s quite good. He’s even quite funny. Your son may enjoy reading it. I’ll keep him in my thoughts. My son is trying to sell his photographs which moves even slower then books. 😦 It’s a different world that what came before.


        • I feel for these young people. When I was younger I knew I could get a job within a matter of days when needed. Now even with a degree there’s no guarantee of employment. Would send me a link to your son’s photography?

          Justin and I have both read On Writing, great book and yes he’s very funny, oh and afraid of the dark which I find hilarious.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. A very nice interview, Lois. I am very impressed with how prolific he is and wish him the best. It’s very hard to get a break in the publishing world today. Known authors (thus money makers) and celebrities get most of the attention from publishers. And then with e-books and self publishing, it’s hard to get noticed as you said.

    Most of his books sound exciting, but a little too intense for me. However, I will recommend them to anyone I know who likes the genres he writes in.


    • Thank you, Live and Learn, I appreciate that. I admit that even I am getting leary about wasting my time on new self-published authors as so many of the books are poorly written or edited. It’s hard to separate yourself from the pack. He’s finishing one book that he’s going to send out and see if he can get it published the old fashioned way then combine self-publishing shorter works with those from a known publisher.


  2. Hi Justin,
    It is nice to read how an author approaches creation. Brings me to mind, back in school (oh say a hundred or so years ago), through many many yrs of English/Language Arts Classes, we were always demonstrated to do an outline, etc , follow it as we wrote. We were always assured this was the proper way to write a story, or even a short paper/paragraph. Strongly instructed to “know” what we wanted to say, FIRST. etc..

    I always envied those who seemed to follow this directive, easily and smoothly.

    But then again, maybe they truly did not.

    Myself, I always worked “reverse”..Whether it was a paragraph for in class assignment, something much longer, etc,, I would try to focus until I conjured up the words to write the story or essay. Then I would quickly (hopefully without catching teachers’s notice) reverse engineer the outline, from bits in what I had written. I recall one especially long assignment from High School, and we were given strict STRICT guidelines/instructions on doing this outline FIRST, and then following it very carefully to write the long report (100 or more pages). Mine was held up far and wide as a perfect example of how it “should” have been done, and what a good outline was all about. I was very shy, as it was, but believe me, I kept my mouth shut over that…(grin). I had written my report, then carefully gone over and picked out lines/bits from the report to “write the outline”..

    It is nice to read that maybe I wasn’t so odd, and you don’t really work from an “outline” either.


    • Hi Anon, thank you for your comment, this is Justin. An outline might work in some situations where you know what you need to write. Non-fiction is a good example, but in fiction if you work with an outline you have to know the whole story in your head before you start and that can be limiting.


      • All true, Justin.
        Years back I read something… it was addressed at authors who had not yet hit commercial success…
        They said, (more or less) that all literary (book) demand by the public was/is cyclical. That one should keep writing what one enjoys / loves, as sooner or later the cycle will come around, and your work will become “in”. I will keep my fingers crossed that your cycle turns soon.

        Best wishes…


  3. Wow! You must be so proud!! I’ve never read an ebook before, but I reckon there’s a first time for everything. Thank you Justin!!

    I’m currently working on the story of building my house, and I am using an outline, more or less. Actually, it’s the rough draft of the ‘Contents’. So far it’s slow going, but I know it’ll come together, if I keep at it.


    • You are welcome, Cindy. I hope you enjoy the story. When you are ready to share your story of building your house please let me know I’d love to read it!

      Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear your thoughts, won't you please tell me what's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s