justin bog author photo

Wow, I am honored to have snagged this guy for an interview.  I don’t know when he found time to answer my questions, but I am sure thankful he did.  Justin Bog really needs no introduction but I will give it a stab anyway.  With works self-published and also published through a real bonafide publishing house, Justin is a well-respected author, editor and contributor to various outlets.  He has agreed to be grilled here and lucky for me it coincides with a new release for him.  Sit back, hang on, you are about to experience Justin Bog.

 

 

 

 

Justin has graciously allowed me to share the cover for his upcoming release The Conversationalist, an original literary suspense eNovella, due out late next month.

conversationalist

 

 

 

 

 

 

The previous work by Justin is Sandcastle and Other Stories; this is a fantastic collection that I think most of you have either read parts or all of.  Either way, run out and buy both of these.

sandcastlecover

I have read all the reviews on Amazon for your book Sandcastle and Other Stories and I am impressed by the readers’ response.  Can you tell us a bit about how this book came to be?

These ten stories, and more, I placed on my A Writer’s Life Blog over 2011, one a month. I decided to do this while editing my first novel, Wake Me Up. Something to keep me busy. The stories received early praise and critiques from some heavyweight writers, who encouraged me to collect them into a book. Sandcastle and Other Stories is the result. I still have two holiday-themed stories and other writing scenes up for free on my blog.

What is the origin of the title?

Sandcastle is the outlier tale, the one that received the most comments because it is shocking, a twist tale in the classic tradition of The Lottery, one of my favorite short stories of all time, written by Shirley Jackson.

Do you have another work in mind, and if so will it be in the same genre or are you going in a different direction?

My next book is a suspense eNovella, The Conversationalist. It centers on a single man in Anacortes, Washington, who hides his innermost thoughts from everyone, but so wants to reach out to people despite his introverted nature. He begins to date a series of women, and can’t help being closed off from them. He does something rude, and someone begins to stalk him for being a cad. I like dark tales filled with off-center characters. So, yes, the psychological interplay between the narrator and other characters is the same. After that I will do the early groundwork for my first novel’s release towards the end of the year.

How often do you work on your writing in a typical week?

I try to work every single day. Creating and editing old or new writing. It keeps the engines oiled, and the work piles up. Like anyone, I am easily distracted. Social Media has been a blessing and a curse hehe.

When might we expect to see your next work published?

I am about to release The Conversationalist near the end of May, possibly early June. And I’m debuting the book’s cover here. Take a look, and please tell Peter and I what you think. My dad was the artist for my first book of stories, and I used one of my mother’s paintings as the background for The Conversationalist. It fits the darkening chaos within the pages.

Do you self publish, or use a publisher? 

I self-published Sandcastle and Other Stories at Amazon in May of 2012, but three weeks before that date a publisher called me and wanted to read it to see if they wanted to publish the paperback version. Two weeks after I published, they sat down with me and we worked out a deal. They loved the stories and the cover art, and it has done well out in the reading world. I am grateful to everyone who has discovered my darker stories—love hearing that they shock people.

What has that experience been like?

Incredible. The book being published by Green Darner Press, a boutique publisher out of Seattle, has opened a few doors. I can approach bookstores with confidence. There’s a product I am offering that I am proud of. The official book launch for Green Darner Press will be held May 14th at University Book Store, the largest independent bookstore in Washington, in Seattle. If you’re around that date after 7pm, please stop by for some champagne, and a signed copy!

Can you tell everyone about your soon to be released book? Yes I kinda let the cat out of the bag earlier but I can’t contain myself sometimes.

An excerpt from The Conversationalist can be found on my A Writer’s Life Blog along with a parody cover that places my puppy Kipling at the center of the action. Here’s that link: http://justinbog.com/peek-original-suspense-enovella-the-conversationalist/

You can find the gorgeous Green Darner Press paperback version of Sandcastle and Other Stories at your local bookstore (that helps immeasurably to get the word out) or online by clicking here: http://www.amazon.com/Sandcastle-Other-Stories-Justin-Bog/dp/0988478412/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366310402&sr=8-1&keywords=sandcastle+and+other+stories

Wow, you are a busy guy Justin, and congratulations on the new Novella release.  However now it is time for the stuff that everyone wants to know about you.

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, but immediately moved around the country with my artist parents, who then taught in Universities in Bowling Green, Ohio, Pullman, Washington, and finally settled in Granville, Ohio, home of DenisonUniversity. I lived there from 2nd grade to high school graduation. The red ‘D’ on the fellow’s shirt on the cover of Sandcastle stands for Denison.

How many Towns and Cities have you lived in during your life?

Counting all the moves as a child? Hmm . . . 12, including a few years in an RV traveling around the PacificCoast.

Normal old boring childhood or were you on a merchant marine ship growing up?

Mostly boring since I barely remember the places I haunted before settling in Ohio.

Do you have a day job?

Yes, I am the Editor for the eMagazine In Classic Style and I contribute pop culture content as well. I also take on editing jobs, freelance, and totally word of mouth, for other writers. Books I have edited found agents and release by traditional publishers, and several have found great success as indie publications. Love sharing and helping creatives.

Your favorite room in the house and why?

My writing office, especially when Kipling comes up and paws at me to go outside—take a break. It’s a soothing eggshell of a room that is just strong enough to keep the outside world outside.

Do you have a Spouse, Partner?

I have been in a committed relationship for 25 years this coming November. I live in WashingtonState where gay people will now be allowed to marry. Our Domestic Partnership will officially be changed into wedded bliss, after such a very long engagement, on June 30th, 2014. (Ed. Note  Congratulations Justin, that is fantastic news)

If Children how old?

We were not blessed with children, but so many pets, cats and dogs, have made our lives richer. Currently, I have two long coat German shepherds, Zippy & Kipling, and two barn cats, Ajax The Gray & Eartha Kitt’n.

How did you meet your Partner

We met in Ann Arbor, Michigan the year before I was accepted into the MFA program at BGSU, at a time I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to date anyone since I knew I would be leaving the following fall. But we met at a game night with pizza, and played the board game Balderdash with a group of friends. Then we bumped into each other on the University of Michigan campus a week later and keep bumping into each other as middle age has settled in and I’m always looking for my new glasses.

How has your life been different than what you’d imagined?

I’ve had some terrific opportunities in my long short life (sometimes I wasn’t able to see these opportunities and act on them), and traveled many places around the world, met very interesting people, but I have always wanted to be a writer, from day one, and now that this has happened, decades later, I cherish it all the more.

What is your best memory of childhood? Worst?

Best? Going to amusement parks with my family. Cedar Point is roller coaster paradise, and King’s Island had The Beast. We went to one each summer in Ohio.

Worst? In general, being closeted and not feeling like a good person for most of my teenage years. Granville, Ohio is a conservative town that didn’t make being a gay teenager easy—I thought I was the only one, and hid this side of my personality; it became my sole focus: hiding. But maybe that’s why I like writing about secretive characters. I own it now.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Today? Egotistical, self-centered, passive-aggressive people. I do not have many people who act this way in my close circle of friends, but they are everywhere.

If you aren’t working or writing, what is your favorite thing to do for relaxation?

I love reading, and I’m reading all the time. I also play tennis, but not as much this past year.

If we looked in your refrigerator, what would we find?

Since I’m on a nutrition kick, from a long line of relations with heart problems, you would find bins of spinach, leaf lettuce, vegetables, chicken to grill, and some fine cheeses to nibble. Can’t give up everything bad.

If you found out today that you only had six months left to live, what would you do with the time?

I would probably keep doing what I do today: write, enjoy my family, the pets.

Good stuff Justin, I especially like the fact you have traveled, and I think that’s invaluable for a writer.  Now, drum roll, the Speed Round.  You know the drill, one or two word answers only.  Yeah, tough for a writer but give it a shot.

Fast dance or Slow Dance?  Don’t dance!

Best book you ever read?  The Count of Monte Cristo

Favorite Day of the Week?  Saturday

Cat or Dog?  Arrgh, sorry Eartha Kitt’n, but my answer is Dog.

Regular or Decaf?  Mix both.

Told you one or two word answers are tough for a writer, ok, let’s try the newest feature here in my interview, word association.  What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read these words, no cheating and thinking too much.

Red     My twin brother Alex’s favorite color

Vacation     Cannon Beach, Oregon

Summer     Tennis

Convertible     Freedom

Loud     barky dogs

Author     Accomplishment

Vinyl     Records

Book     My sister’s ex-husband just got booked into jail

Best Friend     someone who can stick with all the ups and downs

Great job Justin and I am so thankful for your time to do this interview.  I want to give everyone who helps me out with these interviews a chance to plug their favorite charity, so what is it Justin?

I love animals. Everyone should defend them, so my charity would have to be the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA) — www.aspca.org

The ASPCA, a nation-wide not-for-profit organization, is the oldest humane society in North America and is still one of the largest. The ASPCA‘s mission as an animal charity is to prevent animal cruelty and the organization has the legal authority to back it up. ASPCA agents can investigate and arrest people for crimes against animals.

They also have community outreach and adoption programs, and provide animal health services. Thanks to both donations and private funding, the ASPCA also offers grants to animal welfare organizations and agencies across the country to aid them in their individual efforts. Please make a contribution.

Want to talk to Justin, here is where.

A Writer’s Life Blog: www.justinbog.com

Twitter: @JustinBog

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5832178.Justin_Bog

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/JustinBog1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/justinbog/boards/

eMagazine In Classic Style: www.inclassicstyle.com

Sandcastle and Other Stories is available to order from local independent bookstores (support your indies), Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and at the iTunes Bookstore. The Conversationalist will only be available as an ebook through the online bookstores.

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