Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Author Interview With Horror Author Justin Robinson

This week, I have another treat, yet another author that has impressed me with his fresh writing voice. And he just released a new book entitled Everyman. Justin Robinson had deigned to grace us with his presence. Before we get started though, here's the blurb from the back cover of his latest release through Books of the Dead Press:

David Tirado is a massive, hideous colony organism, a gestalt entity. The sum of Covey’s discarded parts. A roiling, chaotic patchwork of vast and varied personalities, memories, and physical forms that used to be a man − many men − David Tirado is a monster.

Sophie Tirado’s identity has been eroded by the tides of a long relationship, and now the man she gave herself up for has been stolen away and replaced by a mimic. Caught between the Doppelganger and the Gestalt Entity, she will try to save her husband, but there might be nothing left of him.

Virtue has a veil, vice a mask, and evil a thousand faces.

an Covey is a doppelganger. A mimic. A shapeshifter. He can replace anyone he wants by becoming a perfect copy; taking the victim’s face, his home, his family. His life. No longer a man, but a hungry void, Ian Covey is a monster.

Here are what a few authors are saying about this new release:

 "Move over Stephen King. Justin Robinson is an author to watch." 
~ Gail Picado, author of Murder at Sea

"Justin Robinson has done it again. By taking one of the most flesh-crawling fiends one can imagine and turning him into a protagonist, we're given a unique spin on body horror that fans of classic Cronenberg would kill to dig their painfully mutating claws into." 

~ Scott Closter, creator of SPi and Space Doubles

"Horror novelist Justin Robinson doesn't simply slip into the genre with his new novel Everyman, he creates a disturbing, yet satisfying impact that will ripple shock waves for some time. Riddled with subplots, treachery, and betrayals, Robinson's novel rings with an air of suspense, surprises, and unexpected twists. Wonderfully spooky and spellbinding, the pieces of the intricate puzzle come together with a zing that is sure to startle readers." 

~ J.T. Seate, award-winning author of Secret Desires

And now, on to the interview with Author Justin Robinson:

WK: Justin, thanks for visiting us this evening. I'm looking forward to hearing a few insights into your life and about the new book.

JR: No prob! Glad to be here.

WK: Now, you just released Everyman, but it isn't your first novel. You have a few out there, played the field a few times per say. So which would you say is your favorite?

JR: Whichever one I'm going to write next, because I haven't seen the flaws in it yet.

WK: LOL. I can certainly understand that feeling. There were countless times that I about slapped myself after realizing something I wrote or left out on the fifth re-read. Do you think any of your books are better or worse than others?

JR: I’m my own harshest critic.  Once something is finished, I only see the flaws.  So whatever I’m working on now is better, and whatever came before is terrible.

WK: Way to hang in the moment. For me, the anticipation of what's to come is in itself surreal and mystifying . . . almost glorious to contemplate. Speaking of emotional heights, what about celebration? I'm sure you did a bit of it after finishing Everyman and getting picked up by the up-and-coming press, Books of the Dead. Do you have a tradition or activity you do when you finish writing a novel?

JR: Not really, but I should come up with one.

WK: You really should. Come to think of it, aside from having a few beers out with friends, I probably should too. But friends are pretty important, like the characters in books. They are often friends. I don't know about you, but sometimes I have a difficult time with one of the simplest things about characters, names. How do you choose character names, and are they really all that important in your writing?

JR: They’re important in that they get identified with the character.  I don’t usually have long, elaborate reasons for anything.  I’ll think, “She seems like a Sophie.”  And before long, she’s Sophie and there’s not a thing I can do about it.

WK: They really do come to life and become our friends, don't they? Or enemies if you consider characters like Malfoy and Snape from Rowling's Harry Potter series. You get to know them for better or worse. It's hard to change a name after the fact. Considering what happened with Rowling's series, who knows . . . the same could happen to Everyman. If it did, who would you like to star in the movie?

JR: David Cronenberg would have to direct it.  Michael Pena might make a good David Tirado.  I liked him in End ofWatchDane DeHaan from Chronicle could play Ian.  He was good in Chronicle, and this is a similar role.  Sophie’s tough since most actresses are too pretty to be her.  She occupies that nebulous place in modern femininity that is entirely unrepresented in films.  She’s not skinny, so she’s not the movie norm, and she’s not fat enough to be wacky.  She’s just a little overweight and out of shape.  Maybe if Alia Shawkat were a little older and wanted to gain some pounds for a dramatic role, she could work.

WK: That's an interesting point. I hadn't really thought about the in-between weight groups for women in the film industry, but I guess you're right. I believe Alia Shawkat played in State of Grace. Is that one of your favorite shows? If not, what shows grab your attention?

JR: Breaking Bad is probably my favorite thing on right now, but there’s a long list.  I absolutely love Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy, and Banshee.  I’m looking forward to Under the Dome.  I loved the book. 

WK: It's definitely hard to go wrong with Stephen King, that's for sure. The book was pretty good, but it's hard to beat his classics. How about cartoons? Do you ever watch those?

JR: I do. 

WK: Have a favorite?

JR: Archer.  I’ve been told more than once that I remind people of Archer, and I really don’t know how to take that.

WK: I've heard it's good. Only caught a snippet of one episode the other day, but it looked pretty entertaining. I'll have to see more sometime. Maybe it's the suit. So how about it? Do you have clothes, a game, or anything you can't do without? It could be the suit. Nudge. Nudge.

JR: Probably not the suit. Iced tea is my thing.  I don’t know if it’s possible to OD on the stuff, but I guarantee I’ll be the first human to find out.

WK: LOL. Well tell me how that goes. Just write a message on a foggy window or something. My character Alex is always deciphering stuff like that. To get back to books, which do you prefer as a reader, e-book or the real thing?

JR: Paperback.  It’s not even close.

WK: One thing I noticed while reading Everyman is that you certainly have a distinct style. It's fresh and easy to get into the rhythm while reading. How would you describe your writing style?

JR: A drunk guy telling you the world’s longest story.

WK: Haha! That's great. Seriously . . .? Okay, okay, don't look at me that way. I get it . . . you're serious. Care to share . . .? Just kidding. That's great characterization there - brings to mind Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner." Now, I'll bet that thing really needed an editor when Coleridge first finished. How about you? Do you edit your own work, do it as you go, or wait until the first draft's completed?

JR: There’s a little self-editing along the way, just so it doesn’t sound like I was writing with a massive head wound.  Once I finish the rough draft, I go through it immediately to clean things up.  In the old days, my first drafts were total messes, with objects and characters that sprang into being in the second half, blithely referring to earlier events like they were there.  These days, my first drafts are a lot cleaner.  Then they go out to alpha readers.  I do a rewrite, send to beta readers, rewrite.  I usually submit the 4th draft.

WK: Sounds a bit like me. In the end, it always seems like I spend more time editing than writing in the first place. On to a happier subject: reviews. What was the best review any of  your books have gotten?

JR: I generally avoid my reviews, since I can’t even take compliments well.  However, I did see one that I treasure.  It was short enough, so my brain drank it up.  Anyway, it was for my conspiracy noir comedy Mr Blank. “I didn’t like how this book was paced.” 4 stars.  I loved the incongruity of high rating with negative comment.  It made me smile.

WK: I've had a few that way too - one I can recall off the top of my head. I don't remember which book it was from, but the review itself was glowing. Then I looked at the stars, and it was given 3. I was speechless; didn't have a clue what to say . . . or think. I loved that they enjoyed the book, so I guess that was enough for me. Just threw me for a loop. It was kind of like the confusion I've felt by some of the rejection letters we authors wind up getting. They praise and say, "You're Gods gift to the world," but finish with, "Thanks, but no thanks." So what do you do with your rejection letters . . . save 'em or throw 'em out?

JR: I’ll save ones if I think there’s pertinent information or if I want to save an editor’s contact information.  Like if it’s a thoughtful kind of rejection and a “show me what you have in the future” kind of situation.  Otherwise I throw them out.

WK: Those are always a bit more uplifting . . . the ones that say, "We like your writing, but this idea just isn't what we're looking for. Send us something else in the future." Well, we're about out of time. I want to thank you for joining us this evening, Justin. I do have one last question though before you stumble home. What does the future hold for you and your writing?

JR: You’ll have to find the old gypsy woman down by the river and ask her.

WK: LOL, I guess I will. Say "Hi" to her on your way home for me, but watch the . . . oh, steps . . . He's alright folks. Thanks for coming, Justin, and for writing this exciting new novel.

For interested readers, to see my review and get your copy of Everyman, stop by Amazon today. It's well worth the low price. I hope you enjoyed our little chat with Justin Robinson. If you enjoy Everyman, try one of his other novels for an added thrill. Thanks for being with us tonight. Good reading!

Weston Kincade ~ Author of the Altered Realities series, A Life of Death collection, and Strange Circumstances