I promised you all an interview with another Solstice author this week, and here it is! Everyone give a warm welcome to Justin Robinson!
How long have you been writing?
In one form or another, all my life. I started taking it seriously about ten years ago.
Why’d you start writing? What made you decide to try and get published?
A combination of hubris and shame. I thought I had something to say, thought other people might like to hear it, and now am horribly self-conscious that they are.
What’s your favorite genre? Why?
Horror. It’s the purest of genres. When people get together around a campfire, what do they tell? Ghost stories.
Is there a genre you want to try, or one you want to avoid?
If I ever wrote a teenage paranormal romance, I’m pretty sure my wife would divorce me.
What’s the biggest thing about being published that you wish you’d known beforehand?
The biggest shock was how welcoming everyone is. People like yourself who are basically offering a forum to another writer for no reason than just to be nice. It’s bizarre. I wish I’d known about it so I could have sent flowers and puppies or something.
What do you have coming out this year?
Three books and a graphic novel. Undead On Arrival is first, from Solstice Publishing. Then, later this month, my gothic horror novel The Dollmaker from Muse It Up Publishing. In October, my comedy neo-noir Mr. Blank is coming out from Candlemark and Gleam. Lastly, an original graphic novel from Arcana Studios, Butcher Street, which is about a man trying to deal with a horrible loss in a unique way.
Are your characters purely yours, or do you work off of people you know or have observed?
I don’t think any characters are truly totally invented. We harvest things from various people or stories without even knowing it. That said, though I might steal names or qualities from my friends, none of them have or will make an appearance as a character, because that’s not possible. Even if I tried to faithfully recreate one of the maniacs I knew, I would fail, since they would be filtered through me. It would be my version of a person rather than the actual person.
What do you hope the future holds for you as far as your writing?
A helper monkey.
Which would you prefer? Stephen King size fame, or something more modest?
I hope to be famous enough to render my death deeply ironic in some way. “He spent his days writing about monsters only to become the first casualty in the Monster Wars.”
Who are your biggest influences for writing? Who do you like to read?
King, for starters. I don’t think any horror writer can (or should) escape his influence. The guy’s characterization is light years ahead of anything I’m able to do at present. Lovecraft and Richard Matheson are other big ones.
Both Undead On Arrival and Mr. Blank are stylized neo-noir stories, and I love the masters. Chandler, Hammett, and Ellroy are big influences . Hammett especially does things with the genre that are just dazzling.
Bill Willingham also deserves mention for being the first writer to successfully put a crease into my brain that has yet to heal.
What has been the biggest surprise for you since being published?
How much work truly goes into promotion. It’s a big world out there, and it’s tough to get