I’m pleased to have author Justin Robinson from Los Angeles here to speak about his writing and new release, Wolfman Confidential, the 3rd book of the City of Devil series.
My first book came out in 2011. My two most popular series, City of Devils and Fill in the Ahriman Cycle, are both published by Candlemark & Gleam. Th3rdworld Studios puts out the Daughters of Arkham series that I write with David Rodriguez. Solstice publishes Quadrophobia, my collection of horror novellas, and Copper City, an alternate steampunk history novella. I self-publish the League of Magi series as well as Undead on Arrival, though the latter went through two other publishers in the meantime. MuseItUp publishes the ebook version of The Dollmaker, while I self-publish the print edition. Ursa Major Press puts out my Ahriman Trilogy, Phase 5 publishes Nerve Zero, and Everyman is presently out of print.
Wow! you certainly have a lot of publishing experience.
Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.
I was delighted to find out that what I write falls under the broad heading of “weird fiction.” Practically, I bounce around. My published work includes humor, horror, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, urban fantasy, and young adult paranormal. A lot of these also get an overlay of noir. The City of Devils series is a noir with monsters that gently lampoons some of the tropes in both noir and monster movies. It takes place in a world in which monsters are real and they have taken over, reducing humans to a downtrodden minority. The series follows the cases of Nick Moss, the last human detective in 1955 Los Angeles. WOLFMAN CONFIDENTIAL, the third book in the series, comes out today, on Halloween.
Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
I just want to write good stories.
A perfect goal.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
I personally don’t care what kind of reader comes to me. If they like what they find, they’re welcome in my little corner of imagination. I think readers who want something different will gravitate to me. People who have seen what the established genres can do, and then want to see them explored and defied in fun and interesting ways.
It’s good to be unique in what you offer a reader.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Step one, finish your book. Step two, rewrite it. Step three, rewrite it again. Step four, show it to a bunch of people and listen to what they have to say. Step five rewrite it again.
It’s so true that the first draft of any book needs to be reworked several times.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
It’s always been about balancing a day job or being a father with time to write. Hardly unique in terms of challenges, though. I’m pretty sure every parent or member of my generation can relate.
Yes. I certainly can, although my daughter is a teenager now, so it’s easier.
Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.
Nope. School of hard knocks for me.
Sometimes that’s the best education for a writer.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
I’m an avid gamer, whether it’s video games, boardgames, tabletop wargames, or role-playing games. I also go to the zoo a lot, but some of that is my daughter likes the flamingos.
Nice. Perhaps you are involved in Second Life. I don’t use it much anymore, but I still have a virtual pet memorial center there, and my first book, Cloudy Rainbow, that was recently republished by Solstice features a virtual world similar to that one.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
I like sharing my imagination with people. Making my own schedule is nice too, since my daughter is only a year old, and I get to be with her all day. The toughest challenge is getting the word out there. I have an avid fanbase, but I’m still a cult author. I think if more people heard about me, and took the plunge into the City of Devils, they’d love what they found.
Promotion is a tough challenge for most authors.
My website is www.captainsupermarket.com (someone was cybersquatting on my name), and you can find links to all my books and a ton of free short stories there. Just click on the City of Devils cover, and it’ll take you to about six of them. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @weirdnoirmaster.
Thanks so much for the interview, Justin, and best wishes on your new release and future books. I always like to try new authors and titles, so I’ll try to check you out one day, and I hope some of my blog readers consider doing that, too.