Poor soccer player. Good youth soccer coach (I think). Better writer (I hope). Decent at being a dad. Better-than-average cook. I should add aspiring Web site manager, inventor and adventurer, though those all seem to come with a touch of disappointment and/or risk. I tend to get by with a lot of coffee and music.
What inspired you to become an author?
I’ve been writing stories as long as I can remember. Most of that was rubbish, of course. I think it’s the same for a lot of writers. Do any of us really wake up one day (as an adult) and say, ‘Yep, I’m going to write the best novel ever?’
What was the main inspiration for your most recent book?
Well, the idea of someone so powerful and talented (like Hessabi) being held in thrall is scary, but it has a lot of potential. The character interactions are the meat of the story. This isn’t just some kidnapping-for-ransom tale, so it was naturally dark.
Tough to say. Personally, both MLK and Gandhi were huge, though I know woefully little about them. They were kind of like the joint voice of authority. The funny thing is, from this book at least, you’d never know that about me. The character of Fat Man is simply wretched!
What is the kindest thing someone has ever said and or done for you?
Probably when Luanne (my wife) emailed me after we first me, to ask me out. It did wonders.
Do you have a favourite author? (Or name a few)
Mark Bowden has to be right up there. What he can do with nonfiction is just brilliant! On the fiction side, Bradbury and Heller and Richard Ford. All over the place.
What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
Believe in what you’re doing! That’s the cornerstone for doing what you love.
Did you always want to be a writer and if not what did was the first thing you wanted to be or do?
I think it was always with me, even as a young kid. It was either Lego builder or astronaut (shocking) but, at the same time, a writer.
Do you like to listen to music while you write? If so, who are your favourite artists?
Love music, also all over the place. Niyaz, Dream Theater, Pink Floyd, Chopin, David Gray, different soundtracks.
What helps you write when you're stuck and or have writer's block?
I love being outside, breathing fresh air. Just going outside to rake is helpful. Yes, I also love going out for coffee, when possible, and having the energy of people and conversations around me.
After a long day of writing etc, do you have a favourite tv show you like to watch?
I love comedy, but we’re TV-free right now. It’s liberating.
What are you working on currently?
My war novel. Doesn’t every serious writer have one? It’s a story that’s been with me for years—taking notes, ideas that rise up or fall flat. Picture a snowy landscape and a woman behind the scope.
When you're not writing, or working, what do you like to do?
I love playing soccer, though I’m not very good. I’m coming to the game late, unlike guys who’ve been kicking a ball since they were two. And my wife and I used to hike a lot, so we’re going to do more of that as the kids can handle more. The mountains here are amazing.
Ones I’d like to pick up and re-read every year would include “Catch 22” and Charles Johnson’s “Middle Passage.” Also Adams’ “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” believe it or not. I’m a sucker for British humor.
Which of your characters do you love the most and why?
Well, as awful and despicable as Fat Man (in “The Churning”) is, he’s got energy and an honesty that was fun to work with. I just let the chains off him and let him say whatever came natural. The whole time, I’ve heard Jason Statham’s voice in my head, so that helped.
Which of your books are you most proud of?
I’ve only got two out, so that’s easy.
What is the title of the last book you read/was it good or bad?
“The Black Count”, which was Reiss’ wonderful if heart-breaking tale of the French general Dumas. What a wild, weird place in history! There are lessons for all of us in those pages.
Is there anything specific you'd like to try writing about in the future?
I’m taking notes on a mystery of sorts featuring an engineer. I’m excited about the character’s potential, but it’s going to take some research and interviews, since I don’t know a thing about it. Rendering him well will be a challenge.
What is an interesting or hidden talent you have?
After spending a semester/term in England, I got to be pretty good at snooker. It’s fun trying to psych-out and snooker your opponent, and there’s definitely some strategy at play. You kill others softly.
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why would you choose it?
Flight. No question it would surpass anything else.
Is there anything else you'd like my readers to know?
For those who have trouble getting up in the morning to write/work, it really helps to have a cute cat. Ours is named Moon, and she’s dutifully in my face at 5 a.m. each day. It helps.
Where can we find you on social media?
I’m on Facebook and Twitter, @jedisonbooks. While I revamp my Website, my blog can be found at www.jedisonwriting.wordpress.com.
Don't forger to check out Justin's book The Churning!