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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Author Interview & Contest with Justin Gustainis

I am a huge fan of author Justin Gustainis and he was one of the first writers I invited to be a guest on Amberkatze's Book Blog. He books are a must buy for me and this Summer he has spoiled all his fans and has two new reads for us!

Sympathy for the Devil is the third book in the Quincey Morris series and Hard Spell is the first in a new series about The Supernatural Crimes Investigation Unit.

So Justin is here talking about Hard Spell and he will be back next month to talk about Sympathy for the Devil. In the meantime you can read all his books and catch up on the Paranormal goodness but right now you can read the interview and enter the contest. You could win a signed book!


Amber - Hello Justin! Welcome back to Amberkatze's Book Blog. It is great to have you back on the blog. Maybe you can start things off by telling us a little about your new book, Hard Spell?

Justin – It’s set in an “alternate” version of Scranton, PA. In this universe, all the supernatural creatures of folklore are real – and everybody knows it. “Supes,” as they are called, are accepted by society, if not always loved. But sometimes they break the law, and when that happens it’s a case for the police Occult Crimes Investigation Unit, and my hero, Detective Sgt. Stan Markowski.

Amber - How did you come up with the idea for Hard Spell? Is it something you have been working on for a while?

Justin - The book has its roots in a story called “Demons Never Die” that I wrote at the Odyssey Writing Workshop in 2008. Where that came from, I’m not sure. I’ve always been interested in occult detectives, but I had never written one about an “official” detective before. And as for Scranton, I grew up nearby and eventually earned two degrees at the University of Scranton (a Jesuit institution, despite its secular-sounding name).

Amber - Hard Spell has a NYPD Blue feeling to it and you mentioned CSI in the book. Are you a fan of detective shows?

Justin - I used to be. I loved “Hill Street Blues,” and “NYPD Blue,” especially. But I don’t watch much network TV anymore – mostly dramas made for HBO and Showtime, like “True Blood” and “Dexter.”

Amber - I am sure when writing paranormal books you can totally make up police procedures and rules but your books have a ring of truth to them. What kind of research did you have to do to give Hard Spell the right legal feeling?

Justin - You mean, apart from those times when I was arrested? Just kidding. No, really -- kidding. I didn’t really do any new research. Instead, I relied on what I had “learned” from TV cop shows and books like the “87th Precinct” series by Ed McBain

Amber - Hard Spell has quite a few paranormal creatures to show off. Are there any supernaturals you still want to fit into a book that you haven't used yet?

Justin - I haven’t done much with werewolves yet –although I think that’s about to change (not to give away too much about Evil Dark, the sequel to Hard Spell that I’m writing now.

Amber - What about ones you could never use? Is there a creature you really don't like?

Justin – Zombies bore me. Maybe it’s because they belong as much to science fiction as they do to fantasy – maybe more so. I’m not knocking science fiction, not at all. I do think the voodoo tradition of raising zombies is more interesting, and I used that a little in one of my earlier books, Black Magic Woman.

Amber - When can we expect the next book in the series? You aren't going to make us wait too long I hope!

Justin - Evil Dark is due for publication in January – assuming I get it finished on time. And since I’m already behind schedule, due to chronic procrastination….

Amber - Quincey gets a mention in Hard Spell! Does that mean this series is based in the same world? Will they all work together on a case sometime?

Justin - Actually my character Quincey Morris is part of a very different universe. There are supernatural creatures in it, but they are not out in the open as they are in Hard Spell. You’re referring to Stan Markowski’s pet hamster, Quincey, I assume. He’s named after the original character in Stoker’s Dracula, not my fictional character.

Amber - Speaking of Quincey, when will we be seeing him and Libby again?

Justin - The same day you’ll see Hard Spell (in the US, anyway). By an odd coincidence, I have two urban fantasy novels being released on July 26th, by different publishers. Sympathy for the Devil is the third book in the Morris/Chastain Investigations series. This time, a candidate for President of the United States is secretly possessed by a demon. He looks like a good bet to win, and if he does, Bad Things Will Happen. Quincey and Libby figure out what’s going on, and try to stop it. But between them and the candidate are several hundred armed and highly-trained agents of the U.S. Secret Service.

Amber - Are you working on anything else? Maybe a YA series? Like so many...

Justin – YA is a huge market, isn’t it? But I don’t think I could write it successfully. I’m just too far away from the target audience (which is another way of saying that I’m too damn old) to write credible young adult characters, I think.
Amber - I know you worked on an anthology 'Those Who Fight Monsters' but would you actually be able to write a book with another author? Share the load? Are there any authors you would like to work with?

Justin - Hmmm – maybe that’s how I could crack the YA market! I could write a book with someone who has a better grasp of the mindset and lifestyle of the young, and sell a million copies. Actually, if I could work with someone who was skilled at plotting, it might be good – that’s the hardest part of writing for me. As to the last part of the question, there are many authors whom I admire – but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’d be good collaborators. I guess the only way to find out would be to try it.

Amber - What has been taking up your free time lately? Read any good books? Watching anything worth recommending?

Justin – Free time? What is this “free time” of which you speak, Earthling?

Amber - What's your favorite paranormal movie of all time?

Justin - It’s a made-for-TV movie (actually a Gene Roddenberry pilot for a series that was never picked up): Spectre, starring Robert Culp and Gig Young. It’s the movie that turned me on to occult detectives.

Amber - If you could be any famous person, alive or dead, who would you be? and why?

Justin - General George Armstrong Custer – so that, sitting on my horse atop the hill overlooking that immense Indian village, I could say, “Nope, there’s too many of ‘em, boys – we’re going back to the fort!”

Amber - Thank you for being a guest again! See you soon! ;)


Contest Time

Justin is giving away a signed copy of Hard Spell to one lucky entrant!

How To Enter

Who is your favourite Detective?

No idea = No Entry

Earn more entries for each link you place about this contest on the net. You can post on Facebook, Twitter & MySpace but make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries! However please do not make individual postings for each entry. Please post all your entries in one post.

Advertise Amberkatze's Book Blog on your site and get an extra entry for this and every other contest!

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You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.

Make sure you post your links here so I can confirm your entries.

Keep the contests going by using the Bookdepository.com and Amazon.com links/Banners below and around the site!

The Book Depository

The contest will stay open until Thursday 4th of August 2011 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.


Meredith said...

Dresden! A magical detective, but a good one!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Beverly said...

Alex Cross -

wade2121 said...

Sherlock Holmes is awesome!


SandyG265 said...

I have to agree with Sherlock Holmes.

sgiden at verizon.net

Unknown said...

Sherlock Holmes from books and television and Mike Hammer from television. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

Julie S said...

My favorite detective is Monk :)

Audra said...

Sherlock Holmes

BrigidsBlest said...

Gotta go with the classics and say Sherlock Holmes. After that, Aloysius Pendergast is a very close second.

BrigidsBlest at yahoo dot com

Vickie said...

I have to say Harry Dresden. I love how he works with magic and his cranium to figure out each problem and move on to the next.

Liza767 said...

scooby-doo he he

Andra Lyn said...

Detective Joe Morelli from the Stephanie Plum series...:)


Stephanie said...

Detective Delia Peabody from the In Death series.


Barbara E. said...

I think my first choice would be Sherlock Holmes, but I do love Patrick Jane in The Mentalist too.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

Bethany C. said...

I'm a big Mark Schlereth fan, so I'll throw in ridiculous soap opera cop Detective Rock Hoover. Oh, and also Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler. Hey, you didn't say they had to be literary!


Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

Dresden is my current fav along with Eve Dallas but Nancy Drew gets the crown for my longest running detective.
I'm a follower on GFC-Lisa Richards

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

donnas said...

Tough call but I think I have to go with Harry Dresden.

tweet - http://twitter.com/#!/DonnaS1/status/97553781214027776

bacchus76 at myself dot com

clynsg said...

Eve Dallas

cgclynsg0 @ gmail dot com