Sit Down Saturday!
Today we are sitting down with Justin Bienvenue.
Hi, Justin, and welcome! Thanks for stopping by. Let’s get started, shall we?
Me: What books/authors have influenced your writing?
Justin: Edgar Allan Poe and Rod Serling have influenced me as authors. Poe’s dark macabre style and take on poetry has inspired my own attempts in writing of dark poetry and poetry in general. Rod Serling has influenced me with his strange and bizzare type stories. Not only am I a fan of The Twilight Zone but it has been a big influence on me. I enjoy writing short stories about the odd and unknown and that I get from Serling. I wouldn’t say there’s one book that has influenced my writing but I am sure that from all the books I have read I unknowingly took a little something from each.
Me:How did you come up with the title(s)?
Justin: A Bloody Bloody Mess In The Wild Wild West came to me after watching a western movie with Clint Eastwood. I saw a scene were a guy was gunned down and bleeding quite bad. So the title sort of just popped into my head just like that. I liked the title so much that I wanted to do something with it. So I told myself to make a note of it and sure enough it became the title of my second book.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Me: What books have most influenced your life most?
Justing: Though I write I am not a big reader. So there isn’t really a book that has influenced my life however there is a poem that influenced me, Robert Frosts’s the Road Not Taken. I take it in many ways. I always like to take the road less traveled and I always like to do things and like the things that others don’t appreciate as much. So believe it or not I really take that poem to heart and incorporate it into my life so it’s definitely a big influence.
Me: What book are you reading now?
Justin: Right now I am currently reading Dracula’s Apprentice by Mike Zimmerman. So far it’s really good. It starts off about a man who wakes up in a cell chained up without any memory of who he is or where he is. It was a bit slow at first but now it’s getting quite intense and the events are playing out. No Dracula yet but when he does come I’m sure the story will really pick up. I’m half way through the book and even only being half way through I’d recommend it to Dracula and Horror fans alike.
Me: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Justin: Well Mike Zimmerman since I am reading his book. Also David Haynes a fellow Indie author. I read a book of his last month called “Mask of the Macabre” and it was excellent. It’s a book about 4 stories of Victorian Era Horror. Definitely worth checking out! I also have his two other books to read and am looking forward to them. I also have interest in a few other Indie authors whose works I am going to be reading soon.
Me: What are your current projects?
Justin: Aside from promoting the book I am currently writing poems and short stories. Some of the poems I am writing I have people vote on the titles of, I then write the poem about it and that very poem will then become a part of my 3rd book which will be a book of all types of different poetry. I have recently started writing a lot more short stories then normal but probably because I’ve been getting good inspiration. I am also currently working on writing articles of my experiences being published and self-published.
Me: Do you see writing as a career?
Justing: I do. I would like to have another career along side with a writing career but I can definitely see this as something I want to do for a living. I always like to think that people who work at a job don’t tend to like it but if they tell you they have a career they tend to love it. In that sense I love writing therefore I would love to and see myself making a career out of it. Regardless of whether or not I make it big I will continue to write as my career, if you enjoy doing something keep doing it because that’s what makes you happy and you never know it may eventually pay off in the end.
Me: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Justin: I don’t think so. I am quite proud of my second book. I think the cover is excellently done(by cover artist Gemma Newey) and the content inside is solid and most certainly delivers on all levels I envisioned. Maybe I would change the whole layout process because that was a bit stressful going over each page but it didn’t really hurt the outcome so I don’t think there’s anything I would change.
Me: How did you get started with the writing venture?
Justin: I started writing stories back when I was like ten. They weren’t good of course but I have always had quite the imagination. At ten I once wrote a ten page paper on the power rangers just for fun. I’m sure it was poorly written and off in many cases but I like to think it had a purpose. In my freshman year of high school I started writing poetry. After a while I wrote a poem a day and it became a must do thing. After that I made poetry not a means of escape but way of expression. I even wrote some girls some poems if they so graciously asked. It wasn’t until two years ago that I felt people should enjoy my poetry so I wrote a book of horror poetry. I then decided to expand and write short stories again along with a full fledged book.
Me: Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
Justin: Editing and writers block. I know editing must be done to all works in order for them to be just right but sometimes I get frustrated when my work is edited and it changes the effects of the story I wrote. It’s challenging because you want to think you can write without making mistakes but we all do it and no one is perfect. Writers block is another challenge. When it really hits me I am beyond stuck. I can write a poem out of no where sometimes but when I get that mental block it prevents me from moving ahead. That’s why I always try to take a break after writing. I can gather my thoughts let the words on the screen settle and take form and then when I’m ready I go back and start writing more.
Me: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Justin: Write about what you enjoy and what interests you and if someone doesn’t like your work or has something bad to say about it don’t let it get to you. Let that be fuel to write even more. Write what you feel and keep trying and don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t. Not everyone is good at writing but there is always room for improvement.
Me: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Justin: Just that I hope you will enjoy reading my work as much as I enjoyed writing and creating it for you.
Me: What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
Justin: I had quite a bit of researching to do. I had to look into the year to make sure all weapons, places and conversation was just right and fit the time. I had to look into the way the Wild West was including the way people acted and treated others, the type and style of weapons, the way they dressed. It all has to be looked into because one slight mistake and one person could see it and be turned off. Also looked into the states that the book takes place in. Finally I had to look deep into the Civil War and make sure I had accurate accounts of the way things were portrayed. It took quite some time to piece together. I found myself constantly referring back to the internet, books and encyclopedias for information on all the things I needed to make sure it was just right. After I did my research and knew that it was accurate and correct I then wrote and played off it and added twists and non accurate things to it but only after I knew everything was right.
Me: What genre do you like writing the most?
Justin: You would think horror because it’s what both my books are but I would say poetry. Poetry is a great passion of mine and really what I enjoy writing in the most. It’s easy, I’m good at it and I enjoy the style, sense and feeling a person can get just from reading a poem. A poem is about expression and I like that I can write in a way that I can truly express myself.
Me: Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Justin: I believe I covered this in another question but I can say a few more things on it. When I get writers block..I get writers block! I try to force myself to write knowing there’s nothing there. I can write a few sentences but still consider it writers block because what’s on the screen isn’t good. So when I find myself doing this I just sort of sit back or go do something else for a bit and gather my thoughts and when I feel I’m ready I sit back down and start writing again.
Me: Do you write an outline before every book you write?
Justin: Sort of. I write a basis of ideas and things I would like the book to be about or what I can see happening. I make a layout and write a little bit of what I have in mind. Each one gets a few sentences or lines. If I like it I branch off of it and write it out. If not then I go back and try to make sure I get it just right.
Me: Have you ever hated something you wrote?
Justin: Yes. I’ve written a few poems back in the day that I look back at now and think to myself..how did I think that was good? Why did I think that was good? I guess you can’t like everything you write and no one is a bigger critic to your work then you are so you mostly certainly can hate a piece of work and I have.
What is your favorite color? Green
What’s your favorite food? Chicken Parmesan
Puppies or bunnies? Bunnies, just saw one the other day when I was out for a walk. He looked up at me, stopped and hopped along into the woods.
Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla
The year is 1870. Five years after the Civil War has ended. Many states, cities and small towns are still recovering, one of these places is the town of Toomswood. The town has been taken over by sly corrupt tycoon Javier “Bones” Jones. Things only get worse for the town when a mysterious stranger rides into town making an offer and cutting a deal with Jones. The man gives Jones super dexterity and point pin shooting accuracy among other like abilities, however in return he has placed a curse on Jones, making him a leader to the Undead unbeknown to his knowledge. After finding out his curse Jones takes a liking to it and soon kills to turn his gang into an army. The mysterious man then tells Jones he will also lead Undead Civil War soldiers who are now bloodthirsty madmen. It is up to Emerson Shaw, a quiet humble young man with his own personal demons to stop Jones and his men. Along with his best friend and others who will join them, Shaw must find a way to stop Jones from destroying and terrorizing the town and turning it into a literal walking Ghost town.
You can find Justin at http://jbienvenue.webs.com/