University professor and former Lieutenant for the U.S. Army, Justin Gustainis, a new voice in urban fantasy, has done the very thing I love in his current release: blended contemporary fantasy with crime fiction.
And he’s here to answer 5 questions! And give away a copy of his book!
In Black Magic Woman, “Occult investigator Quincey Morris and his “consultant”, white witch Libby Chastain, are hired to free a family from a deadly curse that appears to date back to the Salem witch trials. Fraught with danger, the trail finds them stalking the mysterious occult underworlds of Boston, San Francisco, New Orleans, and New York, searching out the root of the curse. After surviving a seris of terrifying attempts on their lives, the two find themselves drawn inexorably towards Salem itself—the very heart of darkness.”
I love the sound of it already!
So, while I head out to the bookstore– again!– get comfy and take a look at the interview. Get to know Justin Gustainis better.
(interview & contest details behind the cut)
1.- What can we expect from your next book/short story (upcoming release)? (Tease us, please!)
Evil Ways [January 2009] is the second book in the “Quincey Morris Supernatural Investigations” series. It grabs a couple of plot threads left dangling at the end of Black Magic Woman, and takes off with them – like a freakin’ rocket.
The Prologue is set in Baghdad at the end of the Iraq War, just as the U.S. military is rolling into town. Some people — mercenaries, really — take advantage of the chaos and power vacuum to break into a very secret room of a museum and steal – well, something pretty important.
Back in the U.S., in the present day, some very determined, professional people are trying to murder Libby Chastain – for reasons Libby can’t fathom. Naturally, Quincey takes umbrage at this. But before he can get to the bottom of it, he’s blackmailed by the FBI into investigating a series of nasty murders, all of which … well, that would be telling, wouldn’t it?
When you get right down to it, Quincey and Libby don’t have a lot to do in this book – except maybe save the world.
2.- What are you working on now?
For most of the answer to that question, see above. But I’m also editing (with C.J. Henderson) an anthology of “occult detective” stories. The idea is for the authors to take their main character, who is mostly known in novels, and feature him or her in a short story. I’m very pleased that some great writers have signed on, including Kim Newman, Simon R. Green, Rachel Caine, Lilith Saintcrow, Jenna Black, P.N. Elrod – it reads like a ‘Who’s Who” of the best writers in urban fantasy today. I’m putting a Quincey/Libby story in there, too. What’s the point of having editorial power, if you can’t abuse it? The working title is They Who Fight Monsters.
3. Everybody asks ‘Why do you write?’. I want to know WHERE do you write? Where are you right now? Where in the world do you wish you were right now? And why?
I have a room set aside at home for writing. It’s like “occult detective central.” I’ve got it decorated with posters, action figures, mugs, memorabilia – Scully and Mulder, Kolchak, Frank Black, Hellboy, Van Helsing – everybody’s represented in some fashion. The décor helps me get in the mood – you know?
Where would I like to be right now? Honestly? Somewhere I could hug and kiss my wife, and tell her how much I love her. Why? Because she died on December 22nd.
Sorry for the buzz-kill. But it’s the truth.
4. When you were a child, where was your favourite place to play? Where do you like to play now (real or imaginary)? And what’s your fantasy play place?
For most of my childhood, my parents kept me on a pretty short leash. What I mean is, they loved me, but were somewhat overprotective. There was a big room towards the back of the house that we all called the playroom. I kept my toys there, mostly, and spent many happy hours with my soldiers and erector sets, and, a little later, books. As an only child, I had to rely on my imagination a lot, when my friends weren’t available.
5. Advice for urban fantasy writers?
Write what you like to read. I do.
And becoming a writer is actually pretty simple. It’s a three-step process: 1: apply butt to chair 2) write 3) repeat, indefinitely.
I said “simple,” not “easy.”
Thank you, Mr Gustainis! A playroom is a wonderful place to play! I can’t wait to get to know Quincey and Libby!
Want to win a copy of Black Magic Woman? Leave a comment to this post before the end of Saturday, midnight EST. I’ll enter you into a draw and one lucky winner will get a copy signed by the author! Good luck!