Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Author Interview: Justin Bienvenue

Here is another interview with an independent author. His name is Justin Bienvenue.

Tell us about your latest book.

My latest book is a western horror entitled, “A Bloody Bloody Mess in The Wild Wild West” it takes place in 1870, five years after the Civil War in the fictional town of Toomswood. The town, already in a desolate situation, must stop a slick corrupt Mexican business tycoon by the name of Javier “Bone” Jones from taking over and destroying it. Emerson Shaw, an eager young man, will lead the town against Jones and his army of undead Civil War soldiers as they battle in an all out bloody war. The book delivers a great blend of the wild west and horror with a dash of history thrown in as well.

Who are your major influences?

I would say Edgar Allan Poe, Shakespeare and Rod Serling. Quite a trio, I know. Poe because of both the poetry and horror aspects. I am a big poetry writer and fan, so Poe really speaks to me in that sense but of course also inspires my dark side of writing with his macabre style. I usually try to get my Shakespeare on when writing in the lighter side of poetry. I sometimes write love poems and sonnets so that's where Shakespeare comes along. Finally, Rod Serling to me is one of the most underrated authors in literature. I am a big fan of The Twilight Zone so that right there already makes him a big influence on me. Since I just recently started writing short stories I get a lot of inspiration from him when I write them. I always enjoy a strange twist or bizarre ending.

Do you see writing as a hobby or career?

I see it as a little bit of both. I would say it started off as a hobby and then sort of took off from there. Being unemployed right now means I see it as my full career right now. Which is fine to me, it actually gives me plenty of time to think, create and write. When I do get another job it will take a load off my writing but I think it’ll be good cause I can balance them out. I can definitely see myself making a career out of it though.

What made you decide to become a self published author?

There’s actually three reasons why I decided to become self-published. First, I had a very bad experience with the publishing company PublishAmerica with my first book which made me decide to turn to self-publishing. Second, I submitted my book to a bunch of traditional companies and got turned down or never heard back so it helped me in my decision to try out self-publishing. Also because I wanted to do everything myself really. I saw self-publishing as an easier way for me to work on and create my book as I saw fit. Without the possible changes and requirements. I am someone who believes that us Indie authors are no different then those who go with traditional publishing.

Do you feel that your material is different than traditionally published authors?

If there is a difference I certainly don’t see it. I am by no means conceded nor biased about my work and not only do I think there’s no difference between my work and traditional publishing but I don’t believe there’s a difference between self-publishing and traditional authors period. I suppose if you sat down read my book and examined it looking for differences that you wouldn’t really find any because there is no difference. It’s all about classification and they way certain people perceive indie authors to traditional ones.

Who edits your work?

I don’t currently have a specific person who edits my work. I did have a few editors go over my second book and I myself went over it a good amount of times. While I try to find people who will edit I hope to find one person who will become my go to editor for all my works.

Who does the covers to your books?

Well PA did my first cover(which I had no input on) but Gemma Newey a cover artist did my 2nds books cover. I absolutely love what she did and I had input and she not only created what I envisioned but she went the extra mile. I will definitely go to her for my future works and very likely make her my cover artists. I also strongly recommend her!

What are you willing to spend money on, as a writer? What aren't you?

I don’t spend a lot of money as a writer. One because I don’t currently have a job and two I don’t know that it’s worth it a lot of times. When you spend money on your work you want to know it’s going to work well you can’t get guarantees all the time. I do take a chance every once in a while but I don’t like to spend too much or even spend frequently when I am just really not sure of the outcome.

What is your favorite part of being self published?

My favorite part would have to be the no timeline. I set my own schedule and I don’t have a deadline or someone e-mailing me every five minutes asking for or about something. My freedom to write and take breaks and not have to try my hardest to write something and get it out to someone.

What is your least favorite?

My least favorite part would be promoting and marketing. With traditional publishing after your published most send out press releases and sometimes do promoting and marketing for you. As a self-published author you have to do all of that yourself. Which sometimes is fine but can mostly be quite hard and a hassle. It’s good to have all your ducks in a row so to speak, being an organized person I do my best to promote and market but being one person I can only do so much. I would say that’s the least favorite part.

What has been the most productive tool for promoting your book?

I would say Goodreads and posting the appropriate material in the right places. Sure it might not seem like a lot but a little comment in a thread can go a long way. You also don’t want to over do it so posting it in the right spot can mean for good production. Also word of mouth. It’s been my most productive and least productive if that makes sense. Sometimes I hit it big when I tell people and other times I strike out and miss, but you keep on trying.

Do you have Facebook/Twitter? How effective are they as promotional tools?

I have both. I recently just made a Twitter actually for the sole purpose of business and promoting my work. Realistically I don’t think Facebook is a good marketing tool. If it works I don’t see it. I guess if you really put all your time and effort into it maybe but I think it’s just really hard to reach people on it. People like to do other things on Facebook and just liking someone’s page doesn’t mean they like your work it just simply means they like your page. Twitter I really can't speak about because I don’t know much about it. I would say the same thing as I did with Facebook but again I don’t know yet. I know that a few people I’ve talked to said they get good results from it so we’ll see.

If a publisher came knocking, would you make the switch? Why or why not?

I believe I would definitely consider it if they sounded good, legit and had a reasonable offer. I am not totally tied down to self-publishing. While I do believe in it I also think expanding is a good idea as well. If a traditional publisher liked and wanted my work I would definitely be thrilled and consider it for sure.

What does your family think of your writing career?

They are in support of me. My mom seems to be very happy for me and very proud and my dad I am sure is but just doesn’t really show it. One of those negative sounding people trying to be positive but I know he’s proud. I also have a cousin who is a writer so I know I definitely have his support. We may in fact be collaborating soon on something.

How important are reviews to making sales?

I’ve heard and read people saying that reviews are not for the author they are for the reader. I don’t entirely agree with this because a review lets the reader know what people thought of their work and also what they may need to work on. I think they are important because some people use reviews to determine whether or not they will read the book and it helps an author out and gives them perspective on what their readers think of their work.

How do you deal with bad reviews?

I won’t lie, when I got my first bad review on my first book I was angry. It’s natural though, your not going to like what people say about your work when you get your first bad review. However like most things I got over it and I am not angry. I realize bad reviews are a part of writing. I also review other writers and I am honest and I will write an honest review on the book and I would never slam an author if I didn’t like the book. The review to me should be about the basis of the book not just on the author.

Could any of your books be made into films?

My first book I could see being made into short films or episodes for a show given the fact that they are poems. My second book I would definitely say could be made into a movie. Maybe one day it will who knows.

What actors would play your characters?

Okay so I have given this some serious thought so here it is. Emerson Shaw would be played by Henry Cavill(the newest Superman), Javier “Bones” Jones would be played by Benicio Del Toro, Joey Morrey would be played by Kevin Durand (from Walking Tall, 3:10 to Yuma), Stuart Townsend as Clive Halloway and Sam Elliot as Emerson’s father.

Do you blog? Why or Why not?

I do blog yes. I blog because It’s a way for me to expand my writing and talk about write all different types of topics where people can relate. It’s a great way for you to add more to your writing and it gives people an idea of what you and your writing is about.

Why do you write?

Not trying to come off as being full of myself at all but writing gives me a sense of pride. It’s what I’m good at. It’s what I love and enjoy doing and I want to write because I want to give people something good to read. I want them to see what it is that I am so passionate about. I write because it is a part of who I am.

What would you like readers to know about you from your work?

That I am one strange, creative, innovative and unique individual. I sometimes will come up with things that are normal but then I could come up with something that is totally off the wall and will blow your mind. You give me two objects of a stapler and a toothpick and I’ll MacGyver that into a poem!

If you could talk shop with any other author, who would it be?

Alive? Stephen King. The man is a true horror author and just the thoughts he must have I would love to hear about and pick his brain. Dead? Edgar Allan Poe, If it were possible. I mean the man was quite dark for a reason. He doesn’t seem like he was a people person but if I could talk shop with him, oh that would be nice!

Do you read more ebooks or physical copies?

Right now I currently read more ebooks because it’s easier. Since I’m always on the computer I figure I mine as well read from it too. Although when I am done with all my ebooks I plan on picking up a few at the library and maybe buying some. So I would say I read a bit of both at certain times.

To Learn More About Justin, Please Visit the Following Links:




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