Earlier this year I had the pleasure of interviewing Justin Gustainis, the author of Black Magic Woman, and the upcoming Evil Ways. He’s agreed to share a bit more of his time with Darque Reviews by answering a few questions about what he’s been up to this past year, and what fans have to look forward to.
Hi Justin, welcome to Darque Reviews!
DR: Can you tell us a bit about what Quincey and Libby get up to in Evil Ways?
JG: The beginning of Evil Ways finds Quincey Morris and Libby Chastain in trouble, but of very different kinds. Quincey is being blackmailed by the FBI into investigating a series of child abductions and murders with occult overtones, while Libby is the target of a murder attempt, by professional hit men, that very nearly succeeds. Little do they realize that each is grasping a different end of the same piece of string. The murder of children, and the effort to kill Libby, originate from the same evil mind. And that mind has got even bigger things planned (cue fiendish laughter).
DR: What attracted you to writing urban fantasy?
JG: Actually, I never consciously decided to “commit urban fantasy.” I write the kind of stuff that I most like to read, and somewhere along the line people started calling that urban fantasy. I’m thinking of having a T-shirt made up that reads, “I was into urban fantasy before urban fantasy was cool.”
DR: Can you tell us what you’re working on now?
JG: I’m in the early stages of the third Morris & Chastain investigation, called Sympathy for the Devil (I’ve pretty much milked Santana song titles for all I can get). In this one, Quincey and Libby discover that a major party’s presidential candidate has been secretly possessed by a demon. N.B.: this novel is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual presidential (or even vice presidential) candidates is purely coincidental and unintended.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it….
DR: Do you work on more than one project or series installment at a time?
JG: I haven’t up until now, but that’s about to change. I’ve been offered a three-book deal with HarperCollins (the British division of Harper & Row) for a series of urban fantasy novels set in an alternate-universe Scranton, PA. In this world, the supernatural, and supernatural creatures, are acknowledged and accepted, if not exactly welcomed and trusted. My protagonist is a detective on the Scranton PD’s Occult Crime Investigation Unit, which everybody calls the Supe Squad.
I’m setting it in Scranton because I’m from there, and it should be an interesting change from the usual backdrops of urban fantasy, which tend to be New York or Los Angeles. I’m also hoping to make good use of the culture and ethnic mix of the area.
DR: What have you found is the most difficult/enjoyable part of the writing process?
JG: For me, it’s plot. Coming up with a story that has hasn’t been done a zillion times already, has an internal logic to it, and is entertaining (to somebody besides me), is something that can send me up the wall. The upside is, however, once I’ve got the plot figured out, the rest of it is easy.
Easy. Yeah, right.
DR: Thank you for joining us Justin! Is there anything else you’d like to say to readers before we go?
JG: Just remember: there ARE such things!
Best wishes on the release of Evil Ways.
Visit Justin Gustainis: HERE
His publisher, Solaris Books, can be found: HERE
If you’d like to read the original interview, you can find it: HERE
My review of Black Magic Woman can be found: HERE
Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews