Interview with Justin Gustainis

Good morning we have a great interview with Justin Gustainis, author of the recently published Hard Spell and Sympathy for the Devil! Welcome Justin!

Star: Tell us a bit about yourself:

Justin Gustainis: I was born in NE Pennsylvania, more years ago than I’d care to admit.  I earned a couple of degrees from the University of Scranton, got a commission in the U.S. Army through ROTC (often pronounced ROT-SEE, and with good reason), managed to survive military service, then kicked around for a few years, taking various jobs -- like factory work, speechwriting, even a stint as a bodyguard.  Got married, earned a Ph.D., started college teaching, began writing fiction fairly late in life (although not as late as Raymond Chandler got started, so I’m in good company), my books started to catch on, and here I am, doing interviews.

S: Tell us a bit more about your books

JG: I found myself in the unusual (but pleasant position this week of having two books released on the same day (by different publishers).

Hard Spell is the first in a new series set in an "alternate" Scranton, PA, where supernatural creatures really exist, and everybody knows it. But "supes" still have to obey the law -- and if they don't, the call goes out to Detective Sgt. Stan Markowski of the Occult Crimes Unit.

Someone is murdering vampires in Scranton, and Stan discovers that the killings are part of a renegade wizard's ritual to gain unlimited power. Unless this evil magician can be stopped before the spell is completed, Bad Things Will Happen. Fortunately, when it comes to busting supe criminals, Stan Markowski is one bad mother**er.

The book has a *totally cool* trailer, which can be viewed here.

The other book of mine out this week is Sympathy for the Devil, the third book in the "Morris/Chastain Investigations" series.

Senator Howard Stark wants to be President, and the demon who has possessed him thinks that's a great idea.

Hell wants to put Stark in the White House, so that he can use the powers of the Presidency to destroy us all. Occult investigator Quincey Morris and his partner, "white" witch Libby Chastain, know what is going on, and are determined to stop the plot at any cost. Their only obstacles: the dedicated agents of the U.S. Secret Service, and the all the power of Hell itself.

This book has a trailer also. You can see it here: 

I’m also running an unusual contest in conjunction with the release of Sympathy for the Devil.  To take part, you have to do more than just make a comment on a blog somewhere, but the prizes are also better than you usually get.  First place is a $50 Amazon gift certificate, and I’ll name a character after you in the next Morris/Chastain novel.

You can find details about this “Easter Egg Contest” on my web site:

S:  Do you have any writing rituals?

JG: Sure.  When it’s time to write, I sit down at the computer.  Then I check my e-mail (both accounts), pop in at Amazon to see how my books are selling, go to Slate magazine and read the day’s “Doonesbury,” look at my e-mail again (you never know what might have just come in), etc.  Eventually, when I run out of excuses, I might actually write something.

S: Are you currently working on any new books/short stories – anything you can share with us?

JG: I’m currently procrastinating over Evil Dark, the sequel to Hard Spell.  Somebody is making supernatural “snuff films” and selling them on the black market.  It turns out that at least one of these videos was made in Scranton, so Stan, Karl, and the rest of the guys are on the case.

S: . Who are some of your favorite authors?

JG: Kim Newman, Jim Butcher, Lilith Saintcrow, Rachel Caine, Thomas Perry, Stephen Hunter, Robert Crais and Robert B. Parker (RIP).

S: Do you make a music playlist for your books?

JG: No, I don’t.  If I did, it would probably consist of all “Golden Oldies,” since I’m not really in touch with a lot of modern music.

I don’t always listen to music when I write, but when I do it’s something atmospheric that won’t distract me, like Mark Snow’s soundtracks for The X-Files and Millennium.

Justin, we thank you for taking the time to stop by for a chat!!


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