I’m delighted to welcome an old friend to the blog today as he releases his debut novel, Wake Me Up. Justin Bog is a talented writer whose short story collection, Sandcastle and Other Stories, was named Best Suspense Anthology of 2013 by Suspense Magazine. Justin and I became friends back in 2012 when I was just starting out my writing journey and it feels great to have him on the blog today to celebrate his special release.
Can you describe your new novel in one succinct but sensual sentence?
Chris Bullet learns his family’s darkest secrets, some generational, while comatose after a brutal assault, hovering over everyone, all at once, reliving the past, learning from the present in the hopes that he will one day wake up before falling into darkness forever.
Who is your favourite character and why?
My favorite character is Deepika Webber, a visiting writer originally from a coastal town in northern India. She’s the other woman who has an affair with a colleague’s husband, and a writer of some renown who begins to write about this husband and his family, letting her fiction mirror the terrible events taking place around her. She is a strong character who is also the catalyst for much of the action.
Which authors have been your main inspirations?
I love the short story writers Raymond Carver and John Cheever, and the American expatriate who made London her home, Rachel Ingalls. Their sharp minds created incredible work I admire to this day. Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, John Irving also inspired both short and longer work. Currently it’s Chuck Palahniuk who can do no wrong in my nightly reading.
How does your writing process work; confusion and paper flying everywhere or calm and ordered?
My writing process is a long memory, disjointed and put together one writing session at a time. I don’t outline. I begin with a character, usually, and this character leads me to meet other characters in this person’s circle. My desk is a mess, but I know where everything is. Wake Me Up is a long complex literary crime novel filled with dozens and dozens of characters, but I kept track of them during the 9-month writing process (there were two seasonal breaks—the book was written in Summer, Winter, and Summer, with Fall and Spring breaks). Other work at the time took over.
What is your guilty pleasure when writing? (Chocolate, wine, coffee…)
Coffee and good music playing in the background. I’m currently on a Lucinda Williams and Rosanne Cash binge. Their songs are made up of haunting stories.
Please share your blurb with us.
A FATHER IS HAUNTED BY HIS PAST — HIS WIFE LIVES HER LIFE IN A RIGID SHELL — THEIR SON, UNTETHERED, DISCOVERS THE SECRET THEY SHARE WITH DEEPIKA, A VISITOR TO THEIR TOWN.
“I see all of these people. They’re living and breathing and acting on their basest impulses. I lay in a coma. They live. I hover over all of them, all at once. I can see my body, motionless, wired up, adrift. And I can find out why this happened. This is my story and I won’t remember any of it when—if—I wake up. But I’ll try to remember—I’ll try damn hard.”
MIDDLETON, MONTANA—OCTOBER 2004—AN ELECTION YEAR
A small college town’s populace is tied, complicitly, to the brutal attack of a teenage boy by four of his classmates. Soon, heated rumors of a possible hate crime surface. Injustice is a hungry beast.
While Chris Bullet remains unresponsive in a coma, his skull shattered, he floats above dire circumstance. In this phantom state, compelled to witness his past once more, the family’s darkest secrets, hidden over generations, will be aired.
Justin Bog is a member of the ITW: International Thriller WritersJustin Bog lives in the Pacific Northwest on Fidalgo Island. He is an author of dark, psychological tales and an Editor for Gravity, one of Booktrope’s publishing imprints. Justin Bog was Pop Culture Correspondent and Editor for In Classic Style, an eMagazine. Bog loves to cook and play the part of treat master to two long coat German shepherds, Zippy and Kipling, and two barn cats, Ajax The Gray and Eartha Kitt’n.
Sandcastle and Other Stories: The Complete Edition was just published by Booktrope. In its old version, it was a Finalist.
Sandcastle and Other Stories: The Complete Edition was just published by Booktrope. In its old version, it was a Finalist for the Ohioana Book Awards 2014! It was also named Best Suspense Anthology of 2013 by Suspense Magazine.