This Week’s Feature Author Interview with
Hi Justin Bienvenue, welcome to the Indie Publishing Group website. Introduce yourself to us. Tell everyone who you are, where you’re from, what do you enjoy doing, hobbies and interests.
My name is Justin Bienvenue. I am an Indie Horror author and poet. I have written and published five books and have several short stories and poems in anthologies. I’m from the eastern part of Massachusetts just a little below Boston. When I’m not writing I enjoy watching sports, playing them when I get a chance, going for walks and enjoying the outdoors. My interests include Football, Egyptology, Ufology, Civil War History, The Wild West, Conspiracies and Mysteries. So usually when I’m not writing I am doing something sports or history related.
When did you start writing and why?
I get asked this question a lot. I started writing during my freshman year of high school when I got bored one day and started writing poems during class. From there I found myself writing more frequently but it never really became anything. Besides writing poems I started writing more in 2011 when I published my first book. After that I wrote more short stories, books and I’ve been writing ever since.
Which is your favorite book you have written and what gave you the idea for it?
All of my books are my favorites as I have an equal appreciation for all of them. For purposes to answer this question I’ll say Opium Warfare. I got the idea after deciding I wanted to set the book in Old Shanghai. The idea just sort of came to me, not to sound boring but that’s pretty much how it happened. I thought about the setting, came to the decision of setting it in 1920 and then reading up on the history of Old Shanghai and the effects of opium use in China sold me all the more. I rounded up my ideas with my research and I came to the decision that these ideas would be perfect for my book.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
I’ll tell you how I came up with the titles of both my recent books because they both came to me in similar ways. For Opium Warfare I was reading something on Guerilla Warfare the military tactic. I later read something about opium and for whatever reason my brain put opium and warfare together and I thought it would make for a great book title.
For The Macabre Masterpiece: Repressed Carnage I already had The Macabre Masterpiece as it was the name of my first book but why Repressed Carnage for the second? Well I knew I wanted to write a sequel but I wanted to indicate that the second still had left over horror from the first as well as being more intense. Carnage was the word I chose to represent the horror but then I asked myself what word could say that the horror has been held back? Repressed came to mind and the title was born. As you can tell I tend to play around with a lot of words and ideas in my head.
Who helped you with the cover? Or did your design it yourself? What was your inspiration for your cover design?
Gemma Newey is my cover artist and she had done every single one of my covers. I love the work she does and I continue to work with her because she takes my ideas and visions into consideration. She applies what she feels would be good and we work together to make it look just as I envision it. Most of the inspirations for my covers stem from what book marketers tell you to do which is to make the cover stand out and so people know what it’s about and it goes with your title. So I usually find an idea I have in mind then I make sure it fits both the story and the title and then I present the idea to Gemma and she gets started. For The Macabre Masterpiece: Repressed Carnage I immediately thought of a skull or a man holding his head trying to not be taken by the rage and madness he had within. I thought of the Incredible Hulk and Dr.Jeykll and Mr.Hyde at first, thinking of a person holding their head while you could see their other self, the darkness on the other side but then I figured fire would better sell the idea. A skull was added above the man as to demonstrate the darkness that’s within him.
What are some of the themes of your story?
Repressed Carnage is a book of horror poems so there’s all kinds of horror themes. Themes such as death, being taken over or controlled, real life horrific places, hauntings, blood and vampires, pretty much anything and everything horror you could imagine are within the book. From ghouls and ghosts and fire, brimstone and gore there’s a blend of a lot of horror themes. Also the chapters are based off of places associated with horror; Crypt, Cemetery, Morgue, Asylum and Crematorium.
What’s your process when you sit down and decide to start writing a book? What is your process and do you have a system?
The first thing I do is decide on how many chapters I want, go over every idea I have for the story and then write it down and figure out what each chapter will discuss. While doing this I have name ideas for characters going off in my head. I make sure I have something in mind before I just start writing. Sometimes I’ll just go with what I first think of and start writing only to not write what I have. So I usually try to have a good idea of what I want to write before I start writing. This is usually my system, with poems it’s usually the same as I think of a title and try to branch off ir or I write the poem and try to think of a fitting title. So I do have an organized system in place although sometimes I will go for it like everyone else but having a system in place is the best way to go.
Who are some of your favorite characters and why?
For my books it’s my antagonists, Javier “Bones” Jones in A Bloody Bloody Mess in the Wild Wild West and Shin Shaojin for Opium Warfare. I just love how egotistical, ruthless and ill-mannered I made them and they create for some great moments in the books. My favorite characters in books I’ve read are Raylan Givens, Vlad Tepes and Rico Slade. Each one of these characters is from a different genre but they all stand out and I love what they represent.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Some of my favorite authors are Elmore Leonard, David Haynes, Anne Rice, William Shakespeare and Robert Frost. Believe it or not even though I write I don’t read much. I know I need to buckle down and read more than I do.
Have you got anything you’re working on now?
I’m not working on anything now as I’ve been buried in book marketing e-mails but I do have an idea for my next story which will be my first real book series. It’s called The Wax Factory and it’s a present and Victorian era Horror story. I plan on getting started with it soon.
If you could have any super powers what would they be?
First off please know I’d use my powers for good lol. I would have red plasma beams shoot out of my hands and be able to teleport anyplace I wish. I would want to be able to have attack ability but also a power I could use every day.
If you could travel to any location in the world where would you go?
If I’m staying in the U.S I want to go to Chicago or New Orleans, I’m I want to get away I’d say Tahiti or Honduras and finally for a real experience historical wise I’d want to go to Rome or Egypt. I’m sure you wanted one place but I had to break it down to those as I want to go to each for different reasons.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years’ time?
I don’t know where I hope to be 5 days from now never mind 5 years. I don’t really like looking that far ahead but I’ll say this. I hope to be happy, healthy, productive and successful.
Thanks so much for taking the time to do an author interview. Take a minute and check Justin Bienvenue out on the links below. Justin Bienvenue’s book, The Macabre Masterpiece: Repressed Carnage, is available now on Amazon!
Justin Bienvenue Facebook Page
Justin Bienvenue Twitter Page
Justin Bienvenue Pinterest Page
Justin Bienvenue Tumblr Page
Justin Bienvenue Instagram Page
Justin Bienvenue Goodreads Author Page
Justin Bienvenue Amazon Page