Author Interview With Justin Bienvenue

Monday, 18 January 2016
Next up for a grilling is indie author Justin Bienvenue. Read on to find out more about this exciting writer:

Why do you write?

I write because of two main reasons, one I’m good at it and two I really enjoy it. They say you should love what you do and nothing has given me more joy then writing poems and stories and publishing them for others to enjoy. I feel I’m quite creative and have an overactive imagination so it helps to write out those odd and at times strange ideas and make them into stories. I write because it’s what makes me happy and it’s what I feel most comfortable in doing.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I decided to become a writer in 2010 when I had just recently become unemployed and other things just weren’t coming together for me. So I thought to myself maybe I should write a book and become a writer. Of course at time the I wasn’t so much sold on the thought and idea of becoming a full fledged writer nor did I think this could be a serious thing but the more I buckled down each day and started writing the more I started to believe and think this was what I wanted. While I went with the wrong company for my first book it didn’t take away my urge to write in fact it fueled it. By 2011 I decided that I’m going to make my poems a focus and even start writing stories and publishing books.

What genre are your books?

Poetry, Weird Western and Crime Thriller. While I am quite verse and most comfortable in poetry I like to change it up and take a crack at different genres.

What draws you to this genre?

I’m not sure what drew me to poetry but it really appeals to me and when I write most times it just comes natural to me. I feel the fact that I can have my own style, rhyme and just write with feeling really gives me a good sense of direction.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I would say I write full-time. Right now I am unemployed so this has become a full-time gig although I would gladly make it part-time but something tells me even with a job I would still be writing away.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

Not really, I take inspiration whenever it strikes. Whether it’s 12 noon or 12 midnight. If my computers on or I have a pencil and pad handy I’m running to it to write.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

Not normal! Lol. I say that in the most positive way. I would say my creativity has evolved quite a lot from when I started out as a beginner. I would say it has also become more diverse and wide ranged whereas back then my creativity was sort of at a limit. I have always been creative but feel over the last few years I’ve expanded my range and taken it to a more odd and unique level.

What have you written?

I’ve written two books of poetry, a weird western and a crime thriller. I also have written in several anthologies.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?

I do both depending on how big of an idea I have. Sometimes I can write out of no where and other times I need to sit down, plan out and figure what direction I wish to go in.

How do you market your books?

Any way I can. I market them by doing posts occasionally on social media sites I also have created book trailers, do interviews such as this one, and go over any way I see fit to market and promote my books. I feel marketing and promoting is the hardest part of being an author because while it doesn’t have to be a 24/7 thing, you always have it in your mind to try something new to market, at least that’s how my brain works.

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?

I wish I could tell you yes but unfortunately no. I am trying and continue to try unique ways to market and so far I’m yet to come across one that immediately impacted my sales.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in the future?

I would say I would try to make the most of any investment I make in marketing. I paid for a book tour a few months back and while it wasn’t a bad investment it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting so I would say I would try to market more efficient and accordingly.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

I would say don’t give up. Believe in yourself and your writing because if you don’t believe in your writing how can you expect anyone else to?

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?

My main character is Opium Warfare is a young man named Ryu Tsang. For the most part he is your average everyday man growing up in 1920's Shanghai but underneath the exterior there lies something unique about him. His willingness and determined mind state to stick to his guts and instinct is what makes him special. When he feels something is off or not right he doesn’t back down or brush it off at least not right away, he sticks it out and while sometimes his curiosity gets the best of him he stays true to his focus and his virtues.

Where do your ideas come from?

I get my ideas from everywhere. From off the top of my head, television, outside, what I take in from seeing and hearing around me. I really open all areas around me and welcome any idea that comes to mind.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

For me the hardest part about writing is sticking to an idea and formatting. Sometimes I have a great idea but while I have a perfect planning for it I feel sometimes it falls flat and I find myself sitting around trying to think of something to add or a way to make it sound better. I’m very indecisive at things and writing is no different. Also formatting paragraphs is always a challenge for me. I find it’s hard to figure out when to start a new one or even just break it down so it doesn’t look funny. I have my moments here and there but I try to keep an open mind.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

Researching. While the book was fiction it was also a historical fiction. Given that the topic was about opium and the book was set in Shanghai I felt the book needed a lot of solid factual information. Of course none of that could have been possible without research. So I did extensive research on opium, Shanghai, the 1920's, everyday life and historical events during the period. I’ve been told that some of the language isn’t quite right for the time but when you do as much research as I did and work as hard as you can on this novel, your bound do make slight mishaps here and there. Overall I think the hard work paid off and the book does a great job of entertaining and educating.

Which writers inspire you?

Rod Serling, Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare and Elmore Leonard.

What do you do to get book reviews?

I offer giveaways, look into people who are looking to review and do books tours on occasion. Pretty much the simple easy ways that most authors acquire book reviews, nothing too fancy.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?

The quest for reviews has been better than I expected, the results on the other hand not so much. While I’ve had the best amount of reviews of any one of my books in a short time my last three reviews have been rather poor. A review is a review nonetheless as long as it pertains to the book ans for the most part most of my reviews do. I will be having more reviews to come so I very happy for the turnout for them.

What is the current book you are promoting?

Opium Warfare, a crime thriller about the rise of opium from underground obscurity to public prominence in 1920's Shanghai.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

Shin Shaojin, the antagonist. He’s wise but at the same time he’s a total egotistical jerk. I made him this way and to be honest I’m not sure it was my intention. He sort of took on a mind of his own and while I made him a wise and determined businessmen it’s his thoughtless, evil driven philosophies that make him my favorite.

Who is your least favorite character and why?

I would say one of Shaojin’s goons, Kazar. He’s one of those yes men who will do anything his boss tells him and he’s also the type of guy that comes off way too tough then he actually is. In a sense I guess you could say he’s cliche but I feel like I gave him too many layers and he doesn’t pull any of them off naturally.

If your book were made into a movie, who would you cast? 

Jin Akanishi(Speed Racer, 47 Ronin) as Ryu Tsang.
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Shin Shaojin
Tzi Ma as Chao
Rachel McAdams as Mia Morgan
Evan Peters as Kazar
Rain as Rezel

What is your next project? 

My next project is a sequel to my first book The Macabre Masterpiece: Poems of Horror and Gore. This book will be called The Macabre Masterpiece: Repressed Carnage and like the first book will contain 50 poems each within a different chilling rendition of horror.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?

Being a fan of Elmore Leonard’s I would say his character Raylan Givens.
What one person from history would you like to meet and why?
Frank Sinatra. I enjoy his music and feel like he was one cool guy and would be a delight to meet.
If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?
End terrorism, there’s just no need for any such cause or whatever you wish to call it.

How do you write your books? 

By computer? I’m not sure what is being asked here. I type it out on my computer and make it a process.

Where do you come up with your stories?

As stated earlier, I come up with ideas for stories from out of no where or from what I take in around me.

Who is your favorite author?
Elmore Leonard

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?

That writing takes time and is a process. You can’t just write, write , write and expect results of it to be perfect. You have to have patience, time it out and write as much as you can. Go over it gradually and after your done and remember no one is perfect.

What is one thing you hate about being a writer?

That there’s people out there that will try to bring you down because you’re a writer. I hate that some people are so cruel and negative and feel the need to bring people down and question their writing. I’ve come across many vile critics in the short time I’ve been a writer and while I’m sure it’s no different then any other job I feel as a writer it’s hard because those people don’t understand the struggle and how hard it is I’ve worked on my novels. The best thing to do is ignore them and not give them the attention they oh so crave. Never let em see you sweat so to speak.

Tell us something unique about you.

Hmm..I’m left handed..we lefties like to think that makes us unique. Aside from that I have knowledge of useless information and have an interest in Egypt and history.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I’ve included?

I have a landing page where readers can get three free works of mine. You can find them at http://plasmaticwriter.weebly.com/

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website: http://jbienvenue.webs.com/
Blog: http://jbienvenue.webs.com/apps/blog/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ThePlasmaticWriter
Twitter: www.twitter.com/JustinBienvenue
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4572127.Justin_Bienvenue
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/JustinBienvenue
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Justin-Bienvenue/e/B00851MBK8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1453152325&sr=8-1
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5674423
Book Links: https://www.draft2digital.com/book/133599

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