Author Interview: Justin Chandler
Can you tell me a short summary about your book?
It’s about a high school freshman, Nicholas Forsythe, who has more or less become apathetic about school and life and his parents attempting to curb his attitude by bringing in a mentor figure. The mentor, Garron, is considered a “guide,” which is ritualistically given to students in the area to help in similar situations and prepare them for life beyond high school. As Nick becomes suspicious about who Garron is and how he seems to show up at the right place at the right time, he eventually learns that Garron is from the future, specifically his future self. All is well until one of the other guides in the program, Ambrose, threatens to go renegade and expose the program to other students, who are meant to be oblivious to the process. It’s up to Nick and Garron to prevent this revelation to leak out and save the future.
What is the insight on the main character?
He’s a relatable character, especially if you are a young reader. There comes a time in everyone’s life where they begin to feel burnt out or “lazy,” his just happens to come at a bad time in regards to his education. Naturally, this feeds into his skepticism of Garron and his guiding practices, and his discovery of who Garron is and why he’s there completely shifts his perspective. I want readers to take away both the good and bad aspects of the character, that way they can take solace in their own maturation and anxiousness of what the future holds for them.
Which character do you relate to the most?
Garron, mostly. He’s picking up the pieces of his life after so many setbacks and circumstances and trying to make the most of it. Plus, his cadence and speech is modeled after mine so I suppose there’s another layer of association.
Where do you get your inspiration?
For the realistic portions of the novel, from real-life circumstances. But some of the more sci-fi elements are inspired by years of playing sci-fi based games like the Metal Gear Solid series.
What do you do when you get the bad case of writers block?
Coffee and jogging. Coffee is just so therapeutic to me, especially mid-afternoon. Otherwise, I enjoy taking an evening jog to clear my head, or go practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for a few hours to compartmentalize my thoughts. I recommend it for anybody.
Are there any authors that inspire you, or you look up to?
J.K. Rowling was always my go-to author growing up, but I really looked up to Gary Paulsen, Harper Lee, and F. Scott Fitzgerald for using their respective environments for literary fuel.
Is there any advice for up and coming authors?
Prepare for long nights of revision and dunking yourself in coffee. But in all seriousness, enjoy every moment of the writing process and take pride in your work, no matter what the end result may be.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing on and off for about four years now.
What is or was the hardest part of writing?
Keeping a good rhythm going, my mind tends to wander at times so I need to stay focused.
What genre is your book?
Young Adult Science Fiction.
I know we talked about your favorite authors, but what do you like to read in your free time?
The majority of my reading time nowadays is spent reading educational philosophy books and anything related to teaching middle grades. But I’ve started getting back to reading more fiction. As of this moment, I’m reading The Chocolate War.
What are your current projects?
To be decided, since my main focus is finishing my teaching degree. But I am working on publishing more short stories, perhaps as a “Short Story Sunday” deal.
What can we, as readers, look forward to seeing as your writing career progresses?
Expect to see more in-depth, inspiring, and enjoyable works coming out in the near future, perhaps even some more expository stuff as shown on my blog.
Is there anything specific you would like to say to your readers?
Thank you for all of the continued support over the past few years. I treasure each person who has taken the time to read my works and share amongst friends and colleagues. I owe all of my success to you, and I am blessed.
How can readers discover more about you and your book? Via Instagram, Facebook, website, blog?