I am so honored to spend a few minutes learning more about my fellow Crazy Ink Publishing authors. Today is another one of these, a lady I am very glad to get to know. Please enjoy this exclusive with author Justina Luther. What makes today’s post even better is her latest book released TODAY! Congratulations, Justina!
Name: Justina Luther
Latest Release: Would You Have Believed Me?
- Has writing always been a passion of yours?
Yes, I started writing when I was in the first grade, so around six or seven. My Second grade teacher was the first to notice and quickly learned to call on me last when the class had been asked to write a story. I would always still be scribbling while the other children read their stories.
- At what age did you begin to write seriously?
I began to write seriously around the age of 12. My family had moved to a new area and I was homeschooled at the time. (We moved a lot for my mom’s work.) We weren’t supposed to be there more than a year, so I decided to keep to myself rather than make friends I would have to leave again. My stories became my way of entertaining myself.
- What is your favorite genre to write and does that differ from the genre you like to read?
I honestly can’t say I have a favorite genre to write. I really enjoy almost all of them. I tend to avoid outright horror or erotica. Those two aren’t for me in writing or reading. As to what I love to read, again, I tend to graze from different genres, but do really enjoy historical fiction.
- Where does your inspiration to write come from?
For me, inspiration can come from anywhere. Wondering how another story would have played out if one key choice had gone another way, wondering how I would react in any given situation, or even a weird billboard that sends my imagination spinning.
- How does the generation you belong to impact your writing style, or does it?
I would honestly say, beyond the technology available to us now, it doesn’t. Both of my parents had me later in their lives and their generations (plural as they have quite an age gap between them) have more to do with my writing than my own.
6.What does your writing schedule look like in a typical week?
Since I’m blessed to have writing be my only job right now, it’s a daily thing for me when I can get my mind to play along. I try to get to 1-2 thousand words a day. I’m not the fastest at typing, so this can actually take a decent amount of time. I also try to market my work daily as my debut novel is releasing this May.
- Are you a pantser or a plotter?
I’m in the middle of those two. Only when I’m nearing a deadline with a lot of words left to go, do I plot things out. The rest of the time I tend to have a few key scenes in my mind, along with the ending, and then write my way toward it fitting in the scenes as I find their places.
- Can you name an event in your life that has made the biggest impact on where you are today?
Yes. I was born six weeks early and at three days old it was discovered that I had a grade four bleed in my brain. For anyone that doesn’t know, that’s as severe as it can be. It means I had spinal fluid collecting in my brain and pressing on the tissue. Understandably, my parents were terrified. I’m a Christian, as are my parents, and my mother was praying over my bassinet in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) just before my surgery asking God to prepare her heart if she was about to lose me. She was alone in the room as far as anyone who was capable of speech, but she heard a voice, clear as day and close as if they were standing at her side, tell her it would only happen once. She had no idea what it meant, but she felt total peace. She told my dad, and he told her to hold onto it. After several attempts to relieve the pressure with a needle, only to have it quickly build again she was becoming more than a little puzzled by those words. My doctors decided that I would undergo brain surgery to have a shunt implanted. They told my parents it would need to be replaced before I hit a year of age due to my small size, and then several times throughout my life. Well, long story short, I still have the same shunt they implanted when I was ten days old. I am now 27. I had an 85% chance of extreme cerebral palsy and seizures, along with many other health issues. I am free of any of these issues. This impacts my writing because I know without doubt that God moved in my life and that informs how I choose to use my talent more so than any other thing to happen in my life. I keep things clean out of gratitude.
- Do you think writers have better luck going the traditional or the self-publishing route?
I don’t think it makes a difference so long as the writer is willing to put in the work. Success can be had in either route.
- What are you working on right now?
Lots of things. Ha! I have several short stories going for anthologies, a Christmas Novella, and the rest of my Step Into Darkness series of which #1 is publishing this May. Its title is Would You Have Believed Me?
- What do you find are the most effective means of promotion?
Talking to people, making connections, and caring about them. If a writer goes at marketing with a “me first” attitude, it turns people off. Word of mouth is such a huge thing, especially in the age of social media, that those connections or crucial.
- What advice do you have for someone just beginning his or her journey into writing?
Do not give up no matter what any one person tells you. The first editor I worked with told me that no publisher would ever want to publish my work because it’s clean but not “religious.” But the RIGHT path for you WILL always work. Will it be the one you expected? Maybe not. Will it be better than you dreamed? Yes. It will also be a lot of work, so be ready.
- What piece of fiction has made the biggest impact in your writing career and why?
The King’s Equal. It’s a book that was read to me as a little girl and it just made books seem like so much fun. This little thing that didn’t look too impressive contained a whole world that it only shared with those willing to look. I loved that.
- What final thoughts would you leave potential readers with?
All I’ve ever wanted to be is a novelist and so I say thank you. Thank you for considering reading my work, and for any who do, thank you for that too because it takes an investment of time and sometimes money. A writer is like a pencil without a point without readers, so I really appreciate all of you for helping make my dreams happen.
- What is your favorite story you’ve written/read? Tell us about it.
My favorite story I’ve written is all of them, I will not choose between my children. My favorite story I’ve read is another difficult question. I’ve read so many amazing books! The series Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is wonderful, as is the Outlander series, and the Hunger Games trilogy.
- What three things must you have on hand to write?
- My imagination.
- My laptop or a notebook and pencil.
- Where do you see yourself/your writing in 5 years?
I’d love to be on at least one bestseller list, but if I’m not then I see myself still writing, publishing, reading, and working toward my dreams. This is what I love to do.
- Everyone has a dream mate. What’s yours look like? Do you ever expect to find him/her?
I honestly don’t think much about that. I know the right guy for me will be there in the right time if that’s the path for me. Beyond that? I have other things to focus on.
- If you could be anything other than what you are, what occupation would you choose?
Singer or business owner with my own restaurant or line of organic beauty products. Something to turn another of my passions into a business.
- If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be, and why?Marilyn Monroe. I’d love to see what she was actually like away from the media, legends, and lore. Just who she actually was.
About the Book:
Would You Have Believed Me? Step Into the Darkness Book 1
A psychological thriller by Justina Luther
Seventeen-year-old Justine Leonard wants to be happy for her widowed mother when she meets, falls in love with, and marries a new mystery man. But while Dirk Martin seems to shine like a knight in freshly polished armor, Justine can’t shake the feeling something isn’t quite right.
Is Justine’s gut telling the truth, or is everyone else right when they say her imagination is only playing with her?
About the Author:
Justina Luther is a lifetime author with a passion for reading and for people. Be it a story or something she’s learned, sharing with her readers is her greatest joy. With a love for trying new things, she constantly finds experiences to add depth and realism to her fiction. Her short story titled GED=OMG was published in Beginnings XIV, her short story titled Choices Made was also featured in the For Melissa anthology. Her blog Welcome to My Imagination has won several awards. Her debut suspense titled Would You Have Believed Me? which is book 1 of the Step Into Darkness series is publishing in May of this year and she is currently working on book 2.
Follow this Author:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JustinaLuther aka @JustinaLuther
FB reader group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/302597783420625/