Thank you for visiting us for our stop on the Sandcastle and Other Stories book tour, hosted by Virtual Book Tour Cafe.
Please welcome Justin Bog, he’s the author of
Which you can buy here.
Enjoy his post as he discussess his
Humble beginnings . . .
One of my high school English teachers shares the name Sharon Stone with the actress, but this was well before the film Basic Instinct would spread more than fame around the world for the talented and strong Hollywood starlet. I owe my teacher Sharon Stone a shout of gratitude for being the first to encourage me to write and own what I write. In a Junior English class, she assigned the very first creative writing homework: write a story. Fiction. Epiphany moment – in the long educational process, my eyes opened to something I thought was outside of a curriculum.
I hid the fact that I wrote my own fiction, tiny stories, fake news reports, at home on an old typewriter. Little bumpy prose ditties on scrap paper filled up my notebooks. I don’t recall where those notebooks went. They’re lost to landfill. Back in junior high, years before this high school writing assignment, a poet from the University came to speak to our entire class, and I enjoyed hearing his poems, but the immediacy faded when I concentrated on fiction.
“Write a story,” Ms. Stone said to the class. I went home and raced through what would turn out to be my first foray into writing suspense fiction, a short story that maybe filled five or six lined notebook pages, the kind with punch holes.
The subject of my fiction even then sprang from suspense, it’s what I loved to read, it’s what I loved to watch on film (and still do love). I look back at this teen about to write his first suspense story with nostalgia and humor. The story was rough, comically bad and derivative, but it had details, specific details about a higher end shopping store. My parents visited Columbus shopping centers most weekends to escape the doldrums of Granville, Ohio, and we came along for the ride. At this point in my life I am malled out, and rarely love traveling to one, can’t remember the last time I walked a mall.
I began my first suspense tale and wrote about a man whose nerves made him jumpy. He looks behind him on a busy street — yes, I set the story in New York City since my father took us there every other year or so to walk the streets for a day — and there’s another man running towards him, and my hero starts to run. He runs into a Saks or something like that and trips over people, dashes up escalators, sweats as he tries to hide . . . and he’s caught by other people, rushed out of the store, forced into a big black car and someone holds up a hypodermic needle. The sense of deja vu, even then, was heavy. My character’s journey ends. There was no reason for the chase mentioned, no inner monologue: Why are they chasing me? And the plot was nonexistent too. Just the rush of someone coming after another character in a scene.
The next day, in class, we had to exchange stories with someone else, and the classmate who read mine said she liked my handwriting (I didn’t type class papers in high school – that would’ve really shown off my nerd crown) . . . but she didn’t understand the story. I had great penmanship. The classmate’s name wasn’t Rhoda, thank God.
Decades pass and the writing became sharper. Sandcastle and Other Stories grew into a collection with several stories dipping into the suspense genre. I thank Sharon Stone for the nudge in a good direction.
Check out the other stops on this tour..
June 7 – Introduction at VBT Cafe’ Blog
June 11 – Interviewed at My World
June 13 – Guest Blogging at The Book Hoard
June 15 – Guest Blogging at Reading, Writing, and More
June 19 – Interviewed at MK McClintock’s Blog
June 21 – Guest Blogging at On Emily’s Bookshelf
June 26 – Guest Blogging at BK Walker Books Etc.
June 28 – Reviewed at The Story of a Girl…
July 2 – Guest Blogging at AZ Publishing Services
July 6 – Interviewed at Mass Musings
July 9 – Guest Blogging at From The TBR Pile
July 11 – Reviewed at Books, Books, and More Books
July 13 – Reviewed at B00k R3vi3ws
July 16 – Interviewed at Reviews & Interviews
July 18 – Reviewed & Interviewed at A Book Lover’s Library
July 18 – Interviewed at Brenda & Steve’s Blog
July 20 – Interviewed at Unnecessary Musings