Much like film noir, Justin Robinson was born and raised in Los Angeles. He splits his time between editing comic books, writing prose, and wondering what that disgusting smell is. Degrees in Anthropology and History prepared him for unemployment, but an obsession with horror fiction and a laundry list of phobias provided a more attractive option. He is the author of more than 10 novels in a variety of genres including detective, humor, urban fantasy, and horror. Most of them are pretty good.
He and his wife Lauri Veverka started Captain Supermarket Press in 2013 when they published Coldheart, the first book in the League of Magi series. Lauri sometimes designs stuff and likes to read Justin’s books. Sometimes she designs stuff for his books. She also updates this website, sometimes.
Justin and his family reside in Los Angeles with too many cats and extensive book, comic, and DVD collections.
Today, Justin is talking about his latest book, Wolfman Confidential (City of Devils, Book 3). It is 402 pages, and will be published on Halloween.
The other two books in the series can be found here:
City of Devils (Book 1):
Fifty Feet of Trouble (Book 2):
Why did you decide to write this book?
My City of Devils series has a passionate fanbase and I love to explore the world, so writing the book is a foregone conclusion.
What genre is your book?
Like the bulk of my work, it’s best classified as Weird Noir. Essentially, imagine Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but instead of cartoons, it features movie monsters.
Do you consider your book character-driven or plot-driven?
Most of my earlier stuff is strongly plot-driven, but this one is character-driven. Nick Moss, the hero of the two previous installments, has to decide what he is: a detective or a gangster while navigating a world of monsters.
What makes your book unique?
It’s the best parts of classic noir and b-movie monsters, but since the book takes place at the end of 1955 and the beginning of 1956, it also features several historical figures in supporting roles.
Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?
I outline. Noir plots tend to be too intricate to write by the seat of your pants. You’ll wind up with huge logic gaps and plot holes.
How do you develop the names for your characters?
With my human characters, I use census data from the time to look at common names. “Nick” sounded like a good private eye name, and “Moss” has that kind of nondescript feel I wanted. In the world of City of Devils, after someone gets turned into a monster, they choose a new name. These tend to be classical allusions, or they’re puns, because I like puns. So in this installment, you have a pair of wolfman cops named Lou Garou and Phil Moon, a bride of Frankenstein-style character named Jane Stitch, and a trio of goblin gangsters with the handles Flux, Murk, and Sawbones.
How do you decide on the setting?
I love noir and I love monster movies. It was a natural fit.
Do you have a writing mentor?
What’s your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?
I write when my daughter naps. Since she’s only a year old, fortunately she naps a lot. She sleeps right next to me while I write. That’d be my favorite place.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I have a ton of free short stories on my site (www.captainsupermarket.com) set in the world of City of Devils starring a lot of the characters from the books. So if you have a favorite character, from Gelatin Keyes the blob to Sam Haine the pumpkinhead, you can find a story all about them. Alternately, if you don’t know whether you want to start the series, take the world for a test drive. See a Thanksgiving crime gone horribly wrong in “Light or Dark,” or what the crew of a ghost ship does on vacation in “All Wet.”
Where can readers find you?