Interview with Justin Swapp

Published 2013-08-24.
Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Hi, all. I’m Justin Swapp, I’m a lot of things. Professionally I manage multiple sales programs with lots of great employees across the United States. When I’m not doing that, I’m a writer, amongst other things. I’ve been published in several anthologies, and have just completed my debut novel, The Magic Shop.
What first inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing. If I had to pin it down to one thing, it would probably be my mother. In our younger years, she was the type that would give us a treat if we memorized a poem and things like that. She always enjoyed good books, and I think she instilled that in us. My grandmother (mother’s mom) had also done some writing. So, that probably influenced me as well.
If you could spend a day with anyone from history, who would it be and why?
This is a tough one. Perhaps my grandmother, Sybil, who recently passed away. Why? Well, she wrote a short book called “Toronto Teddy,” and no one can find it. Having written a book, and knowing what goes into it, I felt an absolute loss; an additional loss, upon learning that the manuscript had disappeared. I’d spend time with her, talk with her, and secure a copy to make sure it got published.
Are you a planner? Or do you prefer to dive straight into writing?
I’m a hybrid. My impulse is to dive straight in. I have more success, however, when I resist that urge, and think things through a little bit before I go crazy.
What is your favorite word?
I’ve been saying, “bugger” a lot lately – don’t know why :)
What is the best writing tip you have ever been told?
“Write what you see.” I believe that’s from Stephen King’s, “On Writing;” at least the audio book version. So, yeah, he literally told me that.

There is something to the notion that you watch a scene play out in your mind, and you, the author, are there just to report back on what happened.
What is the last book you read?
Monster Hunter International, by Larry Correia. His books are fantastic. By the way, he’s also a great speaker. I’ve seen him at a couple of writing conferences.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on the sequel to The Magic Shop. I’m currently plotting it out, and deciding what sticky, dangerous situations to put my main characters in.
What other writing have you done?
I have several short stories published in various anthologies. Writing short stories has been a great experience to prepare me for writing novels.

I have a story called, Cigars for Sawyer, which is included in The Memory Eater anthology, and another called Final Exam published in Short Sips: Coffee House Flash Fiction Collection 2. I also have three stories in three of the five Crimson Pact books - The Transition, The Merging, and Club PK2. This anthology in particular was a fantastic experience. I have met wonderful people, and learned a lot. The fifth and final volume just came out, and is truly epic. If you check it out, I'm sure there are authors included in the anthology that you'd probably recognize.

As I mentioned earlier, my debut novel, The Magic Shop, just came out, and is doing well so far. There's nothing as pleasing to an author as someone who enjoys his writing. :)
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I've never had a problem with that. I'm a naturally energetic, positive kind of guy. Probably doesn't hurt that I'm a morning person :)
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