7 Questions With Author Justin Bienvenue
Justin Bienvenue is the author of six novels. His most recent book is a Gothic Horror called The Wax Factory. He is also a poet and 3 of his books are books of poetry. His first ever book The Macabre Masterpiece is a 3-time #1 most downloaded book on Amazon for contemporary poetry. He lives in New England, and when he’s not writing he’s usually adventuring outdoors or watching football.
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What’s your own definition of an author/indie author?
My definition of an author is someone who writes and publishes books. Someone who can create ideas and characters down on paper or computer to such simplicity that they do it as a profession. To me an indie author is an author who writes and publishes whenever and whatever they want without the straining rules of a traditional publisher. Being an indie author in many ways makes you your own boss and your not tied down to a contract with a company ordering you around giving you deadlines and dates.
Being indie is just that, being your own independent writer, you and you alone. You can write when you feel like, make your own terms and rules, hire a team if you so wish but it doesn’t tie you down and gives you the freedom to do as you please, to write and create whenever you feel the inspiration strike.
What are some common stereotypes related to the genre(s) you’re writing in?
I mainly write horror and poetry so there’s several stereotypes and cliches that are common with them. With horror there’s the ole girl runs for her life through the woods only to trip and fall while the killer chasing her walks and still catches up to her(one of my favorite ridiculous stereotypes).
There’s also the whole idea that horror has to have blood or gore to be scary, the there can only be one survivor or the biggest horror stereotype of all is that someone has to die or it has to be gruesome to be considered horror which is so far from the truth.
Poetry I feel many people aren’t aware of the stereotypes so maybe I’m going to shed some light on them. One is that poetry has to rhyme, which is not only not true but I hear it constantly and the fact people assume this just shows their ignorance to learn about what poetry truly is. Another stereotype is that poetry has to be written about and with feeling. I won’t say this isn’t true but it doesn’t have to solely be written with or about feeling.
Authors vs. Social Media. How do you approach the tools you have at your disposal?
The first thing I realize is that I don’t have to or need to be on every single social media network. I’m only on the networks I choose to be on and the ones that have worked for me. I think these days, every author is on Facebook is some way, shape or form but whether or not you make the most of your time on there is an entirely different aspect.
I use social media to engage with my followers and I treat them as potential readers, fellow authors and people who share the same interests with me which of course they all are. I think it’s okay to use social media as an author to promote yourself but you also have to show people on there that your unique, give them a reason to want to follow you.
Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at the beginning of your journey?
Don’t go with the first publishing company you come across on Google and it’s going to be tough and you may not have much to show for your work but you’ll still love what you do and feel you’re the best in the world at it. I’d say just that along with it’s not going to be easy and you’ll get rejected, hurt by peoples comments but as long as you keep coming up with ideas and believe in your work then others will too.
It does get better the more you write, the more you learn and the more harder you work everyday to become successful. I suppose that sort of sounds cliche but it’s the best advice I can think of giving myself which would be to be blunt but also reassuring.
What would you do if you wouldn’t be writing?
Well eight year old me wanted to be a waiter, high schooler me wanted to be a bartender but I’ve always loved sports so I’d hope if I wasn’t a writer I’d be a sports broadcaster or football analyst.
I love writing but I also love football and I’ve been told for years by friends and family that I should consider a career in broadcasting because of my knowledge for the game and my impersonation of calling games. If I could be a writer and a broadcaster would be interesting as I love them both but it would be hard finding time for them both.
How do you deal with negative feedback or negative reviews?
I usually get upset, try to find positives from their reviews/feedback but I never interact with them. I learned the hard way when I first started writing to never interact with someone who is negative toward your work. It’s frowned upon to comment back to someone’s negative review as it makes you look amateurish, unprofessional and portrays you in a bad light.
I did it once and not only did it backfire but the person I commented back to told their friends, and they told their friends and before you knew it I had people badgering me, insulting me and placing my book on shelves with bad names.
It’s unfortunate that people like this exist but again you have to realize two things, one not everyone is going to like your book because your book is not for everyone, and two, reviews are not for authors they are for readers. The best way to deal with negative feedback is to look over the whole message and if there’s anything of value you can take and do better at then consider it.
The best way to deal with negative reviews is by not checking your reviews and if you do just read and move on. I’ve come across some real nasty negative reviews that have insulted me personally as an author rather than my book and again while these upset me I have to just move on and ignore them as it’s the best thing you can do. Be the better person.
Just how much research is there behind a novel? Tell us how it looks behind the scenes.
It depends on the novel and what exactly it is your writing about but in general there should be a fairly good amount of research done before you write a book. For non-fiction I imagine the research is way more substantial and thorough although with fiction it tends to get complicated and more drawn up.
For any book you write, regardless of whether or not you have an idea research is key. You may need to research the topic your book is going to be about for a more realistic feel, to look into a certain person, a place, a time period, research is necessary as it helps you plan out your book and touches up any loose holes.
Me personally, I usually look up a topic that my book will be about and I research it for at least a week. I get as much knowledge and valuable information as I can and I then check up on any things about my book that ar real that I’m not sure of. That requires more research so after it’s all said and done I usually spend 2 to 3 weeks just on research alone. I then write and if I have to put in that research and I come across an issue I just simply go back and research it again.
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