Author Lindy Spencer recommended another author whose books she thought I might like to read, and so I was introduced to the world of Justin Osborne. I caught up with Mr. Osborne on FaceBook and he kindly agreed to answering a few questions about his book Bitter Fruit: A Taste Of The Antholocaust
First of all, the cover picture and the title for Bitter Fruit, what made you decide on them?
The original cover I had envisioned was a ‘bleeding’ apple meant to symbolize the fabled ‘forbidden fruit’, but after a little thought, myself and a reader, Angela Pratt came to a similar conclusion. Apples were on too many book covers, and I didn’t want Bitter Fruit to be lost in the crowd. Besides, the original ‘forbidden fruit’ was most likely a pomegranate anyway. The title was inspired by the quote on the first page. Angela’s mother, Barbara Tillison did the artwork for the cover, it was her first one.
For each of the short horror stories, where did you get the ideas for each storyline?
Post 2 was inspired by my current job which is remarkably similar to Trevor’s job in the story, except for the monster in the pipes of course. My wife put that idea in my head, it is a pretty creepy location and who knows what they’re actually doing up there…this story was also my homage to Stephen King’s ‘The Mist’.
Prepped and its sequel was brought about by a friend’s suggestion that I do a ‘Zombie’ story, I told him that I wouldn’t jump on that bandwagon unless I could put my own little spin on it, I like to think that I did, haha.
You Can’t Kill Rock And Roll was actually inspired by actual events, with certain ‘liberties’ taken of course. My wife did get a job as a property manager and the apartment included a ‘perk’ as in the story. While I have ZERO musical ability, my eldest stepson is an accomplished musician and those elements were inspired to an extent by his experiences with ‘Mitch’, the real life ‘Dean Withers’.
As for Muffinz, he was inspired by Sphinx cats obviously, I remember seeing one for the first time and thinking what an odd looking creature it was, my brain decided to make it even more odd.
What drew you into starting a writing career? Was there a specific book or author which influenced you?
I began writing out of sheer boredom. As I’ve said, my ‘day job’ is very much as described in Post 2, and I had plenty of time on my hands. So, one day I decided, “Fuck it, I’m going to try and write a book.” It’s really the only way to shut the voices in my head up, you know…
What is your favourite genre to write?
Right now, I’m sticking with Fantasy and Horror, but if you’ve read my stories, you understand that I can’t really stick to just one, I like to throw all kinds of elements in the pot.
Will you be making “Prepped” into a full length novel? (These were my favourites from “Bitter Fruit“)
Prepped was originally going to be just a one off short, but sometimes good characters just won’t go away. I actually had to go back and rewrite the ending slightly to continue Ol’ Crazy Dave’s story. (He didn’t survive the first one.) I have a 3rd part outlined and perhaps a fourth. I plan on releasing them almost like a serial, and when the story is complete, I’ll release it as a full-length novel. I just hope that Zombies are still in fashion by then…Haha.
Any plans to write more short horror stories?
I will do more short stories until I have enough to put out the Antholocaust collection. Bitter Fruit, after all, was just a ‘taste’.
Do your characters take long to develop, or do they lead you down the garden path for a while?
The characters in my short stories usually develop very quickly as they don’t have a lot of ‘stage time’, but the characters in the EPIC series require much more thought and development, since the reader will be spending much more time with them.
Having only read “Bitter Fruit: A Taste of the Antholocaust“, I couldn’t wait to see what the rest of Justin’s books were like and have since downloaded “The Punishment Due” and won “Epic: Legacy“, both of which I cannot wait to begin reading 😀