*MINI SPOILER ALERT!* The most difficult bit to write was when Tres, the main character, suddenly disappeared on me as I was writing the moment he was in. He had to go away, his life was too difficult and confusing for him, and I felt very sad for him and his family left behind who had no answers for what they were about to realize about him. It was hard to write their lives without him, especially as they needed him the most.
Can you give us a short synopsis of your book?
No way! You must read the story, experience it. I’d never ever want to ruin that for any reader by divulging the plot points in advance!
Name your top five favorite books, please.
I could never choose my favorite books. Every book I’ve read offers something completely different, different things that stick with me for whatever reason. I’ll name my top five from my most recent reads:
1. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (sci-fi)
2. I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes (spy thriller)
3. Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante (suspense/drama)
4. Frost and Fire by Ray Bradbury (sci-fi short story)
5. Happy: Why More or Less Everything Is Absolutely Fine by Derren Brown (nonfiction)
Do you write every day? Once a week? What is your writing schedule?
When I’m writing—and not editing or knee-deep in the publishing process—I write each and every morning, for at least an hour, hopefully two, and three or more if I’m really into the story and have lost all concept of time. I’ve found mornings work best for me, when I’m most alert, refreshed, full of creative energy fresh from dreaming, and the world’s distractions haven’t been allowed in yet.
Since I'm a librarian, I always love hearing about libraries. Do you have a favorite library? If so, please tell us about it.
I was so in love with libraries and everything they contained—all that exciting, interesting stuff yet for me to discover—when I was younger. I was always maxing out my library card. Really difficult college-prep high school courses and then college, took away my free reading time, and somewhere in there, Amazon.com came to be, and it was terribly convenient and wonderful to search for and browse all the books on the planet by topic or author or anything else. I’m a voracious book buyer; I have hundreds more books waiting on my Kindle than I can read as fast. I’ll admit that I lost my appreciation for libraries for an embarrassingly long time. I never lost respect for them, but I forgot the reasons why they’re so invaluable—and magical—aside from just offering a place to obtain new reads. I actually wrote a blog post on the topic: “In Defense of Libraries” (https://www.justineavery.com/in-defense-of-libraries). I’m now doing what I can to help preserve them for all of us, and I need to make a point to visit them on my global travels.
What are you working on now?
I’m writing new short stories to include with a few unpublished ones to complete a collection. They’re all tales of those moments in life when everything changes, when a new path is chosen, when we’re jerked right out of our old ways—all with twists and surprises, of course!
Title: The One Apart
Author: Justine Avery
Only one obstacle stands in his way of enjoying a normal life. He remembers—every life he’s lived before.
Tres is about to be born… with the biggest burden any has ever had to bear. He is beginning again—as an ageless adult trapped in an infant body.
He and his teenage mother face life filled with extraordinary challenges as they strive to protect, nurture, and hide how truly different he is. But Tres alone must solve the greatest mystery of all: who is he? The answer is linked to the one question he’s too afraid to ask: why am I?
In his quest, Tres discovers that all is considerably more interconnected and dynamic than he could ever imagine—and fraught with far more danger. He cannot hide from the unseen threat stalking him since his birth.
Life as he knows it—as all know it—is in peril. And Tres is the only one aware.
Justine Avery is an award-winning author of stories large and small for all. Born in the American Midwest and raised all over the world, she is inherently an explorer, duly fascinated by everything around her and excitedly noting the stories that abound all around. As an avid reader of all genres, she weaves her own stories among them all. She has a predilection for writing speculative fiction and story twists and surprises she can’t even predict herself.
Avery has either lived in or explored all 50 states of the union, over 36 countries, and all but one continent; she lost count after moving 30-some times before the age of 20. She’s intentionally jumped out of airplanes and off the highest bungee jump in New Zealand, scuba dived unintentionally with sharks, designed websites, intranets, and technical manuals, bartered with indigenous Panamanians, welded automobile frames, observed at the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo in Noba, Japan, and masterminded prosperous internet businesses—to name a few adventures. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree that life has never required, and at age 28, she sold everything she owned and quit corporate life—and her final “job”—to freelance and travel the world as she always dreamed of. And she’s never looked back.
Aside from her native English, Avery speaks a bit of Japanese and a bit more Spanish, her accent is an ever-evolving mixture of Midwestern American with notes of the Deep South and indiscriminate British vocabulary and rhythm, and she says “eh”—like the Kiwis, not the Canadians. She currently lives near Los Angeles with her husband, British film director Devon Avery, and their three adopted children: Becks, Sam, and Lia. She writes from wherever her curiosity takes her.
Avery loves to connect with fellow readers and creatives, explorers and imaginers, and cordially invites you to say “hello”—or konnichiwa.
Book buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076B7RDWY