Monday, November 14, 2011

This Week's Reader Interview with Ginger Justus

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My life (all 35 years of it, so far) can be summed up in two statements - Sometimes I make people laugh, and sometimes I make people cry. I am a spiritual consultant and provide my clients with Spirit Guide messages and communication from those who have left the physical plane. For some, it is a light-hearted experience filled with smiles; for others, it is highly emotional and full of tears. And sometimes, it's both.

Most of my time (when not talking to the dead) is dedicated to preserving history. Cemeteries, buildings, documentation, and stories. I enjoy learning about the people long ago buried in a forgotten cemetery and, in researching each life it becomes personal to me and they are once again among the living. It helps to be a genealogy addict and I spend several hours a day sorting through information to piece together each life. I promote the importance of protecting and preserving historic buildings and artifacts as well as honoring our dead. One of the methods used to do this is by writing it down. I currently have a yet published book of stories I've written based on the history of the county in which I reside.

So, as you can imagine, I adore my downtime! While away from work, I am with my husband of nearly six years, our three beautiful girls, four motley mutts, three cats, and one rat. We are the unofficial wayward home for misplaced or unloved fourleggers.

Somehow, with all of this going on, I find time to pick up a book or my beloved Kindle.

When and how did you discover that you love reading fiction?
I grew up in a rural community - population 3500. For a shy little girl, there wasn't much to do except visit the library. I devoured everything I could get my hands on at a young age. Even then, my focus was on history and I lost count of how many times I borrowed the Little House on the Prairie series. One of my early favorites was the journal of Lucy Wortham James - the daughter of my hometown's founder. It was in the Reference section so I could only read it during my library visits. Another early favorite, and also a precursor to my current interests, was the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series. The illustrations gave me nightmares and the stories were easy to read but still well written enough to make me question what lurks under the bed. A copy of More Scary Stories... is currently displayed on my bookshelf - right next to my Shel Silverstein collection, of course.

What are some of your favorite books and who are some of your favorite authors?
As a self-proclaimed book nerd, I have a dedicated "favorites" shelf. Right now it holds Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, House of Sand and Fog, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Rosewood Casket, A Painted House, and the Ya-Ya series. The shelf below it holds nothing but Stephen King and Patricia Cornwell. I also have a shelf full of books written by and about people with unusual disorders and addictions.

What is your favorite thing about reading fiction?
Fiction is like a vacation for me. Sometimes those trips are short, soft, and relaxing (what I call palate cleansers), others are 600+ pages of madness in the Gulf of Mexico. Regardless of how the trip goes, it's always bittersweet to turn the final page and return home.

Do you have any “pet peeves” about authors, something they do that really annoys you?
I appreciate the creative process involved with writing a fictional story and try not to criticize an author's writing style but if I'm painfully forcing my way through the first page, the author better make it up to me with the second one. I had a book that was written by one of my favorite authors and recently donated it after trying multiple times to read the first two pages. Reading should be enjoyable, every single page.

Do you write fiction yourself?

I'm going to say no, although some of the factual history stories I write also include paranormal experiences associated with the person or location. I suppose to those who do not believe in such things, it would be taken as fictional.

What do you think about ebooks vs. paper books?
There's absolutely nothing like the smell of an old book, or reading inscriptions on a well-worn cover, written centuries ago to a friend or loved one. I am a traditionalist and some of my most prized possessions are my books. But, I love lying in bed on a cold night and browsing an online bookstore and its also nice to be able to see my nightstand and not a toppling pile of books. Each form has it's purpose and I do not believe the world will ever be without paper books.

What is your favorite Mike Wells book and why?

The first and still my favorite Mike Wells book I've read is Baby Talk. It is high paced but easy to follow and the story line held my attention from the first paragraph. I don't know how you made me so personally connected to each character as quickly as you did but it definitely works. After reading so many books in this genre it's difficult to find a story that still gets my heart racing and causes me to pull my knees under my chin but Baby Talk was a pleasantly spooky surprise. You definitely have a place among my Stephen King and Joe Hill favorites.

Thanks so much for taking the time to be interviewed on my blog, Ginger!

Thank you, Mike, for being my social media friend, for keeping my Kindle busy with your books, and for the interview invitation. I look forward to your future works and hope to see a follow up on that naughty baby, Natasha!

I can be reached at, on Twitter @GingerJustus, or through my website -

1 comment:

  1. Great interview, Mike! What a funny character! LOL I'm just stopping by to see what's up with you.