Interview With Author Justin DiPego
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’ve been a storyteller for as long as I can remember. It started with creating the adventures of my (made up) friends and evolved into being a probably not very good Dungeon Master because I was more interested in spinning a yarn than rolling the dice. My pursuits away from writing took me to experiences that would return good stories, like horseback riding and construction work. I began my screenwriting career out of college, my first novel, Seven o’Clock Man, came out in 2018 and I’m now releasing my second novel.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“Wrong Side of a Working Man” is the story of an electrician, plying his trade across Los Angeles when his life suddenly goes to hell. He develops chronic pain and flights of anger. His wife leaves him, he loses his job and he discovers a curse has been put upon him. To lift the curse, he has to perform ten mythic tasks across the Southland, to reset his balance and the balance of the city itself. Inspired by the Twelve Labors of Hercules, it’s also an exploration of the hidden corners of the city, the secret mysticism that binds us all and the role of pain in toxic, mail violence.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
“Epic Film Scores” is a playlist I stumbled upon on YouTube Music. I play it as loud as is tolerable and find the cinematic mindscapes both inspire me and drown out my ancillary thoughts, focusing on the voices in my head.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I’ve been a constant reader my whole life and J.R.R. Tolkien was obviously a gateway to epic fantasy, but also to the notion of the narrative voice being an unnamed character in the story. I love Raymond Chandler and his observations of the human condition, disguised as hardboiled detective stories. I’ve also pulled countless novels from the shelves of used bookstores by authors no one remembers and I try to learn from everything.
What are you working on now?
As an author, I’m gathering my notes, thoughts, and characters for the second book in the Workingman trilogy. As a filmmaker, I always have several irons in the fire.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
The best method for promoting my books is via my website which you can find below.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Writing is not a desk job. Get out into the world and experience as much of it as you can. Pay attention. Observe. Gather truths. Learn. Then sit at your desk and put pen to paper.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I get this from my father. Though writing is not a desk job, it is a job. You can’t sit and wait for the muse. Whatever stage your project is in, you have to clock in and get to business.
What are you reading now?
Happily, the book world has evolved since I was coming up, and authors other than old white men have more opportunities to tell their stories. I just finished The Song of Achilles and Circe by Madeline Miller, which I cannot praise highly enough, and just started The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m really looking forward to digging into the next installment of the Workingman series, but I also have a spacefaring Sci-fi that’s been rumbling in the background. Always looking for my next challenge.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Questions like this always fire up my analysis paralysis, but here goes: First, I would bring the thickest, heaviest single-volume dictionary I can find. Second, The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe would be eternally re-readable. Next, The Book Of Knots – Being A Complete Treatise On The Art Of Cordage, Illustrated By 172 Diagrams Showing The Manner Of Making Every Knot, Tie, And Splice from 1890 is under 50 pages but sounds pretty useful. And finally, can anyone recommend an expansive book on comparative mythology?
Author Websites and Profiles
Justin DiPego’s Social Media Links