Today I want to introduce you to another great author - Justin Jay Gladstone. Justin is the author of The Other Side, which is the story of Leon Granttley who winds up being kidnapped and taken to the 11th Dimension, where he has to learn about the strange land and understand its laws in order to return home.
Sounds pretty interesting, huh?
The Pennsylvania native is an interesting person with a lot of talent to share! I would go on and on, but then the interview would be worthless!
Enough about that, let's get into the interview! I give you, Justin Jay Gladstone:
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing career thus far.
My names Justin Jay Gladstone, I’m 20 years old. I’m currently a full time journalism student at Northampton Community College. Off the bat, I’m just going to express something personal to the readers. I have split personalities.
Reason why I’m telling you this, is because it’s actually affected my life in more ways than one. As you read on below, you’re going to see me reference it a couple times. If you’d like a more decent explanation, click the link below here, and you’ll understand more about this term.
2. What/Who inspired your writing career?
The most ironic part about this answer, is that it was actually inspired by one video game, Final Fantasy VII. The reason behind this, is because as a 5 year old who overall loved the games story and characters, I just felt compelled to recreate the adventure they put me through. Only problem was, I couldn’t make a video game, so I had to do the next best thing, which was to write.
3. The Other Side is about a world other than our own - a parallel universe of sorts. How did you come up with this idea?
Haha to be honest, it happened by a complete and total accident. Growing up, I always had this ‘voice’ in my head, but I never really made a big deal out of the multiple conversations we had. I remember walking into a bathroom, and for some reason, the path it took to get inside was oddly alluring to me. I looked at the mirror, and a voice jokingly said “What if there’s a complete and total opposite world in there?”
At first, I shrugged it off and dismissed it. But then I really got thinking. I stormed out of the bathroom, and went immediately to the computer so I could begin writing more on the simple concept that was laid out for me.
4. I love the cover of the book - did you create it yourself?
I actually came up with the concept of the book cover myself. My good friend Kodey Bell drew it.
On the right, you’ve got Leon Granttley, and then on the left is Neol Yelltnarg. The line in the middle represents the division between both of their opposite dimensions. If you look closely at both of them, you can clearly see some physical differences. For example, notice the scar under Neol’s chin.
Leon is smiling.
Neol is smoking.
These two reflect each other in more ways than one, and that's what the book cover represents.
It’s just a layout of my mind. If you look at the bottom of my book cover, you’ll see “By Justin Jay Gladstone and… Nitsuj Yaj Enotsdalg.”
Sounds crazy, but the book was written by the both of us. As I mentioned earlier, Yaj is essentially my other half.
5. Are any of the character of the book based on yourself or people you know?
The book is actually just an autobiography in the form of a sci fi novel, so yes, I’d say that the vast majority of characters are either based off of real friends, family, and even some voices in my head.
Leon is definitely me as a teenager, and then as for Yaj, Neol is his character.
6. How long did it take you to complete the novel?
I came up with the concept when I was 14 years old, but I wasn’t really happy with the direction that the novel was taking. So I wrote it over and over again for about 5 years until I was satisfied. What made me quit was the fact that the story seemed too focused on teenagers. I wanted to expand past the high school environment.
7. Do you have a writing process? If so, what is it?
Basically I have 4 drafts that I come up with. In these 4 drafts I come up with the story first, by writing it in script format. This way I don’t have to focus much on detail, but mostly the story.
In the second draft, I then throw some names around to see what kind of direction these characters will take.
In the third, the story should be somewhat solidified at this point. I just read back and forth to make sure that nothing clashes.
Then during the fourth draft, I start writing everything in novel format. This means actually delivering a story to the reader, and not just to myself. After that, I turn it into an editor and I’m all done.
8. Who is your favorite author?
I’d have to say Mitch Albom. (5 people you meet in Heaven and Tuesdays with Morrie)
9. What advice do you have for other new writers?
It’s probably the best piece of advice I can offer. I advise any new writers to not publish or have anyone read their work until they are fully satisfied. Chances are, you’ll probably regret it later, and will end up having to release a ‘Remastered’ version of your book to satisfy yourself, and other readers.
10. Do you have any other projects in the works that we should know about?
Yes I do :) ‘The Other Side’ is a series of 5 upcoming books.
The first one in the series, is of course- “The Other Side.”
Shortly after that, you’ll have “The Other Side: The God Particle”, a novel that delves into the question that people at some point in their lives ask.
(I’m actually in the process of receiving artwork for the book cover :D)
Where do we come from? And who created us?
The God Particle is a story about death, grief, sadness, and all that makes us cling to religion in the first place. But it's not as morbid as you might think. It's actually the first story I've written that has a bit of humor! There's a lot of mystery, and I've implemented a great sense of adventure in it.
The Other Side: The Family Journal(s) 2 Books
These are two novellas that are currently in development.
These two part stories delve into the minds of Festano Igor, and Stefano Giro, who both have practically made the series what it is- infinite.
It also explains the backstory and thought process for a vast majority of each of the characters, since in someway they are meant to connect in the final novel.
The Family Journals sets tone for Earthshine, the final story in the series.
The Other Side: Earthshine
The final novel in the series, and easily has the darkest atmosphere. A lot of people are going to die, and since I'm making this story the most realistic, and morbid- it can go either way for both sides.
This novel is going to tie all the lose ends and unanswered questions that the characters had in the previous novels (and maybe even some for some of you readers, since the story hasn't ended yet)
I highly encourage everyone to like the social media accounts that I created for “The Other Side, so that they can keep up with its activity :)