Author Name: January Bain

Next book: City of Lies (releasing April 16, 2024)

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write this book?

 I’ve always been fascinated with history, especially moments when events converge and create revolutions. The 1960s were one of those volatile periods sparked by social and political unrest. Combine this with a love of hard, gritty crime novels fueled by characters unafraid to go the distance, to seek the truth no matter what it took, and voila, City of Lies was born from gritty realism.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of your book, what would they be?

 For Claire: Blowin’ in the Wind by Bob Dylan, Eve of Destruction by P.F. Sloan and sung by Barry McQuire, Turn! Turn! Turn! (Or To Everything There Is A Season) by Bob Seeger and sung by The Byrds.

For Jake: Just about any Bob Dylan protest songs of the 60s.

What books are on your to-be-read pile right now?

 LOL Too many to mention! I’ve always got a lot of books stacked up to read. I have a voracious appetite for the written word ever since I taught myself to read very early on. I believe it comes from a deep-seated curiosity about everything in this world.

I also believe its as important to familiarize yourself what has come before as much as to read what’s being written in present day. We are only an infinitesimal part of the big picture. You just have to walk outside your front door and look at the moon and the stars to experience where one single person stands in the vastness of the universe.

What scene in City Of Lies was your favorite to write?

 Honest answer: It’s always the one I’m writing. I find people fascinating with their different viewpoints, so add two people at odds with each other, and you can expect things to become conflicted. The more conflict, the better, yes? Though the scene where Claire and Jake first meet was a lot of fun to write, if I had to pick a favorite. Sparks flew that day!

Do you have any quirky writing habits?

 Yes, I do indeed! I wake up, grab a cup of coffee, and write for the next few hours in bed, seven days a week. Works for me.

Can you describe your writing process?

 First, a glimpse of something from an image I see, a few words I hear or read, then a character arrives that speaks to me and pushes me forward. Oft times I’m in the shower when an idea strikes and I’m scrambling to find pen and paper. I’ve learned to keep it close by when inspiration strikes.

What’s next for you? 

 I have more ideas than time permits to write all the stories that come to me. Right now, I’m writing about the journey of a private investigator, Anna Hale. She’s always on the case, incensed by injustice (same as me), driven to get at the truth and make the bad guys pay, even at great cost to herself. That’s what most intrigues me: How far one person is willing to go to right a wrong or correct an injustice.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

 My philosophy changes over time, but these three statements say quite a bit about me:

Throw me to the wolves, and I’ll return leading the pack.

Live each day as if it were your last.

Be kind.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

Well, I’d love them to remember my name, of course! But hopefully, they come away having gone on a journey that satisfies them in some way, that helped them escape the bonds of earth for a short while and gave them a sense of fellow humanity. And if they discover a character or moment that truly speaks them on an elementary level, helps them to see things in a different light or perspective, maybe even changing their minds about some aspect of life, then I will have struck a home run. A teary moment or a laugh wouldn’t go astray either! A book’s characters should feel as real as your friends and neighbors.

Are there specific types of scenes you struggle with?

 Not so much that as finding the correct order of events to best show the story I burn to tell to keep the reader turning the pages frantically to discover what happens next. That’s what I yearn for as a writer.

Where did you get your inspiration for your characters?

 Fascinating people are everywhere. Bits and pieces come to me, sometimes in dreams, sometimes in a flash of inspiration, and then together we go on an awesome journey together to find out their truth. What wounds have they suffered? What makes them who they are? It’s simple, then a plot evolves that spins around them, showing their strengths, weaknesses and beliefs. It’s simple, but also complex, the bringing together of the pieces in the best way I can.

What drew you to this genre in the first place?

 The Thriller/Mystery genre excites me like no other. It embraces universal truths—morality, justice, freedom—and ultimately brings satisfaction in the form of taking of responsibility for them when the story draws to its inevitable conclusion.

An author or authors who inspire you and you look up to?

 Good question. Simple answer is there are too many to mention all of them, from the Anatomy of Genre by John Truby to Stephen King’s Salems Lot. There are so many incredible authors out there, and we could not live in a better time in history than now with such a wonderous infinite library of choices at our very fingertips. The world may have shrunk, but our choices have expanded. For a little girl who taught herself to read, to present day when my books are gaining readers, I could not have seen it coming and I feel blessed for the journey. Happy reading everyone!