MoAA Interview #5: Justin Macumber

Justin MacumberI met Justin Macumber on a podcast. (Isn’t the 21st Century Wonderful?)

Justin was the guest host on Dave Robison’s Writers Roundtable when I was asked on as the guest author. Together we all workshopped a story by Lauren Harris.

I was really struck by Justin’s insight into the story–the comments he made were incredibly logical and seemed spot-on for what the story needed. He also introduced some very interesting lines of thinking that Lauren (and I) took to heart.

And with that, I took Justin to heart as well. I hope you do too!


Alethea Kontis: What’s the best thing about writing?

Justin Macumber: Entertaining people. There is no better feeling than knowing I brought something good and interesting into someone else’s life. So many talented authors carried me through tough moments in my past. If I can do the same for others, then that makes me happy.

AK: What’s the worst thing about writing?

JM: The isolation. I listen to a lot of discussion podcasts throughout my day as I clean house or take care of other chores (I’m lucky enough to have a spouse that earns enough money so I can be a full time writer), and I think I do that just so I can hear other people talk. Being alone so often can be difficult.

AK: Finish this sentence: “Writing is like…”

JM: …performing an exorcism on myself. There are people inside me, and they want out!

AK: If you could write anywhere in the world, where would it be?

JM: On the front porch of a cabin secluded on a mountain in Virginia with my wife. Virginia is a stunningly beautiful state, and the forested mountains stir my soul. But I’d have to have my wife there. Doing something like that all by myself would take all the joy from it.

AK: Pick five words to describe your latest work.

JM: Dark. Fun. Youthful. Surprising. Magical.

AK: Pick five words to describe you.

JM: Procrastinator. Geek. Lazy. Romantic. Imaginative.

A Minor MagicAK: What’s your favorite type of tree?

JM: Mesquite. I grew up with these trees all over my family’s property, and I spent a lot of my time climbing those branches.

AK: What were you like in high school?

JM: Gregarious. I wasn’t the most popular guy in school by any stretch, but I knew most of my classmates, and for the most part I got along with all of them. I had fun in high school. Facebook has given me back many of those friendships.

AK: If you could give one piece of advice (writing or otherwise), what would it be?

JM: Never be afraid to fail. Instead, be afraid of never trying.

AK: The Colin Harvey Memorial Question: What are 3 things you’d like to do before you die?

JM: Jump out of an airplane and skydive.

Cruise the Mediterranean.

Meet Stephen King and personally thank him for the Dark Tower saga.

A MINOR MAGIC is a post-apocalyptic YA urban fantasy published by Crescent Moon Press. it is available in print, ebook, and audiobook formats from all fine online retailers.

Over the course of a single night, mystical fires tore through the sky and reduced most of Earth to ash. Ten years later magical fire burns again, but this time it’s in the hands of a young girl named Skylar. Exiled from her adoptive home, Skylar must now struggle through ruined lands and religious zealots who believe she’s an agent of the Devil. An even greater threat exists in the form of shadowy sorcerers from another world who covet her blood. Along her journey, she meets a motley band of outcasts who not only know the secret of what happened to Earth, but also of Skylar’s true origin. Will Skylar be able to accept this fantastical truth? But more importantly, can her powers and raging heart be tamed in time to stop those who once burned the world and now seek total domination?

My name is Justin Macumber. I’m the author of HAYWIRE and A MINOR MAGIC. When not hard at work on my next story I co-host the popular Dead Robots’ Society podcast. I and my lovely wife live in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex along with our motley pack of dogs and cats that we think of as our children. I’m also a co-host on The Hollywood Outsider, a weekly podcast about movies and television. You can find me at