An Interview with Joshua Crosson, author of Limelight
Joshua Crosson lives in a small town in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. He attended college in his early twenties, wasn’t sure what he wanted to study, dropped out, and is now returning—this time to get a nursing degree. He has a passion for helping others in need and has always believed good writing has the power to connect and help other people. He’s loved writing ever since he was a small boy. While writing can sometimes be a challenge, his passion for it has never died. He’s heard other writers use the term “writing as therapy” and believes the expression is a good fit for him too.
What is your favourite dragon in literature?
Toothless, from How to Train Your Dragon. [[[ED: MEEEE TOOOO]]]
Everyone has a ‘first novel’, even if many of them are a rough draft relegated to the bottom and back of your desk drawer (or your external harddrive!). Have you been able to reshape yours, or have you abandoned it for good?
I wrote a novel called Sheep in my early twenties. I was trying really hard to make a statement about religion in it. The writing wasn’t that great either, but it was the first time I felt I was really trying to develop characters and themes that were personal and close to my heart. I’d say my first “real novel” was this big, untitled book that took place in the future on this run-down city on the moon. It was this dark, futuristic detective novel about this man—the detective—who hates human beings. And then by the end of it he ends up saving the Earth. It was kind of like Seven and True Detective but sci-fi. But, honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever try to resurrect these stories. I think I left them behind for good, my writing interests elsewhere now.
Over the years, what would you say has improved significantly in your writing?
Everything! I’m thirty (at this time of writing) and I’d say I’m only now discovering my voice and style—especially with this second novel I’m writing now. But still, I often struggle. I’m still learning and improving.
Some authors are able to pump out a novel a year and still be filled with inspiration. Is this the case for you, or do you like to let an idea percolate for a couple of years in order to get a beautiful novel?
I’ve become more patient with my writing as I’ve gotten older. When I was younger I wanted so bad to be like Stephen King—or like some of the other popular novelists—able to pump out a book a year. But I realized that’s not the way I work. I wish I could write that fast.
I have heard of writers that could only write in one place – then that cafe closed down and they could no longer write! Where do you find yourself writing most often, and on what medium (pen/paper or digital)?
Usually in my room at night, though I’ve written in many places before. My ritual is to always write after I get off home from work. I work the swing shift (usually) so I get home around eleven or midnight. But once I’m home I’ll eat some dinner, drink some tea, and I’ll try to write at least an hour before I go to bed. And always using pen/paper too. I used to do all my writing on computers (and also typewriters haha), but I’ve discovered a love for writing with pen and paper these days.
Before going on to hire an editor, most authors use beta-readers. How do you recruit your beta-readers, and choose an editor? Are you lucky enough to have loving family members who can read and comment on your novel?
I’m one of the lucky ones and have wonderful family and friends who read my work. My mom is my best critic. She’s also an author and she always gives me honest feedback, doesn’t pull any punches. My sister, brother, and a few friends have been so helpful to me too. And I also have a lovely new fiancé who I can bring works-in-progress too.
Recently, I just started reaching out to people I don’t know (like on Facebook writing groups), asking them if they’d like to read my current work-in-progress.
I walk past bookshops and am drawn in by the smell of the books – ebooks simply don’t have the same attraction for me. Does this happen to you, and do you have a favourite bookshop? Or perhaps you are an e-reader fan… where do you source most of your material from?
I definitely prefer physical books. The smell is amazing, new or old books. There’s a local Goodwill nearby where I live and I’ve gotten hundreds of books from there. I also use Amazon.
I used to find myself buying books in only one genre (fantasy) before I started writing this blog. What is your favourite genre, and have your tastes changed over time?
I’d have to say Crime Fiction is my favorite genre—or genres in the same vein, like Suspense, Thrillers. I also love Horror.
I’ve always loved horror. That’s never changed. It started with Goosebumps for me. And then I fell in love with Stephen King, Jack Ketchum, Clive Barker. Lately, I’ve been delving into this really bizarre, nasty subgenre of horror—Extreme Horror. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. I’ve also always loved and have always been fascinated by true crime. Over the years, I’ve developed a deep love for crime fiction though.
Social media is a big thing, much to my disgust! I never have enough time myself to do what I feel is a good job. What do you do?
It was really frustrating for a while, because I started my writer’s page on Facebook maybe two years ago, but I had nothing on it. I had no published novel, no short stories (I don’t like writing short stories), nothing. My debut novel was published a month ago, and so I’ve only now (this past month) been active on social media. It feels better now to have something out there, something that I can share with other people. I’ve been finding it to be actually kind of enjoyable to talk to other likeminded people—other writers and readers and creative people—to be able to connect with them. At the moment, I just have an author website and an author Facebook page. Having too many platforms makes me feel cluttered and overwhelmed and I’d rather just stick to one or two (though maybe, at some point in the future, I’ll change my mind about this).
Answering interview questions can often take a long time! Tell me, are you ever tempted to recycle your answers from one to the next?
This is my second interview regarding me and my book! So no temptation, not yet haha!
Limelight – a crime/noir/mystery novel
Chris Flowers, one of the most famous and beloved popstars in the world, wants nothing more than to keep playing shows and creating art for his dear fans. Nearly finished with an album, and only days from playing a major show, Chris receives a fateful phone call threatening to expose a dark secret of his past that could ruin him. The sinister voice demands Chris to “Confess” or else… When the lives of loved ones from Chris’s past—the very people he left behind to pursue stardom—become involved, Chris must decide how important his career truly is for him—and if he’s willing to sacrifice lives for it.