A Quickie with Austin James

Nikki Noir (NN): What’s your darkest fantasy? And why will you never act it out in real life?


Austin James (AJ): You won’t believe this if you’ve read my first book, but it has nothing to do with sexing up a toaster.

NN: We all have a guilty pleasure. What’s the movie, television program, or music you love that most people wouldn't know about you?


AJ: GLEE. That’s right, I’m a closet Gleek. Their songs are just so damn catchy…


NN: If you could collaborate with any small press author on a project, who would it be and why?


AJ: I haven’t really considered this before, but right now I’d have to say Christine Morgan. Everything I’ve read of hers is just amazing. I actually got to meet her in real life in January. Nicest person ever!


NN: Tell us about your latest project or work in progress 


AJ: I’m fortunate enough to be included in a couple of anthologies that are scheduled to release Q1 of 2019 (both of which, coincidentally, also include work by the aforementioned Christine Morgan).


The first is a charity anthology I helped put together called Where There Are Dragons: An Anthology of Mixed Emotions by Robber’s Dog Pub, the proceeds of which will benefit suicide prevention and awareness. It features a great TOC supplying mixed genres and styles of dragon-related stories. It’s going to be a lot fun!

The second is titled Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh by Silent Motorist Media. This one has a stacked list of contributors that I have no business being included in, but am excited and honored to be published alongside!


Other than that, my latest book is a collection of short stories and poems called Indistinct Conversations. Most of these pieces have been previously published but there are a few fresh pieces of fiction, plus some hard-to-find and out-of-print work. It was a fun collection to put together and readers seem to be enjoying it.


NN: Of all the characters you’ve created, do you have a favorite and why?


AJ: This is a tough one, but probably the protagonist in “Secondhand”. He’s a young teen who thinks he has life experience because he’s seen tragedy on TV and in movies. At the same time, he’s starting to feel the impacts of the real world. I remember going through some of the same things as a youngster, shocked that going to funerals in the real world feels different than watching them on TV. Most people who, like me, were kids in an analog world but young adults in a digital world can probably relate. If anyone’s interested, the piece was originally published by Bartleby Snopes—but there’s a darker/weirder revision of this piece in my collection, Indistinct Conversations.


NN: What’s your favorite philosophical quote or phrase to live by?


AJ: “We don’t drift in good directions. We discipline and prioritize ourselves there.” – Andy Stanley