The following is an interview with Justin Robinson, author of the soon-to-be-released novel, Wolfman Confidential, which is the third book in the Night Wars series. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Robinson about the inspiration behind the novel, his creative experience and process in revisiting the Night Wars world, what he hopes that readers will take away from the book, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of your latest book, Wolfman Confidential! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the novel’s premise?
Justin Robinson: The elevator pitch for the series is Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but instead of cartoons, classic movie monsters. The books, thus far, follow the adventures of Nick Moss, the last human detective in Los Angeles, in a world where monsters are in charge and humans are a downtrodden minority.
Wolfman Confidential is the third book in the series and is far more complex than the previous entries. Nick finds himself reconnecting with an old friend from his past — the real-life gangster Mickey Cohen — and embroiled in a mob war between two factions, one led by this world’s version of Jareth the Goblin King and the other an army of zombies with their leader, a brain in a jar. It’s classic noir, filled with homages to some of my favorite monster movies, with a bit of social commentary thrown in.
BD: This novel is a continuation of the Night Wars universe. What was your experience in revising this world for the novel, and do you feel that this book is a solid jumping-on point for new readers?
JR: You can jump in wherever you like. I wrote each book with the idea that you didn’t necessarily have to read any of the others to get it. There are a few minor callbacks to the other books, but nothing that should prevent enjoyment. I personally think this is the strongest entry in the series, so if you want to start with the best, go for it!
The world as it exists in my head is far bigger than the novels, so it’s less about revising and more about revealing. Nick has a limited worldview and experience, and, as a human, he is explicitly limited in how he can interact with the world, so there’s a lot more out there he will never see.
BD: Were there any previous creators or works that impacted your approach to the story?
JR: Chandler, Hammett, and Ellroy, of course. Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker. The films Labyrinth and Legend each get extended shout-outs, and there’s something very Buffy-like in there, as well. I listened to a ton of Postmodern Jukebox and the Blasters while writing this, so them, as well. And, of course, the whole series lies at the intersection of Walter Mosley and Roger Corman.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in working on this latest book, and what do you hope that readers will take away from the story?
JR: In previous books, the plot followed a case or cases that Nick investigates. This one, though it opens with him being hired (well, shangaied) by the LAPD, the bulk of the novel is about what happens between the cases. Mysteries abound, but sadly for Nick, this time he’s not being paid. A lot of the process involved meticulously outlining the book so I could track all the various threads and try to resolve them in interesting ways.
I hope readers take away an all consuming desire to check out the rest of my work.
BD: Do you foresee expanding this story into subsequent novels?
JR: A draft of the fourth novel already exists, and it’s a huge departure from the rest of the series. There are also a ton of free short stories set in this world on my website. I could keep writing in the City of Devils universe forever.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
JR: I’m working on a sci-fi fantasy series for Th3rdworld Studios that I can’t wait to share with everyone. The first book is called The Girl Who Fell From the Sky.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Wolfman Confidential and your other books?
JR: I can be found across social media (@weirdnoirmaster), or you can head to my website, www.captainsupermarket.com. You can also listen to Tread Periously, the podcast I co-host about strange and bad episodes of television. There is also a Wolfman Confidential giveaway going on right now through my publisher, Candlemark & Gleam.