Welcome to this week’s Superversive Sunday Spotlight. Every week we will chat with a Superversive author that you really should be reading.
This week we welcome Superversive author, J. Trevor Robinson:
How long have you been writing?
I wrote a lot of silly little-kid stories when I was 8 or 10 years old; I remember one about a tiger who had weird-coloured fur and wore a blanket all the time to hide it. My real interest in writing sparked when I was in my early teens, and my brother gave me a big stack of hand-me-down Stephen King books which I was probably still a bit too young for. The Dark Half was the first book that ever scared me so much I had to put it down and try reading it again later, and the idea that words on a page could have that effect on people intrigued me. I tried writing little shorts and concocting narratives in my head all through high school, but they always fizzled out because I could never find anything important I wanted to say to give them any point. It wasn’t until I was about 28 that I started putting together actual stories with real plots.
Which writers inspire you?
Stephen King is a big reason why I started properly writing in the first place, which is why so many of my stories have at least some horror element. Jim Butcher is another one, I really love how he blends mystery and action together to keep the reader hooked until they’ve kept going an hour past they meant to put it down. The other major influence is Ayn Rand, her characters are so larger-than-life that they’re almost more a pantheon than a cast, and it works to make you root for the heroes and hate the villains much more intensely than if they were ordinary people.
So, what have you written?My latest project is The Mummy of Monte Cristo, coming out October 20 2020 from Immortal Works. It’s a retelling of Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, with horror elements and superversive values woven into the classic tale of adventure and righteous vengeance. My other novel was self-published, a YA horror story called The Good Fight about two Toronto teens battling an insidious hive-mind seeking to replace mankind.
Aside from that, I’ve put out a few short stories. Two of them were with Superversive Press: Free Falling in the MAGA 2020 and Beyond collection imagining a man escaping from a totalitarian Canada into the Lan of Opportunity, and Let the Chips Fall Where They May in To Be Men about a casino security manager and single dad stopping a heist while protecting his son. There’s Exclusive Scoop in Silver Empire’s Stairs in the Woods collection, the only romance story in the book, about two reporters and ex-lovers who find themselves working the same case; those characters are actually due to return in another collection called Cracked: A Chicken Anthology which should be out by the time this is published.
What draws you to Superversive writing?
It’s so easy to look at the world and find things to complain about, and plenty of people are willing to do that and write stories about that. You’ve even got some inventing new complaints and writing stories about those, which boggles my mind. As Tom Woods likes to point out, we live in the most prosperous time yet in human history, and even most poor people have access to luxuries that medieval kings could never have dreamed of.
So with that in mind, my mission is to write stories that highlight the incredible advantages that surround us and feature upstanding characters that embrace and make use of them. In The Mummy of Monte Cristo and The Good Fight, the roles of the “wise old mentor” character (more than one, in Mummy’s case) are filled by entrepreneurs. My recurring reporter characters Vivian and Mason are reporters who are actually dedicated to uncovering the truth rather than chasing one agenda or another. And of course, my villains embody the sort of corruption that’s at work in the world to ruin what’s good and distract people from what’s right.
It was Ayn Rand, specifically The Fountainhead, that first got me interested in writing that way. A big transit strike hit my hometown – gosh, nearly ten years ago now – and I’d been online voicing opposition to the picketers’ claims that they were “standing up to the little guy” when it was the little guys who depended on transit who weren’t able to get to work or school. Someone who supported the strike called me an “Ayn Rand-lover,” meaning it as an insult, but under the circumstances I took it as an endorsement of her work. I picked up The Fountainhead for the first time, and never looked back.
What are you working on at the minute?
I heard some advice recently that you should always have two projects going, so that you can always procrastinate on one by working on the other one. I’m working on another short story, part of a collaboration with Hans Schantz (author of The Hidden Truth series) and some other authors. The other big writing project is a sequel to The Mummy of Monte Cristo, still in the outlining stages but coming along nicely.
Of course, my major project these days is being a dad! My first child, a little girl, was born last fall and she’s been just a joyful little challenge ever since. She doesn’t leave me a lot of time for writing, but today she blew a raspberry against my leg and laughed so hard she broke wind, so I’d say it’s worth it.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors.
I’ve been making an effort to read more work from other Superversive authors like Hans Schantz, Jon del Arroz, and Brian Niemeier. At the same time, I’m also still interested in reading some classic books I managed to miss, like the Space Trilogy by CS Lewis that I recently started. In between all that, I’ve been reading some Christian history and theology as well like How the Catholic Church Built the Modern World by Tom Woods and The Ten Commandments by Thomas Watson.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
I don’t update my blog often, but it does have purchase links to everything that’s currently in print. Two of my short stories are available there for free, and there’s also a link to my mailing list where subscribers get the first three chapters of The Mummy of Monte Cristo.
Aside from there, you can find me on the usual social media channels, and technically I’m on Gab and Parler as well, though I often forget to update them.
Thanks for sharing J. Trevor. Be sure to check out J. Trevor’s books and be sure to check back next Sunday for our next chat with a Superversive author.