Interview With Author Steve Justice (The One: The Tale of a Lost Romantic in Seoul, Psychological Thriller)

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In your own words, please describe your book….

A middle-aged professor, bored with his life and trapped in a loveless marriage, finds his native England to be too stale and in an attempt to inject some excitement into life moves to the bright neon lights of Seoul, South Korea. However, he discovers that life is what you make of it, and simply changing location changes nothing. He still feels like his life lacks inspiration or excitement – all the romanticism of the novels he teaches in his classes. This changes when he meets a young student named Hana, a girl who makes him feel full of life and hope. He believes he is in love with this girl; believes he has finally found true love. Whether he is in love with the girl, or just the idea of her, when he suddenly finds he can not be with her, he refuses to accept it. Like the heroes of old, he vows to fight for her, whatever the cost.

What is the genre?

Psychological Thriller/Drama. I also consider it Literary Fiction, but even Literary Fiction needs a genre these days it seems.

What inspired you to write this book?

It all stemmed from that idea of people saying they would do anything for love. It got me thinking…would you hurt someone to protect the person you loved? Would you kill someone? Would you hurt someone to be with the person you love? Then that evolved into the question of what love really is – is it doing anything to be with someone? Or is there a stage where you should let them go?


Will this book be a standalone or part of a series?

Currently this is planned as a standalone book but the ending is open for a potential sequel should the idea prove popular. However, this novel was never intended to be part of a series.

What message would you like to convey with this book?

Without using the genre to describe it, I would say it is a book that attempts to explore the darker side of the human mind. People are not born crazy or deranged; at some point, some series of events drive them to act differently – like in the case of my novel, obsessively. I wanted to try and write an account that tracks that descent from being a normal, boring person into being someone deranged or abnormal. Part of this is exploring the different concepts of what love is – so many people say they would be willing to do anything to be with the person they love, but would they really?


What books are similar to this one? 

Probably the most similar is Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov. I took a lot of inspiration from that book – a social outcast who narrates his own tale of darkness.

Where can readers find your book?

The e-book is currently only available on Amazon but the paperback version can be found in many online bookstores, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble and anywhere else that CreateSpace’s extended distribution extends to (which even includes Korean bookstores, quite surprisingly!)

Can you tell us some about the writer behind the book?

I am a graduate of St. Andrews university with a Masters in English Literature, and am currently finishing my second Masters in Literary Linguistics. After graduating from university, I spent a couple of years trying to work out what I could do while trying to become an author. Eventually I found my way to South Korea, where I planned to stay for one year. Almost eight years later I am still here, teaching literature at a university. The future is wide open, completely unknown, and I have no idea where I will be or what I will be doing one or two years from now. That may largely depend upon the success of my novel!


Tell us one thing about you we wouldn’t know?

I’m by no means a stereotypical author – I’m six foot four, I love sports, especially football (soccer) and am the captain of my own football team out here in Korea. I also play tennis and have a black belt in Taekwondo. Then again, I’m a new author, so probably everything about me is unknown!


What has been the best moment in your writing career?

This moment, right now. I’ve published my first novel and am making my first real attempt to promote it. This is my first interview for a website and makes me feel like a real author!


How do you come up with the titles of your book?

Randomly. I changed the title of my novel from “A Life Unlived” to “The One” about 24 hours before I published it. I thought the new title, and subtitle, might catch the attention more.


How long does it take you to finish a novel?

This isn’t the first novel I’ve written, but it is the first I’ve thought good enough to publish, and it took me over four years to write, plus a year for editing and attempting to get published via mainstream publishers.


How can readers connect with you?

My novel’s page on facebook is and I am also on Twitter (@sjusticeauthor) though I still haven’t worked out how to use it, and I’m easily contacted on Goodreads. I always answer my messages – always delighted to hear from anyone who has read my book and has any questions.


What are you working on now?

Writing my second Masters thesis. It is related to Cognitive Poetics – how the mind processes and understands literature. After that, I’ll be starting my second novel.

Do you have any other books already released?

I have a collection of short stories available in E-book format on Amazon. I wrote them while younger, so they are more raw and unpolished, but they show a different side to my writing.


Thanks for letting us interview you!

No, thank you. I consider it an honour and a pleasure.


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