This week’s author is Justine Johnston Hemmestad, who definitely spun circles around me in this interview!
Willow Croft: I’m going to open with the food question—what historic (or historically recreated) food dish (or drink) would you most like to try?
Justine Johnston Hemmestad: What a great question! I would definitely say haggis (after learning that I’m a great deal Scottish on both maternal and paternal sides), and then I would get sick.
Willow Croft: Some writers prefer silence when they write, and others like to have music on, or some background noise (like recordings of coffee shops, for example). What kind of music or ambient noise do you prefer to have playing while you write?
Justine Johnston Hemmestad: When my kids were little I was used to their sounds, or I wrote when I went with my husband to construction stores or sites – the chaos helped me train my mind to focus. Now I love silence, but coffee shops are nice to write in, I’ve written in a bowling alley with the music blaring, I LOVE to write in graveyards, and I write in the car during long trips. I have to carry a notebook with me and write when the thoughts come to mind (no matter where I am), otherwise I’ll forget them (I sleep with a notebook close by as well).
Willow Croft: You have a book titled Macbeth’s Spinners that is a forthcoming release from Antimony and Elder Lace Press. What are some of your other favourite mythological women?
Justine Johnston Hemmestad: I really like Persephone, wife of Hades, because she bargained with him and won, and because she had courage to live with him in the Underworld. She didn’t try to get out of her fate, but by bargaining with him she overcame it and she ultimately got the freedom she most desired whilst becoming his equal. I also like Isis for the same reason, because she learned the secret name of Ra and gained power equal to his.
Willow Croft: Coming back to the future, have you ever had an unexplained encounter with a supernatural entity or otherworldy being?
Justine Johnston Hemmestad: YES, whenever I open a book written by the greats (Poe, Shelley, the Bible), and I love writing in graveyards for that very reason.
Willow Croft: If you had to select an animal to best represent you, which would it be, and why?
Justine Johnston Hemmestad: I think a bird, something that can really soar like an eagle or a dove, because it’s the freest creature I can think of. My youngest daughter says a Pegasus and I really like her answer. The national animal of Scotland is a unicorn, which is cool too.
About Macbeth’s Spinners:
“Macbeth’s Spinners begins with the transformation of the three mythological Greek fates into a single witch in ancient Scotland – this transformation serves as their cover in their mission to escape the Greek god Apollo’s wrath, as much as to guide the warlord Macbeth’s rule. The dominant Fate named Clotho shows Macbeth the intricacies of his own pain in order to overcome it, however she also has to avert the mysterious Apollo, for he has followed them in their escape to Scotland and works against Macbeth’s army. The Fates believe him to be bent on retaliation against them, which would distract them from their work on Macbeth’s behalf.”
When they not lurking around cemeteries, Justine Johnston Hemmestad can be found at via the links below.
Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/JustineJohnstonHemmestadauthor/
And, as if she’s not busy enough, Justine Johnston Hemmestad has plans to launch a literary café (called Bailey’s Brew) where “in addition to a café, we’ll have community events, a small library, and literature studies”. Here’s the link for Bailey’s Brew–it looks really cool!: https://www.facebook.com/baileysbrew/.