As a boy, Joseph Spencer immersed himself in the deductive logic of Sherlock Holmes, the heroic crime fighting of Batman and Spider-Man, and a taste for the tragic with dramas from poets like Shakespeare and Homer.
Before Joseph took to spinning his own tales, he pursued a career in print sports journalism, graduating summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He covered such events as NASCAR’s Subway 500 race in Martinsville, the NBA Draft Camp in Chicago, the Junior College World Series, and Minor League Baseball’s Midwest League All-Star Game during a ten-year career throughout the Midwest. Now, he works as an emergency telecommunications specialist with an Illinois police department. The combination of years of writing experience with a background working with law enforcement professionals gave rise to his writing aspirations.
Joseph was married to Dr. Amy (Waggoner) Spencer, an accomplished veterinary doctor, on March 14, 2012. He received word his debut novel was accepted by his publisher, Damnation Books, the next day. Joseph is hard at work on the rest of the series. Book 2 – Wrage – was released June 1, 2013. The Spencer family enjoys reading Charlaine Harris, George R.R. Martin, Mary Janice Davidson, and most paranormal stories. The Spencers also enjoy quoting movie lines from “The Princess Bride”, “Rain Man”, “Bridesmaids”, and “Office Space.”
Visit his website at www.JosephBSpencer.com.
Wrage explores the Faustian theme of wanting something different for you r life. Several characters strike deals they may end up regretting to see their schemes and obsessions realized. This novel also expands its universe of supernatural characters which were inspired in part by mythology and one of my favorite TV shows, Supernatural. Critics of my first novel in The Sons of Darkness series Grim expressed some dissatisfaction that there wasn’t more redemption for the characters involved, and I think they will find this story a little more to their liking.
Is this your first published book and if so, can you tell us your experiences in finding a publisher for it?
This is actually my second book. I opened my series with Grim last year. I found Damnation Books online at www.darkmarkets.com as a publisher accepting unsolicited manuscripts and they’ve been enthusiastic about my writing and helpful with my marketing efforts. I’m glad I chose them. Here is my publisher’s site: www.damnationbooks.com.
Where do you live and if I were coming to town, where would we go to talk books?
I live in Peoria, Illinois. There is a great local book store nearby called I Know You Like A Book where we could go. Like any decent-sized town, we also have a Barnes & Nobles. I actually preferred Borders, but they closed obviously.
When you’re not writing, what do you do to relax and have fun?
My wife and I like to travel. We went to Paris for our honeymoon. We’ve also taken trips to New York, Phoenix, St. Louis, Chicago and Kansas City. We love to go to book conventions. We’ve been to the Romantic Times Book Convention the past few years, and they have all sorts of opportunities to meet writers and get free books in many different genres.
Do you make a living off your books or do you have another job?
I am in management at a 9-1-1 emergency communications center. I’d like to become a full-time writer, but I haven’t built up enough of an audience to support that sort of career move. I do find working in public safety rewarding.
In your opinion, what makes a good book great?
For me, it’s all about the characters. If you can’t put the book down because you’ve got to know what happens to the characters, then the writer’s done his or her job well.
Psychologists tell us the thing we think we’d most like to grow up to be when we’re ten years old is our avocation. What did you want to be?
I wanted to lead the Chicago Cubs to their first World Series title in over a century as a starting third baseman.
Can you give us a short excerpt from your book?
“Dad! Is that you?” Anna Duke recoiled. Her hands rushed up to her mouth as if to snatch up each word of her inexplicable outburst and bury them deep inside of her. Her whole body tensed and hunched backward like a frightened cat waiting to dart away to safety. The frigid bite of the air gnashing against her skin transformed her caramel complexion into a cherry shade of irritated skin.
“Seek The Way, The Truth and The Life. The Way leads to death. Death stalks you now. You can’t escape Death. You must face death to find The Life.”
The sea of officers scrubbed prim and proper in their dress blue uniforms, the tartan-clad bagpipe players, the somber clergy, and the black-suited politicians all washed away into an indistinguishable herd being driven somewhere in the distance. The wind swept Anna to a whole other world, one where it was just her and the smoke man.
“Keep your head, Rube.”
“What?” Anna heard herself cry out her question. She’d heard the smoke man’s words echo inside her head. They were familiar words from long ago, but she couldn’t believe she heard them from whatever this thing was
What’s next for you?
I’m working on the third book of my Sons of Darkness series Malice. It will follow a bad boy rocker, Malice Madsen, who is loosely patterned after Marilyn Manson. Each son represents one of the seven deadly sins so Malice will represent pride. I’m also working on a side project outside of the series in which a small town girl with big city dreams gets conned into a human trafficking ring. I don’t think people realize how large of a problem this is inside the United States.