Justin D. Herd: Of Gods and Madness



Justin D. Herd will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


Author Interview

1. Woohoo! You are a published author. Describe a strong character trait you possess, good or bad, and how it helped you become a published author. I am, by nature, a technical person. I have always been the person in my writing group to reformat everyone’s stories and get them to professional quality. Tackling the formatting issues of moving from manuscript format to proper published book was an easy transition for me.

When I am writing, this also helps because I will set myself word goals, such as hitting 15k in a week, then do everything I can to beat that, then do more the next week. During the writing of my third novel, The Emotion Exchange, I completed the first draft in 16 days.

2. Sometimes an author begins writing a story before they are aware of its genre. Did you choose your genre, or did it choose you? The book itself started out as a literary-horror novel that I didn’t feel comfortable writing, so I developed it until it became the Fantasy Noir story that it is now. Fantasy as a genre really did choose me though. I am, by nature, a horror connoisseur, but for some reason all my novels have been fantasy with horrific elements.

3. The plot thickens, or does it? Which one are you, a pantser or a plotter? Pantser! I write linearly and see where the story takes me. Sometimes that’s a good things, other times I’m left cutting out ten pages to replace them with fifty pages. If I get truly stuck, I will plot out the next three chapters loosely, with the full realization that it could change at any moment.

I will freely admit that I will write up a treatment of what I want to do with the story, but it never survives past the initial writing. If I plot too much, I lose interest in the story and find something else to fiddle with.

4. Fear 101: As writers it is our duty to make our characters face their fears. Have you ever included one of your own fears in a storyline? I honestly can’t really think of one I have. I’m more of a laidback sort of guy. Sometimes there’s a fear of something lurking in the darkness, you know the fear of looking behind you and someone standing there, but that’s the only thing I can really think of spinning into the story.

5. Fear 102: Yes, deadlines are terrifying. Have you conquered the juggling act between writing and the rest of your life? What do you do when it feels like the balls are dropping all around you? I had that happen recently with running two podcasts, releasing the book, and trying to keep up my blog. Unfortunately, I seem to just grab the most important ball and hold onto that and let the other stuff collapse around me. When I have more time or figure out how to manage it better, I pick them back up and start juggling.

6. Switch positions with one of your main characters in a scene. What is the outcome, disaster or divine intervention? Oh, disaster. Raine and I are both clumsy as all get out, but at least he has some street smarts. I’m afraid I’d just trip and take myself out of the equation before the scene even got started.
7. Where is your favorite place to write? Add that one comfort food that you can’t do without. As cliché as it is, I write at coffee shops. It’s a great way to get me out of the house, allows for a modicum of people watching, and the caffeine (and my music) helps me focus in a way I’m not able to at home.

8. Writing inspirations? The thing that keeps me inspired are new pieces of art from DeviantArt.com. I save the authors, their pieces, and occasionally post them on my website so I can share their awesome work, with links to their galleries. Other than that, the occasional story or music will catch my attention and I’ll mainline that for awhile.

9. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them? I actually had this happen! It was Patrick Rothfuss. At OWFI 2013. Unfortunately, I was a jittery-so-and-so and kept asking him questions like a giddy school girl. The main question I asked him was about the future of the Kingkiller Chronicles, but I cannot remember for the life of me what he said. I think he said he had more stories in the universe, but it’d be done for Kvothe.
10. I’ve gone mad – why don’t you come with me? Some people just don’t understand us writers. Name a quirky, writer-thing you do that friends wish you didn’t. I am obsessed with details. Any interaction I have, I subconsciously pack away every talking point, in what order, and how we came to that point. I’m an absolute nightmare when it comes to arguments because I will quote back word for word exactly what was said and what the person was doing at the time.



Of Gods and Madness: The Faithful

by Justin D. Herd


The right hand of the dominant mob family, Raine Morgan is tasked with hunting down two miscreants messing with the bottom line. He finds them on the docks, but, in the confusion of the fight, accidentally kills their victim and lets them escape. Horrified at what he’s done, Raine seeks redemption as well as revenge.

Things spiral out of control when a greedy middleman overthrows Raine’s mob organization. It’s only with the help of a friend inside the crumbling mob as well as a streetwise artist that Raine remains undetected as he searches for the men who started this all. Raine doesn’t realize, however, he has caught the attention of a disparate conclave of gods in the process.

As the pantheon returns to the city they’d abandoned, old conflicts re-emerge, causing divine civil war. Both sides try to pull Raine to their side, expecting to find a naive god for them to manipulate. Instead, they find a man stripped of everything, intent on playing both sides as they learn an awful reality – even gods can die.



Turrell planted his hand on the table as he leaned in, allowing Raine to fully inspect every flaw in his wretched face. His features had been rearranged multiple times and looked all the better for it. His ragged beard helped hide this from a distance. He smiled, a grin of shattered teeth, and let out a deep breath, wafting over Raine like broth bubbling from a cauldron. “Take a big whiff.”

Raine made a big production of inhaling deeply. Not bad actually, a familiar mixture of hard liquor and tobacco. His breath probably smelled similar at this point in the night. “You should really go see a doctor, Turrell.”

“Why’s that?”

Raine drove the glass into Turrell’s hand, twisted.

The room fell silent as his scream hit the air.

Raine pivoted back, planting his foot on Turrell’s chest and shoving with all his might. Turrell’s hand shredded as the glass ripped through the flesh. He hit the floor.

Jaiden swung with his left; Raine raised his arm, deflected the blow. He pressed forward as Jaiden attacked again. Raine ducked under, throwing his whole weight into Jaiden’s body. Jaiden slipped past as Raine toppled over Turrell. A whimper accompanied the contact as Turrell cradled his hand.

Raine hit the ground, scrambled to his feet, rebounded off a table. He spun on his heel, avoided Jaiden’s fist, returned with one of his own. It connected with his jaw. Jaiden crumpled.


AuthorPhoto_OfGodsAndMadnessAuthor Bio and Links:

Justin D. Herd is a Fantasy Noir author, who has been writing novels for ten years. He absolutely loves dark, twisted stories that take readers into unexpected places. Horror movies are his passion and he often takes stories to task for not logically thinking out their concepts. His home has been invaded by three eccentric cats, one of which is obssesed with all things digital. He is married with two children.


Website:          http://www.justindherd.net/

Facebook:       http://www.facebook.com/realjustindherd

Twitter:            http://www.twitter.com/justindherd

Patreon:          http://bit.ly/1cLVobm

Amazon:          http://www.amazon.com/author/justindherd


You can buy his books at the following links:

Amazon:          http://amzn.to/1z2xC51

Smashwords:  http://bit.ly/1HJhacW

Nook:              http://bit.ly/1dH2q1H

iTunes: http://apple.co/1K5I0tg

Google Play:   http://bit.ly/1FJIeHf

Kobo:               http://bit.ly/1zGWboy

Createspace:  http://bit.ly/1cf04qv
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In The Key Of Love

I should have known I would end up here... Give me a good book and I'm in heaven. Especially romance, mystery, mayhem, the fantastic and the fey. Give me a laptop and I'm writing any one of these, and not in any particular order.

9 thoughts on “Justin D. Herd: Of Gods and Madness”

  1. Great excerpt and interview~I really enjoyed learning about you and your book! Love the title! Thank you for a great post and contest!

  2. Thanks for hosting!

    Mai, probably for this genre it would be Alan Campbell. I absolutely love how he coats everything in a layer of grime and filth. He also twists familiar concepts into something completely different. One of my favorite things about his first novel, Scar Night, is how everyone keeps referring to Carnival. They’re preparing for Carnival. It’s almost as if they’re dreading whatever Carnival is. It’s the thing that drew me into that story, along with the absolutely pitch perfect worldbuilding, but Alan Campbell never aludes to its true nature until you are actually introduced to what Carnival is. It’s a great use of having a world that the characters live in and have no reason to explain to you, the reader, why they’re afraid of Carnival.

  3. Great to have you here Justin! Congratulations on this exciting release.

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