Interview with novelist John J. Rust

Author John J. Rust is visiting us today to talk about his new novel, Dark Wings.



Welcome to Reviews and Interviews, John. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a native of New Jersey who graduated from Mercer County Community College and the College of Mt. St. Vincent with degrees in communications. For three-and-a-half years I worked for New Jersey 101.5 FM and WBUD-AM as a reporter and anchor. 

In 1996, I moved 2,300 miles to Arizona to work for KYCA-AM radio, where I am currently the sports director, play-by-play man for the Prescott High School Football Team, and co-host of a Saturday morning sports talk show. 

My hobbies include exercising, collecting T-shirts and ballcaps, studying history and trying to spread the word about European symphonic metal bands.

Please tell us about your current release.
My new book is called Dark Wings and fans of military science fiction and invasion stories will love it. Earth has been invaded by creatures that resemble the Mothman and the Jersey Devil, which interrupts the camping trip of Delta Force Major Jim Rhyne.  

Obviously, he doesn’t take too kindly to that, so he goes through occupied Kentucky battling the invaders. He doesn’t do it alone, though. Joining Jim is his sister, Valerie, a helicopter pilot with the elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, and his cousin Doug, who’s with the 101st Air Assault Division. They’re also joined later by an air national guard pilot who’s a “ladies man” and has eyes for Valerie, and what I like to call “mysterious allies.” I don’t want to give away where these allies come from, but it is connected to the invaders home world.  

Oh, and just to make life even more difficult for my main character, Jim is dealing with the recent death of his wife, which tends to influence his decisions throughout the story, especially when we get to the climactic battle.


What inspired you to write this book?
I love action!  I love alien invasion stories, and I love anything that involves the military, especially elite units. I also happen to be a cryptozoology buff, hence making the invaders resemble Mothman and the Jersey Devil, two of the more famous cryptids out there. It was a blast to incorporate part of their legends into this book, and to research some futuristic weapons systems that are twenty-some years down the line and throw them into my battle scenes.

What exciting story are you working on next?
It deals with a group of researchers and ex-soldiers who seek out mysterious creatures, again, going back to my interest in cryptozoology.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably when I was in high school. I wrote for the school newspaper and lit magazine. Outside of that, I wrote some little action/adventure stories involving elite combat units and superheroes. I loved being able to create my own worlds and my own characters, and that love is still with me, stronger than ever.

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
My full-time job is with my radio station. Luckily, because of the hours I work – it’s not a 9 to 5 thing – I have several hours during the day I can devote to writing, usually in the afternoons before I have to go out and cover a game.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t do outlines. I just have the story in my head and write. I tried an outline once and got bored. Why am I writing an outline when I can write the actual story?

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A baseball player with the Philadelphia Phillies. But since I have no athletic ability, that didn’t happen, so I opted for sports reporter. That I can do.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Dark Wings has a great blend of action, suspense, characters, and some soul-searching. Even though I’m dealing with first-rate soldiers, they’re still human. They have all sorts of issues they have to contend with, all the while fighting an enemy bent on conquering humanity. Actually, conquering is not the only thing these creatures want to do to us. You’ll see.

Thanks for being here today, John. You shared a lot of great information with us. I’m looking forward to your upcoming interview that is focused on your short story writing.

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