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THE CHURNING

By Justin Edison

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Synopsis

In Justin Edison’s second novel, Persian-American

soccer star Arman Hessabi wakes in chains in a house of enemies. Driven in part by

an abusive older brother, the hero feels his life is complete with the glory, women and

riches afforded by a Premier League striker’s lifestyle. But he meets his match in Fat

Man, Captain, Huck and Kay—men who hold him in thrall somewhere in Europe.

Through trials, Hessabi comes to question his own ego and position in life. But is it

too late for a soccer star with no apparent power over his own fate?

On the daily struggles of being a writer
First of all, theres a nagging, often demonic voice that a lot of writers hear daily: ‘You’re no
good. You’re wasting your time, when you should be’
That’s a hard one to live with. I recently got rid of mine, at 38 or 39, and that was a milestone.
Part of the cause for that voice is that damning, nebulous question: Are you making art, or are
you trying to make a living? I’m sure most of us would like to do both, but we live in a culture
that almost demands you pick one and stick with it. I believe part of that voice is fed by our
agent-based publishing culture. I self-pubbed my first and then “The Churning” with Amazon. I
felt I had to. When trying to find an agent is the equivalent of tossing rolled-up love notes across
the teeming gym floor at the dance…that’s not good. Yet, before the Amazon service, there was
one other super-expensive option. Here comes our old nemesis, Nagging Voice, who demands to
know why we invest so much time and energy (and it IS a lot, make no mistake) in a pursuit for
which we don’t rate a decent salary (if any at all).
Second, Nagging Voice’s spiteful little cousin chimes in without invitation: ‘Do you even know
what you’re doing, really?’ How do you answer ‘yes’? But you have to. You can’t let that doubt
torpedo the boat. At some point, you’ve got to be able to shut that voice off and believe in the
story or believe in the characters. Writer’s block, to me, means you change the music and try
something else—free writing, a POV shift, anything. If you’re really stuck or you’re not sure,
ask another writer for an honest opinion. People can ping me, if they want. I don’t think I’ve ever
known a writer who wasn’t willing to give someone a half-hour of their time.
The marketing is tough, and I’m super-grateful to have help from Sophia on this one. Novelists
are not marketing people, usually. Different parts of the brain, or something. And I’ve got about
a thousand grand ideas on marketing this book, but putting them into action is something else. I
don’t see too many radio or TV guest spots in my future. There has to be a great way to do it
without, say, Oprah, right?
How did I get inspired to write this? The idea for the sports-kidnapping story came from a
brainstorm. In my first book, “Watching the World Fall,” the hero was an antihero—the one
doing the kidnapping, albeit for understandable (however criminal) reasons. With “The
Churning” I thought it would be fun to turn the tables on a real egomaniac. We first meet
Hessabi as a talented jerk. He’s worked hard all his young life, and he acts like a fiery prince.
But it’s only in this time of forced reflection that the game he lives and breathes might not be
enough. And since I love to put characters in desperate situations, this story just tumbled along.
Blurb: In Justin Edison’s second novel, Persian-American soccer star Arman Hessabi wakes in
chains in a house of enemies. Driven in part by an abusive older brother, the hero feels his life is
complete with the glory, women and riches afforded by a Premier League striker’s lifestyle. But
he meets his match in Fat Man, Captain, Huck and Kay—men who hold him in thrall somewhere
in Europe. Through trials, Hessabi comes to question his own ego and position in life. But is it
too late for a soccer star with no apparent power over his own fate?
Bio: Justin Edison is a married father of two kids. He plays soccer (poorly), coaches youth soccer
and works on Web sites. When he’s not writing or dreaming of great hikes and travel, he’s busy
with inventions. He and his family live in Greater Seattle.

Author Bio

Justin A. Edison has been writing fiction and stories for

twenty-odd years. A graduate of the Evansville and Hamline writing programs, he

counts among his adventures a rocking semester at Harlaxton (in the British

Midlands) and a tour of the Czech Republic. His pursuits include hiking, Web site

design, trying to fix the world (in too many ways) and playing soccer (rather poorly).

He lives in the Seattle area with his wife, two energetic kids and a vocal cat.

The Churning is his second novel.