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Bestselling author JL Caban opens up about ‘Moving On’ book (Includes interview)

Moving On is an ideal coming of age story that takes place in the early 1990s, in which an 18-year-old young man named Justin breaks free from a world of drugs and alcohol and attempts to make a better life for himself.

Recently, ‘Moving On’ hit the bestseller list. As a first-time author that is an amazing feat. What was that like for you?

It’s an amazing and surreal feeling. As I was writing it, I dreamed only of its completion. I just wanted to get the story out of my head and onto paper. When it was finally complete, all I wanted was to have it published. Never did I imagine for a single, solitary moment that it would become a best seller. I’m humbled by the achievement… humbled and motivated to continue writing and publishing again.

Every book has a story about its creation. What is the story behind ‘Moving On’?

I have to give credit to J.D. Salinger for that. At about the age of fifteen, I read “Catcher in the Rye” for the first time and instantly developed a love affair with that story; a rites of passage story, as it were, of a young man trying to find his way in this convoluted world – a tale that lets other adolescents know that they’re not alone in this cumbersome world of ours. After reading Mr. Salinger’s work, I knew right then and there that I wanted to tell a tale of my own to pass on what he gave to me; inspiration and hope to those who think there is none.

‘Moving On’ is an amazing read, where the characters had me riveted. What is your process for developing characters in your books?

A good author, I’ve always thought, writes about what he has either experienced first hand or has thoroughly researched. My characters are a culmination of the people I have either met personally or have had occasion to make acquaintance with. These people may be friends or family members or someone who has been described to me in detail through stories that I find interesting for whatever reason. Sometimes, while sitting down for a quiet drink somewhere, I may even be intrigued by a conversation being had by strangers at the bar or table next to me, and, ‘poof’, I have characters in my book!

I know you wrote ‘Moving On’ over 20 years ago. What was it like when you finally re-read it so many years later?

(Chuckle) I said to myself, “What in the heck is this youngster thinking/talking about?” Some of the things that my younger self thought and said had to be reconstructed. It was a tough process because, after all, it is written in the first person and the character, Justin, is an 18-year-old young man, so I didn’t want to alter the innocence of the thing; but, at the same time, I knew – now as a 48-year-old man – certain things were just too callow to remain; so I had to make some changes here and there.

I’ve heard that you have another book in the works. Can you tell us a bit about that book and when it might be published?

Yes, right now I’m working on a book that sort of pulls characters from Moving On and shines a proverbial microscope on them, drawing attention to some of the moral and social issues that they (the characters) had to deal with during the moment in time in which I share with the readers. The book will essentially contain four chapters, with each chapter being its own book; therefore, the novel will be four books in one.

My father recently passed away; so I’ve taken a step back from writing for a while… but I do plan on getting back to work at some point because I know it’s something that my dad would want. I’m very certain he’s not too pleased that I’m on hiatus and would have given me a stern talking to about it; therefore, I will definitely be getting back on the horse very soon.

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Moving On: A Quintessential Coming of Age Story is available on Amazon by clicking here.

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