J.L. Caban has two bestselling books under his belt, and is no doubt destined to have more, given the powerful and intriguing nature of his work. ‘Moving On’ his first book hit the bestseller list right off the bat, and then a few months ago his second book ‘Butterflies in Production; Five Short Stories’ set the literary work on fire sending it to the top of the charts as well.
Caban has a way with every aspect of writing, ranging from crafting riveting plotlines to creating intriguing characters, all of which come together to keep readers all in until the last page. Caban’s books will no doubt be popular with readers for years to come. We recently had the privilege to sit down with the talented , passionate writer to find out more about his work, and what’s coming next.
Your rise to literary success has been amazing to watch, hitting the bestseller list with both your books. What has this been like for you as an author, as well as on a personal level?
I am, by far, the worst of my critics; so, it’s often times extremely difficult for me to accept. I mean, when I think of my personal favorite authors, all of whom have enjoyed great success (Salinger, Hemingway, Austen, Wharton, to name but a few), I am almost embarrassed to acknowledge what diminutive – in comparison to these giants of literature – success that I have acquired. I suppose, to answer the question, I am simply humbled by it all. I thank each and every person who has purchased and read my work, and hope that they found pleasure in the convoluted worlds of my characters. It’s sort of a large part of why I write… to provide entertainment and, to some extent, comfort to the reader. I say “comfort” because – especially with Mr. J.D. Salinger’s work – it is the very thing, the very feeling, that engulfed me when I picked up one of his books. I always felt a sense of peace and tranquility, never wanting the story to end, falling in love with every aspect of the work. That’s sort of what I want for my readers as well… it’s my wish.
I hear you are working on your third book, which I’m sure has your fans excited. Can you tell us a bit about this one?
Ah! yes, my newest born! This particular book will focus on a young man who becomes a Police Officer, in spite of the perils in which the patriarch of his household has faced throughout his life due to this particular profession. You will meet the protagonist, James Cardona, Jr., as a young adolescent, and follow him throughout his journey as a Law Enforcement Officer, experiencing all of the trials and tribulations that come with this very demanding and unforgiving particular career. It is being written in the first person; therefore, you’ll get a real sense of what Mr. Cardona is experiencing on a sort of first-hand level. The book will also include a separate collection of short stories… just some little vignettes that I will include, really… a few pieces I have worked on over the years that have, incidentally, sat dormant deep within the inner workings of my computer. I plan to freshen and tidy them up for this upcoming publication.
You are exceptionally talented at bringing stories to life. What inspired you to become a storyteller? What is your main source of inspiration when weaving a story?
Truthfully, Salinger’s ‘Catcher in the Rye’ inspired and touched me like no other work has ever been able, even to this day. Wanting so very much to possess the ability to reach the readers the precise way in which he has affected me, I suppose he is the aforementioned ‘main source.’ Honestly, the very thought of it sends chills throughout my body because without him there is no me, in terms of writing. I owe my inspiration and approach to storytelling to his exceptionally artistic style. In addition to the aforesaid giant, another main source of inspiration when weaving a story is, I write about what catches my interest throughout my daily grind, as it were, and try to relate it in a way that people will find equally intriguing; so, I suppose life itself is my greatest motivator. The things I’ve seen and heard… all of my experiences (even on the Metro North train ride home, or at the pub where I sip my whiskey) play a large roll in what ultimately ends up in my stories; therefore, if you ever find yourself pounding a few down at your favorite watering hole, you really ought to take a look over your ol’ shoulder to make certain that I am not in earshot, lest you become a character – or your dialogue appear – in one of my pieces!
You are an award-winning bestselling author, a NYC police sergeant, and a father. How do you do it all, and manage to do it all so well?
Honestly, I feel as though I make… I have made… an absolute mess of the entire thing. I mean, there are always things that I wish I had done differently, especially with my older children: Ashley, Jesiah, and Joey… all of whom are now grown adults, living lives of their own; which is why I sort of make it my mission in life seeing to it that Julian, my five year old, experiences all of me… something I failed to do for the other three. As for juggling the demands of the Job whilst simultaneously writing? well, that has truly been a great challenge. I usually write on my days off, which is difficult because one doesn’t always get inspired on their off days. Erato, I’m certain, never said, “Okay, so we’ll meet here next week! See you then!” I’m absolutely certain of that. Inspiration, the proverbial light that shines brightly above one’s noggin when a great idea strikes, comes at any moment of the day, when you least expect it; so, to merely have the weekly sabbatical in which to work can be quite cumbersome. A real pain in the good ol’ derrière, if you want to know the truth. Honestly, I don’t know how I managed! Perseverance and passion, I suppose. It’s a sort of unrelenting stick-to-itiveness within me that keeps things going, I guess.
When you are getting your creative groove on, what kind of music are you listening to and why? What role does music play in your writing process?
My ‘creative groove on’ … I love that! Well, first of all, let me just say that without music, I don’t know what I’d do. I mean, honestly, it really is such a significant aspect of my life, and not just when I’m writing. Throughout the day, depending on what I’m doing, what I’m up to and all, there exists an accompanying music; for instance, when I’m cranking out one of my meditation and yoga sessions, I love listening to a kind of stress relieving spa type sound; when I’m reading, classical music (Mozart, Beethoven, etc.) undulates through the air; if I’m sipping my whiskey on a rainy day, perhaps some Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, or Miles Davis. As I’m writing, though, nothing can motivate me, inspire me, more than the melodic and angelically spiritual sounds of Elif and Lauren Mia. Together, these two have inadvertently become my muses, inspiring me to create when creativity eludes me. I have had the pleasure of conversing with these two exceptionally talented artists, and have also found them both to be such singularly amazing human beings, possessing an immense amount of positive energy that serves as a sort of catalyst within me… to keep me going when I feel as though there is nothing left in which to give. They have both, incidentally, purchased both of my books, posting a picture of themselves holding ‘Moving On’ and ‘Butterflies in Production; Five Short Stories’ proudly for their fans to espy; something that sincerely means the world to me.
‘Moving On’ and ‘Butterflies in Production; Five Short Stories,’ can be purchased by visiting Barnes & Noble & Amazon. The links of which are included below:
J.l. Caban | Barnes & Noble®
Butterflies in Production: Five Short Stories https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09GSYFP2J/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_4GVT07AQR6C56X57PWCM