Jukebox Time recently got a chance to interview Justin Cook in regard to his book Infectious Injustice. We got insights into his book, his source of inspiration, and much more!
Q1. Welcome to Jukebox Time! How are you doing?
I’m doing well! Living the dream. Nice to meet you and thank you so much for doing this interview.
Q2. Please tell our readers about your wonderful book Infectious Injustice. The title itself is intriguing!
Thank you. Sure. Infectious Injustice was my first novel, and I wrote it in a prison cell. Big Pause. Gulp. Hah. I’m so grateful that it’s already become a #1 Amazon Best-Selling novel in multiple continents, just in the first month.
It’s my true story of facing corruption, of a broken justice system, and of how dying men, caused by the nationally publicized disaster of thirty deaths in a short period in the San Quentin, stitched together the remnants of their shattered dignity and formed a brotherhood to withstand all odds. I walk the readers through my treacherous journey of being thrown from a successful alcoholic life in Silicon Valley in Tech into the dark asphyxiating prison of San Quentin, with murders, serial killers, rats, and COVID around every corner.
The book runs exactly how my mind worked while in there, day by day, in complete chaos. It highlights the hunger strikes, malnutrition, panic, and pandemonium, by weaving comedic banter with a stoic sense of realism.
I would say it’s about the preservation and perseverance of the human spirit, well it is, but in reality, at its core, I’m challenging the stigma that prisoners are less than people, that law enforcement is superior just because they have a badge, and that the system of incarceration in the United States is still functioning because it’s not.
Q3. What motivated and inspired you to write this book?
This is a hard question because the things that motivated me when I was hands-on with keyboard writing have shifted. If I’m being real, I was angry, and I’m still angry. But there are more important reasons I wrote it. There is a plethora of guys still in there, now, facing this injustice. Men and woman who, as we are having this interview, are having their lives and their families ripped apart by a system that just cares about revenue and personal gravitas.
Q4. Any tips or advice for aspiring writers?
Writing something of value takes time. It took me nearly 4 years to write, then edit this novel. We can’t create enthralling and uttering engrossing sagas overnight. It takes fighting with yourself, editing your edits, and building a relationship with your writing. Relationships take work, daily work, and need to be nurtured to grow.
Q5. What’s next? Which book or project are you working on now?
I am finishing my second book now, the second part of Infectious Injustice. P.S. You are the first person I’m telling this to. It continues to paint my struggle through the system, as well as additional loss and corruption, from a system that just won’t seem to let go.
Q6. Finally, as we ask all our guests on Jukebox Time, do you have any closing thoughts that you would like to share with the world and our readers?
Yes. I may be partial but buy this book. It’s important to note I don’t make a cent off this book. Really, I didn’t write this to make money. I donate all profits from the book directly to a charity that helps build out future writers. I just finished working with a translator (the book is now available in French and Spanish) who was crying when she finished reading it. For me, it’s odd to see this reaction because I have no idea how I wrote something so vast that captures true survival, the endurance of the human spirit, loyalty, respect, and the fallacy of rehabilitation while incarcerated, but I did.
About the author: Justin Cook was born in Nevada. He’s a technical architect who has worked at the most prestigious companies and holds over fifty technical certifications, including top-tier status among the technical community worldwide. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature, a master’s in information systems, and is pursuing a PhD in information systems. He also taught at a college in Nevada and was a faculty member in the information technology department. He is a marathon runner who has also stupidly run with the bulls in Pamplona, twice. He speaks four languages, which he developed while living abroad in Spain, France, and Germany. He has traveled to over thirty countries, which translates to he doesn’t know how to save money. He enjoys teaching Kenpo, where he holds a black belt, playing piano, snowboarding, and hiking.
About the book: This true story is told by an inmate who was inside, living and breathing in the system of incarceration for nearly two years. He paints a masterpiece of detail by challenging the stigma that prisoners are less than people.
Order your copy now: Infectious Injustice