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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : features : features February 06, 2016

8/9/2014 6:00:00 AM
Local sportscaster explores his creative side
Author John J. Rust talks about self-publishing freedom
Courtesy photo
John J. Rust self-published his book “Sea Raptor” on in both print and e-book formats.
Courtesy photo
John J. Rust self-published his book “Sea Raptor” on in both print and e-book formats.
Courtesy photo
John J. Rust
Courtesy photo
John J. Rust
Patrick Whitehurst
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - The stigma of self-publishing no longer exists, according to industry experts, thanks to a number of best-selling authors who published their own novels, such as Michael Bunker, Hugh Howey, Barbara Freethy and others.

Self-publishing outlets, from Barnes and Noble to specialty presses, are now easily available to authors.

Prescott resident and author John J. Rust self-publishes his work via's CreateSpace platform and puts a lot of work into his finished product, which he said is a must for self-published writers.

"I don't just throw something together and throw it out there to get published. I want to make sure it's a darn good story. You want to make the characters human and relatable to the reader," Rust said.

Rust said "carving the time" to refine his craft is a priority.

"Even if it's just an hour a day," Rust said. "I consider it a hobby that I do for enjoyment, but it's also a discipline."

He recommended that authors join a critique group

for help on refining their craft. "It has to be the right kind of critique group. You have to be sure you have the right types of personalities," Rust said. "You really do need other sets of eyes to read over your stuff."

Finding outlets to sell your books, he added, might be easier through a traditional publisher, but landing a deal with one can be anything but easy.

"Even New York Times best-selling authors would have mounds of rejection letters," Rust said.

In his newest book, "The Sea Raptor," readers are

introduced to former Army Ranger Jack Rastun.

"Under certain circumstances he has been forced out of the army and he gets a job for an organization called the Foundation for Undocumented Biological Investigation. His job is to go out and search for cryptids. A cryptid is an animal that has not been proven to exist by mainstream science," Rust said.

Besides the search for the titular sea beast, the story also centers on an animal hunter who wants to capture the creature himself.

Rust has lived in Arizona for the last 18 years after moving from New Jersey, his home state, where he earned his bachelor's degree in communications. He currently works as sports director for KYCA radio and as the play-by-play announcer for Prescott High School football.

Prior to "The Sea Raptor," Rust wrote a sports-themed book, "The Best Phillies Team Ever," and a sci-fi novel, "Dark Wings," about an alien invasion.

He released "The Sea Raptor" last month on in both print and e-book formats.

He cites Clive Cussler, Tom Clancy, Harry Turtledove and Vince Flynn among his influences.

"Writing is what I call my hobby job," Rust said, adding that he plans to continue the adventures of Jack Rastun.

"There are so many cryptids out there. I'm in a rough draft right now where I'm using the Beast of Bray Road as my monster," Rust said.

For more information, follow the author on Facebook by searching for "John J. Rust Author."

Follow Patrick Whitehurst on Twitter @pwdcourier

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