Columbus author Justin Bauer brings censorship and media into the forefront with his second fiction book “Swicked Vol. I-II.”
“A lot of people view the First Amendment as an end-all be-all protector,” 23-year-old Bauer said. “But it’s often not true, and I used that as the biggest inspiration.”
In his 120-page story, Bauer said he attempted to expose how the media can be a negative outlet in society.
“When the Virginia Tech shooter sent his promo package to a news source he became a media icon for a week,” Bauer said. “How the media portrays things, even school shootings, can be sick and twisted.”
Bauer published his first book “The Great Selene and the Synodic Halo” in 2006 and said his new work, released in September 2009, takes more of a down-to-earth approach.
“The first book showed my comic book upbringing. Being raised in a comic shop, the sci-fi came through,” Bauer said. “The new book has more of a twist with some humor and has more realistic fiction. I’m trying to reach a darker audience.”
Taking two years to write “Swicked,” Bauer said he was originally inspired to write by the Columbine shootings.
“I was still in school then and that would have probably reflected poorly on me,” he said. “That one developed for a couple of years, and I wrote it so it wouldn’t all be just for horrific shock value.”
Taking a grassroots publishing approach, Bauer releases his books through online publisher lulu.com.
“I didn’t really have to spend anything because when people order the book, it’s printed on demand,” Bauer said. “It’s just a smaller operation and more realistic for me right now.”
Writing since high school, Bauer said he continues to be influenced by Aldous Huxley and George Orwell. More recently, English author John Niven caught Bauer’s attention with his novel “Kill Your Friends.”
Besides being a writer, Bauer is also a music producer and performs with two bands.
“After training at Hocking Recording Studios, I do production for a lot of blues and country bands,” Bauer said. “I also play in a band called Live Again and work with a Tool-, Nine Inch Nails-esque band named Prada, as a studio project.”
Bauer is also a student in English at Columbus State and works full-time at a Columbus hotel.
As for his future writing pursuits, Bauer said he plans to write two more volumes for “Swicked.”
“I want to do other things with it through switching installments, and I already have plans for those,” Bauer said. “Overall I see people of strong faithful values being turned off by this really quick.”
Bauer’s science fiction fairy tale “The Great Selene and the Synodic Halo” and his recent shock-literature book “Swicked Vol. I-II” can be purchased at lulu.com and amazon.com.