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B’ville native debuts first novel

Clay Barnes and Noble to host book signing event

Justin Torres just released his first novel, "We The Animals."

Justin Torres just released his first novel, "We The Animals."

What is your connection to Baldwinsville and Central New York?

I grew up in B'ville, born and raised. I have some family still there ─ an aunt and uncle and cousins ─ and many friends, but I don't make it back too often.

How do you feel about returning to Central New York for your book signing?

I am excited to return. I'll be spending time with my high school English teacher, Mrs. Iodice, and talking to her students. I'll get to meet my friend Christina's new baby, whom I've only seen in pictures. And I've already heard from folks ─ former neighbors, former friends ─ who are planning to attend the reading, folks I lost touch with and never thought I'd see again.

Are there any Baldwinsville/Central New York references in the book? Can you elaborate to give readers a tease of what to expect in the book?

The book is located in an unspecified town in upstate New York. I didn't want to name the town, or the exact region, probably for similar reasons I chose not to name the narrator; I wanted a certain universal entry point into the book. The focus is concentrated on the family ─ this book isn't trying to describe a specific local community or a specific decade, though if you're from the region and grew up around the same time, you may recognize certain things.

The B'ville I grew up in is very different than today, less development, less folks. The Barnes & Noble I'm reading at was just an empty field [then].

Do you plan to write any more books?

Absolutely.

Where are you seeking inspiration?

Inspiration comes from the writing itself. Language inspires me; good sentences inspire me. I spend my days listening to music and reading novels, stories, poems and good journalism, and talking to folks, trying to pay attention to the artful way we're all using language.

Anything you would like to say to your audience?

Thanks for reading.

Erin Wisneski is the editor of the Baldwinsville Messenger. To contact her, email editor@baldwinsvillemessenger.com.

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