SJ Duncan


SJ Duncan


SJ Duncan is a novelist, poet, musician, and mentor to aspiring writers.



A native of north Texas, Duncan grew up reading horror and science fiction, and began writing stories at an early age. Though considered a bright child, he would often spend his time writing and drawing while neglecting responsibilities such as school work. His teen years were unusually turbulent, and at sixteen he was sent to a military-style state school operated by the Texas Youth Commission. While there Duncan was given the opportunity to write for a small newspaper in central Texas. He has credited writing with saving his life in many ways.



A self-taught musician, Duncan spent his early adulthood playing drums, bass, and guitar for various churches in north Texas. He later joined Bad Moon Rising, a Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute band, as a multi-instrumentalist. Though he enjoyed performing and traveling with the band, he ultimately quit to fully pursue writing.



Duncan’s first collection of poetry, The Long Dark Lonesome, was released in 2012, followed in 2013 by a currently out-of-print novel, One in the Barrelhouse, and a second poetry collection, Three Rights and a Left. Both poetry collections were revised and rereleased in 2016, and his newest novel, Bash, was released in 2017. Like a Fire Praying for Rain, a new collection of poems and illustrations, was released in June of 2018.



Writing in a postmodern/minimalist style, Duncan’s work borrows elements from both literary and genre fiction. Frequent motifs are nature verses nurture, hierarchy, power dynamics, and the search for self. His work often toys with symbolism, and is dotted with satirical jabs, philosophical digressions, and occasionally absurd interactions between characters who are frequently eccentric or neurotic. Duncan also draws heavily on his time as a performing musician, as well as the turmoil of his youth. Readers and reviewers praise his style, depth, and sometimes mischievous sense of humor.



His writing advice has inspired and influenced thousands of writers, and can be found via Twitter as well as his blog, The Tipping Point. His newest novel, The City and the Tower, is due for release in April of 2019.