Getting to Know the Author of Justin Bieber: Steps to Stardom
John Kastner is a lifelong writer, having spent thirty-three years as a journalist before penning the recently released book Justin Bieber: Steps to Stardom. During his career at the Stratford daily newspaper, John often wrote about and organized the coverage of the meteoric rise of local teenager Justin Bieber.
In 2013, John began a second career as the general manager of the Stratford Perth Museum. The Stratford Perth Museum exhibit Steps to Stardom, and this book, is the next chapter in John’s telling of the story of Bieber’s rapid ascent from a local kid with talent to one of the world’s most popular musicians.
Join us as we chat with John about Justin Bieber and his new book!
How was it working with Justin Bieber and his family?
The relationship with Justin’s family may be the best take-away when this exhibit is over. I knew his grandparents Bruce and Diane to speak to them previously, and the same can be said with his mom Pattie and even Justin. Now I consider Bruce and Diane to be great friends, and Pattie and Justin were great to work with as well, and very helpful with many of the hurdles during the writing of this book.
During this entire process, the exhibit and now the book, they have been outstanding.
What is your favourite item in the exhibit and the book?
My favourite item is Justin’s minor hockey jacket that he wore as a 10-year-old. It’s in great shape and has “Biebs” on the back.
Is there an item in the exhibit that you would consider a “fan favourite”?
There is a winter coat that he wore while performing at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. We have a video of him performing and then the coat is right there. In 2019, we are putting his jersey from the NBA all-star game into the exhibit, and that is going to be a fan favourite for sure.
When Justin Bieber came to visit the exhibit, were there any items that brought back memories?
No question. There are a number of videos of him with a Rubik’s cube and we have that “toy” of his in the exhibit. He was very surprised to see that.
Why do you think Justin Bieber has become such a music icon?
Great question. There was an amazing production and marketing team to be sure, but that was not unique to Justin Bieber. He has incredible talent and whether it be his personality, his style, his age… fans have a personal connection.
What was the biggest challenge that you faced while writing Justin Bieber: Steps to Stardom?
Settling on what the format of the book was going to be took months. The publisher and I went back and forth a number of times as to what the book should look like, and then we created the book accordingly. We always thought that was backwards compared to the way books are usually written and published–they have the book ready and then go get it published. This was the other way around. Then, getting the necessary approvals.
Are you familiar with Justin Bieber’s music? If so, do you have a favourite song?
We listen to his music here at the museum all day. I’m Canadian so my favourite song is of course: Sorry!
Justin Bieber: Steps to Stardom is currently available to purchase from the Blue Moon Publishers website, in both standard and personalized editions. The standard edition is also available for pre-order from both Indigo/Chapters and Amazon.
What item of Justin Bieber memorabilia would you most like to own?