The Official Page of Justin Bienvenue
Welcome to my blog. You can also find it on Medium, Goodreads and Amazon. https://medium.com/@JustinBienvenue
You will find posts on several topics:
- The Wild West
- UFOs & Aliens
- Posts on Writing
- Book Related
Red-Horror/Paranormal/The Wild West
Blue-Poetry/Posts on Writing
Green-UFOs & Aliens
*All other posts will be in black bold
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|Posted on May 17, 2022 at 7:50 PM|
It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and there’s two good reasons for that. I stopped blogging around 2019 because it became more of a chore and less of enjoyment for me. I found myself writing because I felt I needed to, not because I wanted to. After the joy of blogging left me, I decided to leave it behind. However, Covid happened the following year and during this I was without a computer for a whole year. The ironic thing was I said when I get my computer back that I was going to start blogging again. 2 years later and I still have not started it up again because...that’s where we get into what I’ve been doing and reason number two as to why I haven’t blogged.
The second reason I haven’t been blogging is because I’ve been busy writing books, four to be exact. When I got my computer back I also said I was going to not only finish writing the book I started but I would write another. Well, what was supposed to be two books turned into four books in one year which for me is quite an accomplishment. I thought writing books over blog posts was the better choice and I’m sure most would agree. Writing those books wasn’t exactly a walk in the park, but then again I’m yet to find an author say it was easy. That being said, my first steampunk novel, Of Gears and Gaslight was a bit of an issue to write because it was my first steampunk novel which meant I needed to do a lot of research. After it was written I had the cover made but there were lots of uploading issues due to the cover not being the right size and other things but finally it was fixed and I published the book.
The cover was not only good to go but in the month it’s been out has won an award for Best Cover. I knew the cover was great but never thought it would win an award which it quite an honor. I could have given up on my cover artist, but I stuck with her and believed in her and the result was well worth it. I then finished writing The Wax Papers, the 3rd book in the Wax Factory series and my fourth book in a year. I had another cover artist do the cover, and this cover looks amazing too. So you might be wondering, okay he wrote four books, but what’s he doing to promote them? What now?
Well, that’s exactly the what now, I’m going to spend the summer promoting the books in various ways. I recently purchased a package for $40 which gave me access to 70 courses all are various ways to promote, market, blog, ways to organize your writing, how to get reviews, etc. All of this was over $8,000 in value and I got it at an insane price, so it will definitely help me in getting my books out there to readers. I’ve started watching and taking some of the courses and so far they’ve been helpful to me. I hope to do some serious promoting this summer and perhaps even make my new books a part of people’s summer reading lists.
So this brings me back to blogging. Now that I’ve written four books, have several dozen ways to promote them I plan to start blogging again which is exactly what I’m doing with this post. This post is the start of me blogging again and I plan to do it more often with my schedule in place. I have five topics and two additional ones I will write about which you see at the top of this blog page. I hope this time around I will enjoy the topics I write about and I think now that I’ve had time away from it to focus on other things that I can do just that.
|Posted on April 26, 2021 at 4:00 PM|
When it comes to being haunted there are no places perhaps more haunted than the Winchester Mystery House. Located in San Jose, California, the giant Victorian mansion once was home to Sarah Winchester, widow of the maker of the Winchester rifle. Aside from now being a historical landmark, the place is known for its size, strange architecture, and strong paranormal activity. The most perplexing feature about the place is its known construction that went on every single day with Sarah Winchester's insistence until her death in 1922 when all construction halted. So why did Sarah Winchester keep building? Who are the spirits that haunt this place and why is the architecture so bizarre?
When her husband died, Sarah Winchester inherited his fortune and his land. After her child also died she decided to move but not before going to a medium who told her to build a home for herself and always continue to build to appease those who died from Winchester rifles. It is also claimed that she moved west because the spirits of those who died from the rifles haunted her and her family. When she finally moved to the property that we now refer to as the Mystery house she began building and it began a strange house at that. She did not use an architect and would add on to the building in a strange fashion. The house has several oddities such as doors and stairs that go nowhere, windows overlooking other rooms, doors that when you open them up it's just a brick wall, and stairs go up to nothing and stop at a wall. Many accounts suggest these oddities are due to her belief in ghosts haunting her to make up for the bloodshed her husband's rifles caused. It's suggested today that the layout for the house's odd structure could be the reason it seems so haunted.
The outside may look normal but the inside tells quite a different story. There are around161 rooms, 40 bedrooms, 2 ballrooms as well as 47 fireplaces, over 10,000 panes of glass, 17 and possibly there were more. There are also two basements and three elevators. The number 13 is also prominent throughout the house with the number of stairs, tiles on a floor, windows in a room, and other things always at 13. There is also a room that Sarah Winchester stopped going in altogether after she placed one of her late child's items inside it. Perhaps the most puzzling thing of all is in modern times a census was taken to find out how many rooms were in the house and oddly enough it was more than the 161. Did people just miscount the number of rooms or have some been added over the years by spirits?
So who haunts the house and why? Sarah Winchester is said to haunt the house of course. She is mainly said to be seen in what used to be her bedroom. She is said to be seen throughout the house but mainly in the rooms she frequently used. Aside from Sarah Winchester, the ghosts of the construction workers who worked on the house are said to haunt the place. They are seen walking the halls or even seen building. During tours, people also claim they hear whistling as if a worker if passing the time while working. Whatever it is there is no doubt between the reasoning or the building that the Winchester House is in fact haunted.
Winchester died in 1922 all building of the house ceased..at least from a living standpoint. Since she left no one in her will to get the house it went to the city and it was made as a place for people to be given a tour of. Over the last few years when a census was done on the house the outcome for the number of rooms seemed to be more than the previous time they were counted. Some suggest that the person handling matters simply miscounted but the other theory is suggested that the ghosts are still adding onto the house.
So what is our fascination with this house? It’s strange, it’s not like any other house we’ve ever seen or will ever see in our lives. It’s an endless labyrinth that tells of a woman’s bizarre superstitious endeavors and is one of the best and obvious places that ghosts should roam because they feel their mission will never be done. The Winchester House is not to be taken lightly in fact if you ever tour the place you should always stay with your group because you don’t want to get lost and who knows who you may bump into.
Here is a poem I wrote that is in my poetry book, The Macabre Masterpiece: Repressed Carnage. It’s called Echoes of a Rifle and it’s about the Winchester House and it’s history. There have been many homages and references to the house in popular culture and with the house as big as it is it’s no surprise why it’s inspiration and referenced so many times.
It was to be a simple build
of what was to become a house
But told to add on for blood that spilled
With enough spaces to confuse even a mouse
So it went on for years and years
Men everyday hard at work
Adding on features hidden with fears
The lady of the house slowly going berserk
They put in windows against walls
Doors and stairs that lead to no where
For as long as the echoes call
She tells them to build without concern or care
Each stairwell ending in thirteen
of all kinds straight, angled and spiral
Even today workers are still seen
Whistling Dixie as they nail and smile
Taking a count of the rooms within
May lead to a chilling revelation
Since constant building would forgive sin
The number can only be an estimation
The whispering of voices carry on
as the spirits seem ever so delightful
The men hard a work still, never gone
All from the echoes of a rifle
|Posted on April 26, 2021 at 3:55 PM|
It’s not just playing with a Ouija board and tapping on the wall three times. Spiritualism is the belief the dead can communicate with the living. It has been a wide belief and practice throughout America and Europe since the 1800s. A few well-respected people began the practice with their own early methods. Many Victorians during the 1800s began abandoning their religions in favor of spiritualism despite the vague connection between the two. Victorians were interested in the paranormal, supernatural, and occult because it displayed a new look into parts of religion and the afterlife. Many popular forms of the paranormal included in the late Victorian era were mesmerism, clairvoyance, and others but mainly the big one in Spiritualism.
A few well-known people were for and against the idea of spiritualism. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the infamous Sherlock Holmes but was fascinated by the principles of spiritualism. Not only that but his wife had taken it up and become a medium and clairvoyant. Elizabeth Barrett Browning was also into it however, her husband was against it despite the fact that she herself was very much into it. While many people were caught up in the fad of the time that was spiritualism there were some who were not and none more so than magician Harry Houdini. Something about spiritualism bothered him and he made it his mission when he wasn’t doing magic to expose as many people who practiced spiritualism as he could. What has his motive? It’s uncertain but perhaps Houdini looked at spiritualism as “fake magic” compared to what he did and didn’t want to see people’s livelihood’s ruined by promises of talking to their dead loved ones.
However, not everyone was against it and even royalty claimed to see ghosts and found themselves getting into spiritualism. Both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert claimed to see spirits and even held one or two seances with a medium in hopes to get a deeper look into the spirits they saw. Spiritualism was a giant wave of a fad that took on literal otherworldly popularity and in many ways, it’s easy to see why people at the time were so taken and accepting of it. On the other hand, it’s also easy to side with Houdini on it in the sense that many people knew it was popular and most likely didn’t have any powers or connections to the supernatural. So rather than try to see if they could become good at it they simply prayed on the vulnerable and ran scams telling people what they wanted to hear and pretended to be communicating with the dead.
Whichever side you choose to stand on you can’t dent that spiritualism was a thing and it is still widely recognized today though in more dramatic fashion and other types of more profound techniques. In a different time, spiritualism could have become a concrete solid religion or common practice with all the elements of what made it popular when it first came out but perhaps luckily people were skeptical and questioned it. Maybe spiritualism has substance but then again maybe it was all nothing more than an idle scam that too many people got caught up in.
|Posted on April 19, 2021 at 5:15 PM|
Poetry is not basic and if you think it is then chances are it's just not your thing or you haven't really given it a shot. However, I'm not talking about poetry being or feeling basic I'm talking about the basics of it, the fundamentals if you will. How do you write a poem and what makes a good poem? Well, I'm not an English teacher nor am I a 100-year-old poet but what I am is an experienced writer and poet who knows the basics of how to construct a poem. I also know what goes into it so that's what I'm going to be going over, the basics of poetry 101. Whether you write poetry for fun, as a passion, or because you're required to do so, it doesn't matter, I am going to give you a basic rundown on what poetry consists of.
Topic: One thing you absolutely need is a topic for your poetry or a reason to write it. If you read my previous post, https://www.justinbienvenue.com/apps/blog/show/49866712-poetry-101-what-to-write-about" target="_blank">Poetry 101: What To Write About, I cover this in length. A topic can be anything from what you're feeling at the time or an animal you saw at the zoo, as long as you felt emotion after you experienced it or you can just cook something up from the top of your head. I cook up poems out of thin air from time to time but I make sure I map it out before I get it started but that brings me to the next part of the basics in poetry.
Structure: Not everyone can just think of a topic right out of nowhere and they also can't figure out how they want it to be while they write. This is where structure comes in. By structure, I don't just mean the type of poem you want to write whether it's prose, rhyme, sonnet, etc I mean you have to let it stir around in your head a bit as if you're letting what you want to say manifest in your head before you write them down. This is considered structuring because your planning out words and your poetry before you just attempt to write it. Another part of a structure is the foundation and type of poem you wish to write.
Type: Do you like to rhyme? If so, then chances are you like rhyming poetry. Rhyming poetry is my usual go-to type but I have been known to write some prose as well. After you've structured the poem in your head you then need to figure out if you wish for it to rhyme, for it to not rhyme and if you want the lines and syllables to coincide with one another. It can be a bit of a process at first but after you've done it for a while it comes quite naturally. It may even seem like a chore or extra work the first few times but then you'll realize it's not only a part of writing a poem but will make it so much better if you just wing it.
Length: Do you think a poem needs to be a certain length? It doesn't. Poetry can be a sentence, a few lines, a dozen or even 100 lines, it doesn't matter, it depends on how much you want to tell and how you wish to tell it. Haiku and poet Langston Hughes are in my opinion the best examples of writing short poems. They are short but the words use have an impact and make you really think after reading. My poems are usually 12–14 lines long although I do on occasion write long ones. My longest poem to date is 64 lines long while my shortest not counting a haiku is about 6. My point is, don't think you need to write a certain amount of words or that you need to stop if it's too long, you'll know as you read it when you go along.
So what have we learned today? We learned that the basics of poetry are simple and easy to remember. You need a topic and reason to write. You need solid structure before and after you get started. You need to figure out the type of poetry you want to write. Finally, you need to realize that length is not important when it comes to poetry because you are the one in control and your words will tell you when they have said enough.
If you enjoyed this post then please feel free to check out my others on poetry or others on various topics I'm passionate about.
Also, feel free to check out https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Justin+Bienvenue" target="_blank">my books of poetry
|Posted on April 19, 2021 at 4:40 PM|
Poetry is an art. Poetry is a way of expression. Poetry is a way of life. Poetry is many things but while some people find no problem in writing it some have trouble coming up with what to write about. This may not make sense to some because they believe that poetry comes from within you and you write from the heart which is true but not all poetry comes from the heart or brain. Poetry and inspiration for it can come from literally anywhere. If your writing about emotion then words usually flow out of you but if you’re looking to write poetry about a particular thing then you may need to look elsewhere which is what we are talking about today.
If you’re like me you can write a poem about just about anything. Sure you don’t need to write a poem about bread and chances are not too many people if any would want to read it but if you have the ability to make bread sound good in a poem then you don’t need to worry about not having anything to write about...or maybe you do. When writing poetry what exactly do you write about if not emotion or your feelings? Well, start with your interests, look around you, or think long and hard about a topic that you’ve had in your head for a while that may make for a great poem. Is not knowing what to write about for a poem considered writer’s block? Yes and no. If you don’t know what to write about then no it’s not writer’s block but if you’ve been thinking for days and nothing is sticking or popping out at you then chances are it is indeed writer’s block.
So what can you write about? Well, the best thing about poetry like I said earlier is that you can write a poem about pretty much anything. A good percentage of poems are about emotions and feelings. The second amount of poems are written about a tale, a story or something epic. Finally, there’s everything else afterwards which can be odes to particular object, a fun upbeat poem about kindness or a theme poem about candy or a whale...not exactly together but you get the idea, you can write a poem about anything if you really think hard enough. Poetry doesn’t need a fuse to get started it only needs a spark(an idea) and once you have that spark you can create a wonderful poem that will hold till the end of time and others can enjoy it forever.
In the end, it’s simple. Poetry writes itself if you think of a good enough topic or if you have a lot of emotions inside you. The best thing about poetry is you can’t make a mistake if the creativity isn’t good enough. Chances are you’ll know if the poem is good enough or not and if it isn’t then you can just try writing about something else. Don’t sweat it. When it comes to poetry what can you write about? Just about anything and everything because if you stop and think about it or smell the flowers you’ll realize that there’s poetry all around you.
|Posted on February 14, 2020 at 7:15 PM|
You’re writing another book about Wax?
Yes. I had mentioned in the first workshop that The Wax Factory will be my first true book series. The Wax Menagerie is the second book in the series and not only continues from where the first leaves off but will have a lot more action and supernatural elements. Given the events of what took place in the first book(you have read The Wax Factory right?) this book will answer all unanswered questions, will ask new questions but most of all will be direct and to the point rather then have build up all the time. We all love suspense but I understand that sometimes crazy stuff just needs to manifest rather then having it boil for a while. Oh! And there will of course be more to learn about wax and plenty of strange things with it as well.
What is The Wax Menagerie?
The Wax Menagerie will be my seventh published novel and even crazier than The Wax Factory if that’s even possible. Spoiler free, The Wax Menagerie is about Dmitri and his group of friends who are still in the factory only now they can’t leave for unforeseen circumstances. Just when they think they’ll be able to go they are thrown into the tunnels below the factory basement. With god knows what down there, Dmitri and his friends must find a way out. They find their way out but then find themselves in the middle of the woods behind the factory. I’ll leave it at that but I hope I’ve given you enough to peak your interest. There’s plenty more that will take place in this book so get ready for an all out insane waxfest.
Who Are The New Characters and Where Did They Come From?
There are a few new characters I would like to introduce and welcome to The Wax Factory. I know you are all familiar with Dmitri and his friends as well as Gustav Vandaldrake so here are some new people to become acquainted with.
Jade Cascada is a friend of Melina and Tasha. She heads to the factory after not hearing back from Tasha for a while. Like her friends, Jade is into fashion and guys but is also into modeling. Her personality is a cross between Melina and Tasha which means she’s shy but not afraid to break out of her shell. She’s one of the friends that both girls are close with.
I like the name Jade so I thought I would use it for this book. Cascada is just thought of off the top of my head and thought it sounded good with Jade. She’s not based off anyone but I wanted to add more female characters to the book just because in horror books you don’t usually see so many women so I thought I’d change that but adding one more to my book.
Sheriff Corwin Harrison is the law in the city of Craven Hollow. He’s the type of guy that acts all tough one minute but after you get to know him within five minutes he’s talking to you as if he’s known you for years. He does his job well although not much crazy stuff happens in the city. He comes across the factory and see’s a few cars in front of it so he decides to investigate.
Corwin Harrison is based off all those small town sheriff’s we see in shows and movies. This head honcho guy who is too friendly and kind to be taken serious with his power and badge. His name was just thought off so no roots for his name just a random idea for a name I had.
Obadiah Obsidian is a historian who comes to the factory. Not much is known on him other then he is fascinated by the factory and wants to learn more about it. He is a slightly hefty and jolly man who seems like he’s a nice guy but again it’s hard to tell.
I got the name Obadiah from the book The Gift of Obadiah’s Ghost by Richard M. Wainwright which I remembered reading as a kid. I remember thinking of the name but I could not place where I had heard it from it was only recently that I looked it up and found out what the name of the book was. As for Obsidian well I thought alliterative name would be good and having Obsidian as a last name is an intriguing idea so I decided to combine it with Obadiah to create another unique name.
Does Wax Still Have An Impact In The Book and If So Is It More or Less Than Before?
Wax definitely still has an impact in the book and not just because it’s a sequel or because it’s called The Wax Menagerie. The impact of wax is still very much a key part of the book and will be mentioned in the same ways and in many more elaborate ways throughout the book. In some instances I will be going off a previous scenario with wax and expanding off it and also creating new situations where wax comes in and plays a roll. This is the final workshop in the Wax Factory Workshops so I hope you enjoyed this one as well as the others. If you didn’t get to see the others then please feel free to do so as the first one is right below this one, the second is on Youtube, the third isn’t available as it was a live video on IG but I will try to get it up somewhere. Finally the fourth video is available on Twitter/Periscope. Also be sure to grab yourself a copy of The Wax Factory and be on the look out for The Wax Menagerie.
|Posted on February 10, 2020 at 12:00 AM|
What is The Wax Factory?
The Wax Factory is more than just my sixth published novel it's my first true book series and an idea that came to me spontaneously out of nowhere. One day I was in the car in the back seat and looked out the window to see a factory that I had seen countless times. I had always wanted to use the name of the factory, The Foundry for something but it just never came to be. My brain working in mysterious ways decided to make sure I remembered the factory and stored it in my head. I don't recall the length of time but it couldn't have been more than a few days when I watched the movie House of Wax with Vincent Price and as I went into the kitchen to get a drink it hit me.
My brain went back to the factory and then connected the factory to wax and then The Wax Factory was in my head and I knew I had to make it a title for my next book. At first, I had no idea what the book would be about and if it would be similar to House of Wax(which it is not). Eventually, over time I began piecing together ideas one by one, one after another until I not only had a plot and characters but I had a solid story and one I knew I wanted to continue past one book. This just goes to show you that yes my brain keeps track of random things and for whatever reason pieces them together to create not only catchy sounding titles but compelling story ideas as well.
Where Did the Characters Come From?
I usually think of the antagonist before I think of the protagonist aka the main character. Not because I'm evil(because I'm not ;)) but I guess the idea for them just comes easier to me. In this sense, I wanted to intentionally create the antagonist first because he would be the owner and curator of the factory. So starting with the antagonist here's a list of the characters in the book, who they are and how they came to be.
Gustav Vandaldrake is the curator of The Wax Factory. He is a wise and sometimes jubilant but also strange and odd old man who loves talking about the factory to the group. He is knowledgeable but also very forgetful of even the simplest things. He is also old fashioned and at times he seems odd and acts and says strange things that make no sense. I wanted to give him a name that would stand out so going with a normal name just wasn't going to cut it. I felt Gustav was both old fashioned and it wasn't English and while it's not really established where he's from Gustav was a good choice.
As for Vandaldrake, again I wanted to think of a unique name and that just popped into my head(I know my brain is a strange place isn't it?) I combined the two names and Gustav Vandaldrake was created. He's not really based on anyone I just sort of pictured an old man who loves what he does and yet also doesn't quite seem to fit in. In some ways he's sort of like Henry Jarrod, the character played by Vincent Price in House of Wax but only loosely.
Dmitri Townsend is the main character of the book. He's a young college student who isn't afraid to speak his mind. He's a football fanatic, gamer, and urban explorer. He's your typical young guy that I feel readers can relate to which is rather different for me because I usually don't create characters so relatable at least not as relatable as Dmitri. He's the type of guy that men want to be and women want to be with to put it lightly. He's the best friend of Derek and the boyfriend of Melina, both of whom you will read more about later. Even though Dmitri is the protagonist he does have a backbone and isn't afraid to do what must be done. He tends to act as the leader amongst his group of friends.
I have always liked the name Dmitri and I figured since I don't plan on having a kid anytime soon that I could put the name to use. Townsend just sort of came to me as I read last names off a sheet of paper. I put them together and thought it had a nice ring to it. Dmitri is sort of based on me but by no means am I a guy that every man wants to be and every woman wants to be with(I wish!). Dmitri has some of my qualities but he's not truly based on me which is probably a good thing.
Melina Saffron is Dmitri's girlfriend. She's beautiful, smart and very driven. She enjoys shopping, hanging out with Dmitri and her best friend Tasha. She is knowledgeable on the paranormal because her mom is really into it. Like the rest of the gang, her major hasn't been identified but she wants to spend her life with Dmitri. She's fun and friendly and is the type of person that likes to help others. Like the name Dmitri, I like the name Melina and again since I don't plan on having kids anytime soon I thought I would use the name, Melina. Not sure where Saffron came from to be honest just thought of it thought it was unique and made it Melina's last name. Melina isn't based on anyone but as I like to say she's the girlfriend I wish I had. A beautiful, fun, caring and loving girl who stands up for what she believes in.
Derek Redmond is Dmitri's best friend. He's a jock and jokester whose jokes tend to fall flat and he cracks them at inappropriate times so as you can imagine there's a lot to look forward to in this book with Derek. He plays for the football team having been able to attend college because of a football scholarship. Derek is also a gamer and urban explorer and he's the one who got Dmitri into exploring abandoned places. He claims to not scare easily and thinks he's a hit with the ladies but gets shot down way too many times. I went with a more laid back approach with naming him as I decided to keep it simple so there's not really any meaning behind it. Derek isn't based on one person but rather an idea of a person. He's that one friend we can all relate to having in our lives in the sense that we understand him but others not so much. Also, bare with me now, imagine Shaggy from Scooby-Doo but if he were a jock and was way more built.
Tasha Moats is Melina's best friend. Tasha is a black haired beauty and she knows it too. She's got a bit of a reputation of being snobby and slutty. Despite these flaws, she's actually a nice and sweet girl once you get to know her and only if she lets you get to know her. She enjoys shopping, hanging out with guys and hanging out with Melina. Tasha has insecurities which could explain why she is the way she is. She gets along with Dmitri but doesn't get along with Derek because he constantly hits on her. I like the name Tasha so I thought it would make a nice name for a character and I just thought of Moats. Tasha is sort of based on the snobby college girl who just wants to have fun but isn't based on any one person.
What is The Wax Factory about?
Well, this question is one that can be summed up in my elevator pitch and by reading the description on Amazon which you can find here. Below is what the book is about summed up in a few sentences.
The Wax Factory is about a group of college students who get a tour of a creepy old factory as part of a school project. As the tour goes on and the deeper into the factory they go strange things begin to happen and soon the group begins to wonder if this project is worth their lives being in danger.
Why Did You Go With Wax and What Impact Does it Have in the Book?
I thought I'd save the best or perhaps the biggest question for last. Why did I go with wax? Well as you may remember at the beginning of this post I said how I had just watched House of Wax and then the factory popped into my head. But why did I just go with the idea? Well, for one I really enjoy that film so perhaps I wanted to tell a similar story but most of all the way wax was used in that film was as an evil device to showcase death and if that isn't enough to inspire the horror in you then I don't know what would! I wanted to do the same but in a different way so The Wax Factory was born.
Now, how it's used in the book and the impact it has in the book is a bit tricky to understand but then again that's why I'm doing this so I'll break it down. First off, let me just explain what wax is in simple terms. Wax is a sticky yellowish moldable substance secreted by honeybees as the material of honeycomb; beeswax. It is also the material of what a candle is made of. The book focuses on a factory that at one point in time manufactured wax but not in a standard or traditional sense. I imagine when most people think of a wax factory they think of a place that makes candles but since this is a book of fiction I decided to change it up a bit. In The Wax Factory, everyday items and appliances such as chairs, ottoman's, pens, tables, chandeliers, and other things are made out of wax. People would come to the factory and ask Gustav's great grandfather Ghyslain and his partner Edward Langston to construct something for them from wax.
Aside from making items themselves, they had a staff of over a dozen employees who were also skilled in the crafting of making items from wax. Sometimes they worked on projects not for clients but as experiments. In most cases, Ghyslain, Edward and one of their top tenured employees would be the ones working on a side project. In the present, the factory has just been reopened and Gustav treats it as a museum where he can show the group around and tell them about everything he knows about his great grandfather and the wax business. Finally, not to give anything else away but at some point in the book, he has the group use wax on their own so they can get a better sense of what it is and how it works.
So that's the first workshop on The Wax Factory. I hope you're entertained, intrigued and a bit more educated on wax and the book. Stay tuned because the next workshop is called Wax 101 and it will be a video on Youtube. I will go into a bit more detail about why it's so important to the antagonist Gustav and give you other small examples of where wax is used in the book but don't worry I'm not going to give anything away because after all if you want to truly know how wax is used in the book then you'll have to grab a copy and find out for yourself.
|Posted on February 3, 2020 at 11:45 PM|
A series of 5 workshops I will be hosting on my website as well as Youtube, Twitter and Instagram. The workshop will be on my book The Wax Factory, my upcoming novel The Wax Menagerie and I will even talk about wax and how it's used in real life and in the books. The workshops will take place between Feb 10th and 14th.
-An Introduction to Wax(Website)
A brief rundown and small blog post on The Wax Factory. An introduction to the characters, a general idea of the plot as well as what wax is and how its used and some of the items made from wax in the first chapter of the book.
-Wax 101(Youtube Video)
A video in which I will explain how wax is featured throughout the book and why its so important to the curator Gustav Vandaldrake.
-The Fundamentals of Waxology(Twitter Periscope Video)
A video in which I will explain how you can apply and polish with wax in both reality and from a fictional standpoint in the book.
-Principles of Candle Making(Instagram Video)
A video in which I will be making and creating candles.
-A First Look Into The Wax Menagerie(Website)
A brief rundown, small blog post and exclusive look into The Wax Menagerie, the second book in The Wax Factory series. I will explain the idea of the plot and introduce some new characters without giving away any spoilers.
|Posted on January 24, 2020 at 6:50 PM|
When we think of possession we naturally tend to think of the horror movie The Exorcist. A movie about a young girl who becomes possessed by a demonic spirit and the church is brought in to perform an exorcism on her to get rid of the malevolent being. This while dramatically fictitious is an example of demonic possession. Demonic possession is defined as the belief that a person's actions are controlled by an alien spirit, demon, or entity. It also happens to be a controversial topic in the sense that some people believe it can happen while others believe it can't create a controversial topic that divides people on their thoughts on it. So why do I want to talk about possession? Well for one, horror is one of my specialties and possession is a bit horror topic, two I'm trying to write more posts on the paranormal and three, I think it's a decent topic to discuss and talk about.
The first thing to know about demonic possession is that it is connected to religion in the sense that each religion has its own theories, thoughts, and ways to address it. I won't be getting into the details of each religion's ways of dealing with possession but rather I'll talk about the dark sides and effects of it that they all share. Many believe possession to be a disorder and possibly a psychological disorder with several other traits to go with it. While possession could easily be diagnosed under many disorders and symptoms one must look past a medical diagnosis and try to believe that it is a supernatural happening and force. Possession is not a common occurrence which is why it should not quickly be attributed to a normal disorder or illness. Possession is a demon, an actual being from another world, possibly hell or someone who was bad in life that has become a demonic spirit. After characterizing what possession is the next step is identifying what it wants and why it's attached itself to a particular person.
In most cases, a demon who possesses a person's body wants one thing, to control them. They want to live in this world and use the person's body and essence as a way to live amongst the living and cause harm to the person as well. Now while I have never seen or heard of a real case of possession I imagine it's truly horrific and probably quite painful to the person being possessed. While fiction does do a good job of showing how possession maybe it dramatically shows the things we all expect possession to be and usually cuts out the small symptoms and things that make the ordeal truly worse. In movies and shows all we usually see is a demon talking in a voice nowhere close to the actual person's voice, the person talking inappropriately, vomiting, inflicting harm to the person's body and writing strange symbols on walls. Is this what real demonic possession is? I'm sure parts of this are true to what really happens but I can't help but feel like Hollywood dramatizes these particular effects because they know they will shock people.
Possession is a serious supernatural condition and while I have stated above that it's controversial its also the reason Hollywood and horror make it a perfect cause and effect as a tool and vice. What's scarier than a person being taken over by a demon and acting totally different, threatening people and doing strange and abnormal things? Exactly, not much. A demon itself is scary enough but when a demon tries to or successfully takes over a human body and still does demonic things? That's bound to scare the daylights out of people and put the scare and fear factor at a 10 out of 10. Should we enjoy seeing possession in fiction? Sure, as long as we remember that it's just that, fiction. Seeing it for real is probably fifty times worse and something no person wants to see or experience for themselves. Possession is many things but one thing it isn't is a horror tool used to scare people. It is a vicious and dark part of life that in rare cases does happen and sometimes we forget that.
|Posted on October 24, 2019 at 5:45 PM|
People will tell you that the setting of a book is one of the most important details to have and they would be right. Authors want to make sure the setting is just right, the perfect place to tell their story. Readers want to experience a setting that is so vivid and extraordinary it's as though they are there themselves. However, one thing we don't really think much about are books that are set in one place and one place only. I'm not talking about one city, state, country, or world I'm talking about one sole building, house, warehouse, factory, etc.
Have you ever considered it? Have you ever thought that your favorite book may be set in one spot for the entire book? Don't worry I have plenty of examples but I'm sure you're wondering why. Why does it matter? Well, it does and it doesn't. It doesn't really matter if a book is set in one spot until it does. Before we go over the examples and reason why this matters lets state the obvious, if an author can write a great book solely in one place then they are not only talented but settings aren't an issue for them.
So why does it matter if a book is set in one spot? Well, have you ever noticed? If a book is truly mind-blowing and gripping then chances are you didn't even notice that it's set in one place. The truth is it doesn't matter because in all seriousness who cares? It doesn't matter if a book is set in one spot but the simple fact that there are many just shows you the dimensions of writing that the author took and setting while important was so great that it didn't need to be all over the place. Several of Stephen King's books are set in one place such as The Shining, The Green Mile, and Cujo just to name a few. Some other books set in one place are The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, Last Night At The Lobster, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, The Mezzanine by Nicholas Baker again just to name a few. I'm sure there are countless books with a lone setting but it just demonstrates that a great story can take place in either five, ten or just one as it doesn't matter.
From a horror and crime standpoint, I believe books set in one place are important and necessary. This is usually because a person or group of people are either trapped in a haunted building of some sort with the goal of trying to get out or they have been kidnapped or held against their will in a spot and must survive to escape. As readers, we love these books and it just goes to show you that one spot doesn't matter because what's happening inside that one spot is what truly matters. Horror books countlessly are written with people trapped in haunted houses, factories, cemeteries, asylums, hospitals, hotels, prisons, among many more. Crime books usually have people kidnapped, trapped or held up in small dirty basements, motel rooms, banks, houses again just to name a few. While these places are typical settings and lone settings it's the details around the place and what's set inside them that truly make the book great or not.
As an author, I too have set books in one sole place. My western horror was set in a town so that doesn't count but my crime thriller Opium Warfare was set in Shanghai and more particularly one specific district(doing research really helps!). Finally, The Wax Factory is solely based in the factory with only a flashback set in a college and the things the characters go through in the factory are pretty crazy. When I write about setting I don't think of how many places my book is set I just think of what I want it to be about, who I want in it to experience everything and sure I have a where but if I want to put branches off of that "where" then I will.
So what do I want you to take from this post? Well for one I'm sure you'll be a lot more observant of how many places a book is set in but in all honesty, I want you to just consider that if it's five or just one that a book will be great regardless. The setting will likely not be the reason if you don't like a book and if it is well...I don't know I guess maybe it does matter to some or that the author needs to work on their setting game.
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