The Official Page of Justin Bienvenue
|Posted on July 6, 2021 at 11:50 PM||comments (0)|
The Wax Papers Character Naming Contest
Are you good at coming up with names? Now’s your chance to show just how good you are!
I am looking for someone to come up with the most creepy, and vile name(first and last, male or female) for a gravedigger/caretaker for my novel The Wax Papers.
Here’s how to enter:
-You are allowed to give me up to 2 names that you’ve come up with.
-Head over to my website and go to the Contact Me page.
-In the box type your names you’ve come up with along with the hashtag #CharacterContest and your name(first and last)
-Send it and your all set!
The contest starts on July 10th and will end on August 10th.
I will go over all of the submissions and if I choose one of your names you will win the following:
-Your name listed on my copyright page as the one who came up with the name along with a link of your choice
-An autographed copy of The Wax Papers
-1 PDF copy of one of my other books(your choice)
I’m looking forward to reading all your creative, creepy and vile names! Good luck to everyone and lets get this contest started!
|Posted on February 14, 2020 at 7:15 PM||comments (58)|
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||comments (1893)|
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||comments (54)|
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 November 27, 2019 at 5:40 PM||comments (65)|
Thanksgiving has come once again and no one appreciates it more than the Morton family…well, the adult Morton’s that is. Every year Dave and Sherrie Morton hold a big thanksgiving dinner for their entire family and every year their two kids, Eric and Samantha could care less. It’s not that they don’t like Thanksgiving it’s just they don’t get why everyone gets together to stuff themselves silly with food they only eat once a year and to reminisce about the good ole days.
Their mom and aunt have once again gone all out with the food. Food that looks weird and they can’t ever imagine liking. They, of course, like the turkey, dinner rolls, mashed potatoes and maybe one veggie but that’s about it. They leave the cranberry sauce, stuffing, any green vegetable, carrots, and whatever else to the adults.
“Kids, get down hear thanksgiving dinner is ready!”, they hear their mom from downstairs.
“Ugh, here we go. The annual feasting on gross food once a year.”, Eric says.
“Yeah, I know. Blah!”, Samantha replies.
“Let me just get something from my closet”, Eric says as he goes and opens his closet door.
As the door opens Eric is shocked to see an orange vortex before him. Before he can do anything the vortex sucks him in. His sister hears him yell for her as she watches the vortex suck him into the unknown. Not wanting to lose her brother Samantha jumps into the vortex as well. Both kids get up from the ground and notice a giant table filled with people sitting at it along with food.
“Hello, young ones! Welcome to our lovely thanksgiving!”, a man dressed as a pilgrim says.
“Uh…thanks. Where are we?”, Eric asks confused.
“Why, you're in Thanksgivingland!”
“I’m sorry…did you just say Thanksgivingland?”
“Yes! We celebrate Thanksgiving everyday or once every month..whichever we are in the mood for.”
“Oh dear god no!”, Samantha yells upon hearing this.
“Why yes, why be thankful once a year when you should be thankful every day!”, the man says.
“We are thankful every day but celebrating it every day seems a bit excessive.”
“Nonsense, celebrate! Eat! Live!”
“Uh yeah well I don’t know how we got here but we need to go home.”, Eric says.
“Ah, first you must feast then you may go home. Please, join us!”, the man says.
“This is all really weird, one minute I’m in my room then I’m in a field about to eat thanksgiving dinner with a bunch of strangers.”, Eric says.
“Why not big brother? I’m sure they’re food is better than what mom always serves.”, Samantha says to her brother.
“We could be dreaming or whatever but you’re right, let’s eat!”, Eric says.
“Wonderful. Come! Come and enjoy our feast.”
Eric and Samantha are lead to the table by the man. As he leads them to the giant table they can’t get over how enormous it is. There must be at least sixty people sitting at it. As they are seated they look at the food but don’t see the turkey or any food they like.
“Where’s the turkey?”, Eric asks.
“Turkey? We don’t eat turkey on thanksgiving we have a giant meatloaf!”
“Meatloaf? Seriously? That seems so wrong..”, Eric says.
“How about mashed potatoes and corn?”, Samantha asks.
“Mashed..potatoes? Heavens no! We have cauliflower and berries!”
“Eww gross! White broccoli!”
“What about dinner rolls?”
“Dinner? Rolls?”, the man asks.
“Yeah, you know, bread?”, Eric asks.
“We have strips of fig with the richest jams spread on them.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me..”,Eric says.
“Do you have stuffing? Green beans? Carrots?”, Samantha asks.
“We have radishes, beat stew, yucca root, rolled up grains and minerals in a leaf, fresh dry tomato croissants, jermsickle bread with honeysuckle and rosemary.”
“Do you have pumpkin or apple pie for dessert?”
“No, we have figgy pudding and grape and orange pie”, the man says.
“All those things sound disgusting! Figgy pudding is that Christmas Carol stuff! And what on earth are tomato dry croissants and jermsmicke bread? Grape and orange pie?”
“Why the feast traditions of course along with all this food including the main course of meatloaf!”
“Meatloaf for thanksgiving? 24/7? Sam, let’s get out of here I think I’m gonna be sick”, Eric says as he and Samantha leave the table.
“Where are you going? Won’t you feast with us?”, the man asks.
“Uh, yeah sorry we just remembered we need to have Thanksgiving with our family and have real food that actually tastes good.”, Samantha says.
The man simply smiles and bows at them. Eric and Samantha look weirded out and the man puts his hand out and makes a strange motion as the orange vortex opens up behind them. Eric and Samantha look at one another and then jump back into the vortex. As they come out the other side they are thrown out of Eric’s closet and onto the floor.
“That was weird!”, Eric says.
“Tell me about it!”, Samantha says.
“Kids, get down here thanksgiving dinner is ready!”, their mom says from downstairs.
The kids shrug at one another and head downstairs for thanksgiving dinner. As they get to the table they see all the usual foods they love but mostly hate. The turkey, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, carrots, green veggies, stuffing, the works. They smile at one another and get a plate and then begin getting the food they want.
“Don’t you kids complain now like you do every year. We know you don’t like veggies but at least eat something.”, their mother says.
Both Eric and Samantha shock both their parents as they put some cranberry sauce, a good helping of veggies and even stuffing on their plate along with their turkey, mash potatoes, corn, and dinner rolls.
“Since when do you kids eat all that stuff? Thought you didn’t like them?”, their father asks.
“Well dad, let’s just say I’m thankful for tradition”, Eric says.
Their parents just smile happy to see their kids finally eating stuff they normally don’t like. As everyone begins eating their aunt sets the desserts down on another table.
“If you have room later I made grape and orange pie!”
Eric and Samantha just look at once another and begin laughing.
“Happy Thanksgiving everyone!”, Eric says out loud.
Everyone says the same thing and they begin eating.
|Posted on May 29, 2019 at 6:20 PM||comments (91)|
Character Interview with Dmitri Townsend
1. What can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Dmitri Townsend, I’m 20 years old and I attend Bartholemew Halbriar University. I’m a fun and outgoing person, I’m into history and I’m a big football fan. I’m laid back and I enjoy traveling and trying new things. I’m not a angry or violent person and I treat others as they like to be treated. I enjoy writing and art although I’m not good at either but I appreciate those who can. I was born in and grew up here in Craven Hollow and I know the rest of New York is busy but I honestly love it here and I wouldn’t trade it to be somewhere else. I’m a determined and goal driven individual,
2. Would you enter a creepy old factory?
What an odd question(laughs). Uhh..I mean yeah sure why not. I’m up for an adventure and I mean my best friend Derek is into abandoned places so I’m sure I totally would because he’d likely pressure me into it(laughs again). Yeah, I would totally enter a creepy factory as long as it isn’t haunted.
3. How much does friendship mean to you?
It means a lot to me. I have a great group of friends whom I cherish. I know they are there for me like I am for them. There’s my girlfriend Melina who is also one of my best friends, she’s amazing and she’s also a great friend who is a great listener. My best friend Derek and I have been friends since like elementary school, he’s fun and most people don’t get him but I’m glad to call him a friend. Then there’s my friend Tasha who is Melina’s best friend. Tasha and I are cool, we aren’t as tight but I am glad to call her a friend. Friendship means a great deal to me as does family and in a lot of ways I feel like they are my family. It’s great to have friends because I don’t like being or feeling alone.
4. Who’s the most important person in your life?
Well I’m sure you can guess after the last question, that would be my girlfriend Melina. She’s my everything and she means the world to me. I’ve known her since sixth grade and we’ve been together since eighth grade when I asked her out on the bus during a field trip. Melina gets me, understands me and I’m so lucky to have her in my life and to be able to call her my girl. I’m not the jealous type so I know Melina has her guy friends and that’s fine and I totally trust her and I know I’m as important to her as she is to me. She truly is the most important person in my life and I think in a year or two I’d like to make her my wife.
5. If you were in a life or death situation how do you think you’d manage?
Wow that’s quite the question!(laughs). Damn, uh, I’m not sure. I’d like to think I’d hold my own, step up and take initiative and I’d make the right decisions although I don’t know how I’d find myself in a life or death situation. I live a casual and calm life so I imagine it would really make me think and even take a toll on me but in the end I would put money on me managing well and doing my best to make the right decisions for myself and anyone else involved.
6. What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
I believe in aliens and I’m into the Roaring 20's. I know random right? I just find aliens fascinating and I believe that they exist, have been here and even walk among us not to sound like a nut or anything! And yeah the Roaring 20's just seems like it was such a fun and simple time to be alive. I may live it up like they did when it’s 2020(laughs) I’ll be styling and be all suave. I just really enjoy learning about the 20's.
Character Interview with Gustav Vandaldrake
1. What can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Gustav Vandaldrake and I am in the wax business. My business takes up most of my life as I don’t do much outside of it. Although when I’m not working my hobbies include stamp and rock collecting as well as listening to my vintage jazz collection, oh I do love my jazz! I have been married to my lovely wife Isabella for over 40 years and I cannot imagine life without her. I enjoy a good cup of coffee or joe as the young people like to call it these days. I enjoy cooking because my wife grew tired of always cooking for me(chuckles) and I am a very kind and gentle man. I enjoy making the most of life just as I did when I was younger and what is it they say? You’re only as young as you feel!
2. What exactly is a wax factory and what can you tell us about your business?
(Laughs) You certainly aren’t the first person to ask me this. Wax factories were popular back in the day in the early 1800's. From a general standpoint, regular wax factories served as places that made candles and candle accessories or they made wax within the factories and from there the wax was sent out to other places to be used as candles or your other basic wax needs.
The Wax Factory is a bit different you see, The Wax Factory didn’t just make candles nor do I in fact I intend to go by my great grandfather’s old creations. The Wax Factory here is bigger and broader. Here it deals with not just candles but everyday items and unique items all to be created from wax. The wax is made here, things are created from it and most of all it acted and will continue to act as a shop where people can come in to see what we have and buy these elaborate wax items. I’ve done a lot of reading on my great grandfather’s business from old books down in the basement and my vision is to make this place as authentic to how it was back in the day. Oh I’m giddy just thinking about it!
3. Care to tell us a little history on the town of Craven Hollow?
Oh heavens if I didn’t know any better I’d swear you’re asking me about the history of this town because I’m old! It’s quite alright, while I’m not a historian I do know a little bit about this town. Craven Hollow is one of the smallest towns in the state of New York. It was founded I want to say back in the 1600s? Not quite sure there and it for the most part has always been a quiet little town where people come to relax and get away from you know, the busy streets of New York. The city once had two big businesses, The Wax Factory and a fur trade business although if my memory serves me correct the fur business didn’t last long nor pan or as many had expected. It can be a bit eerie and odd in town if your not from Craven Hollow, people have told me that although I haven’t the slightest idea what they mean!(laughs). The town is peaceful and I also remember hearing something about a statue being built here and that Bartholemew Halbriar to whom the school is named after had part in it’s creation. Craven Hollow is a joyous place and has great history!
4. What is it about wax that you love so much?
I don’t love it half as much as I’m told my great grandfather did! It’s hard to explain but I guess in some ways wax reminds me of clay. It’s a thick material and it’s easy to work with, and many people only see it as what candles are made from but those people must not have big imaginations. I love wax because I love the vision and work my great grandfather put into the place and the passion he had for it and in many ways I think it got passed down onto me. I enjoy creating and wax is the material of my choice. It’s an underrated substance, it works nicely with fire and I just have a way with it that gives me a extraordinary feeling!
5. What do you know about your great grandfather Ghyslain?
What a lovely and kind man he was! Oh I remember my parents and my grandfather telling me about him and he fascinated me. He was a hard working man and he gave job opportunities to so many including woman. He loved just loved wax and he and his partner Edward Langston were quite the creators when it came to wax. My great grandfather was a visionary and I think in many ways was a big part in this town’s success. Without him people would not have had jobs and I just know he was a very generous and friendly man. He was the type of guy you’d want to know and would appreciate knowing.
6. Do you think young people will appreciate The Wax Factory?
Oh I hope they will! Oh how I hope they will. I’m not up to date with what young people of today like and don’t like but I at least hope that they will stop and check out the history of not only this factory but a key part of business within their city. I think those who enjoy history, like big old factories and like wax will enjoy the Wax Factory! I also plan on making part of the factory a museum but not all of it will be a museum, as I said before it’s going to be a place where people can come and buy things made of wax and I hope the young people of today will appreciate that and I don’t see why they wouldn’t.
Be sure to get your copy of The Wax Factory!
|Posted on April 13, 2016 at 5:45 PM||comments (4)|
April 26th doesn't just mark the anniversary of A Bloody Bloody Mess..but it also marks the third year anniversary of the release of Like a Box of Chocolates. In honor of this occasion and on behalf of the fact it's National Poetry Month I will be doing giveaways and contests for the book throughout the month.
Giveaway- April 13th-26th
Give me your favorite line from your favorite poem, it can be a poem from anyone throught history.
*person with the best line will win a copy of the book.
What does Poetry mean to you? How far do you think poetry has come today compared to years prior? Those who I think come up with the best responses shall win E-Book copies.
*the three best responses will win copies of the book.
|Posted on April 4, 2016 at 3:00 PM||comments (58)|
April 26th marks the fourth year anniversary release of my Western Horror, A Bloody Bloody Mess in the Wild Wild West. To honor this occasion I am doing some giveaways and contests throughout the month.
-Your on the Good side with Emerson Shaw and the town fighting against the undead. Give me your best pre-fight speech to get everyone motivated and pumped up. Write your speech by commenting on this post.
*The person who I believe comes up with the best response will win a copy of the book.
-Your on the BAD side with Javier “Bones” Jones and his army of the undead fighting against the townspeople lead by Emerson Shaw. Give me your best speech to your undead army(who will in all likelihood not even understand you anyways). Write your speech by commenting on this post.
*The three best responses will win a copy of the book.
|Posted on October 28, 2015 at 3:10 PM||comments (66)|
One thing I breifly mentioned in the Summary and Introduction for Opium Warfare as well as a video was the Green Gang. I thought I would give a bit more insight on the Green Gang about who they are and how they play an important role in the novel. First off, The Green Gang is a criminal organization in Shanghai. Members of the gang claim the origins of the gang date all the way back to the 1450's. While they relied on making money by acting as corrupt individuals their main source of income came from the trafficking of opium. It's worth nothing that upon considering a criminal organization for the book I considered the Yakuza and the Triads. However the Yakuza is a japanese gang and the Traid are the main Chinese gang. I didn't want to use the Triads and wanted something unique and more original so a simple Google search led me to find the Green Gang and how fitting was it? As you can see not only were they in Shanghai and operational during the time of my book but they also dealt in the dealings of opium, so it was a win win all around. So you know the basics about the gang and why I chose it for my book but let's talk about some interesting details you may not know and how it tied into the book and is useful to know overall about Shanghai.
Shanghai originally had two gangs, the green and the red and both were equal. Over the years the Green Gang began branching out in committing higher levels of crime it was wasn't too long after that they had established themselves as the lead gang in all of Shanghai. Like many crime organizations they are considered a secret society and their members were put into groups called fleets. These fleets were broken up into several hundred and each given specific tasks whether it be working a deal with the Triads or working the shipping systems along the rivers and docks. A very interesting fact is that very little illegal happenings go down in Shanghai without the Green Gang knowing. This shows that the gang is the elite of the illegal and if something goes down in Shanghai it can't do so until it goes through the Green Gang. The members come from a certain hierarchical manner. They are initiated by that of a blood oath. Those who have high ranking status in the gang are usually that of businessmen, politicians and high-interest bankers. The rest of the members were made up of everyday type citizens with jobs such as merchants, laborerers, other less influential politicians and even some military.
You know that saying? "I know people" or "one phone call"? Which is to state that a person has connections, well the Green Gang had connections...with French police. Since the Green Gang did opium trading with the French they needed people on the inside and those inside just happen to be the French authorities, now that's what I call having the right people in your pocket. One of the head authority figures in Shanghai was also in connection with the gang as he was a boss. This boss was in power during the early 20's when the opium smuggling was popular and right around the time of my novel. The Green gang broke two of their organizations under two different names when trading with the French. The French paid them and this also helped pay the top Frnch officials. There was also transactions to which covered all opium dens in France, this way the ones in Shanghai made the money and the extra cash covered the costs for their connections. In a nutshell, the Green Gang got most of the goods, most of the money and covered their tracks sufficiently. This is all noteworthy because not only does it tell you of the importance of the Green Gang to Shanghai but also shows that the time period to which Opium Warfare is set in is just right, making it a fitting historical fiction.
To read more about the Green Gang feel free to check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Gang" target="_blank">this page and to read about how they operate in fiction be sure to grab a copy of Opium Warfare.
|Posted on October 26, 2015 at 11:35 PM||comments (0)|
Someone brought to my attention and suggested that I discuss the anti-drug policies in 1920's China. I can first tell you that I had done no research involving anti-drugs when it came to my story for a few reasons. The first reason being regardless of what the laws are or were I wrote a fiction which went against whatever was true in this nature. Yes, I did incorporate a lot of factual aspects in the book but felt when it came to the opium itself, the regulations and rules needed to be as wide open as possible to give it real effect and show that the city was weak and accepting when it came to a possible outbreak. So were there real anti-drug laws in China in 1920? Yes, they have had longstanding ones in place since the 1920's. In the late 20's and early 30's opium was made illegal in communist controlled regions. During the 40's and later on the regulations and rules became more thorough and demanding due to people attempting to break the law and try to obtain the illegal goods. Basically, China did in fact have a drug problem in the 1920's just like they do in my novel, however my novel makes it more of a serious matter.
China’s drug problems while small in the 20's became more known and prominent in the later half of the century and early 30's so much that it is likely the reason for the rules and regulations made in place after the fact, The 40's from what I could gather was when China became more strict about the rules and regulations they already had in place. The main reason this was done was because of opium and later on more drugs associated with opium. Political and military conflicts also tied into the stricter rules in the 30's and 40's. It appears that the more China upped their rules the more people felt the need to break them and obtain drugs or that to which was deemed illegal to have. This is likely a pattern no matter what country but nevertheless also just like any country, China did what they felt they needed to do to stop the rise and distribution of opium/drugs in their country. Given that China had two opium wars long before the 1900's, it’s no wonder and worth mentioning that they already had several programs, documents and acts in place against the use, distribution and selling of opium and nacotics.
Throughout the years people always found a way to obtain the drugs just as today being the same. Many doctors practiced in belief that opium was a good pain reliever and many published books stating the belief and practice in the matter. It was because of this belief to which the country banned and made acts, seeing as opium was given out by so many doctors to relieve pain and to any one who could acquire it was no wonder the country tried so hard to prevent it from getting any worse. There was a prohibition and several treaties with countries to prevent future opium outbreaks because it was so severe. So were their anti-drug policies in place? Of course and they’ve been in place for hundreds of years and it wasn’t until the late 1920's that things started to get worse again and the Chinese government decided to look into the laws already in place and enhance them to prevent against a war or outbreak. My book could be considered a fictional aspect of a small outbreak that took place and because it happened it lead to the reason the Chinese government upped their game and enforced sticter rues in the end of the decade and beginning of the new one.
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