The Official Page of Justin Bienvenue
|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 May 29, 2019 at 6:20 PM|
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 10, 2019 at 6:10 PM|
Wax Museums are an underrated source of entertainment. They are museums yes but they not just places to learn about the history of a person or place they are an experience to see great craftsmanship and feel as though your standing next to someone famous. Wax Museums are intriguing places because they can take you back in time, take you to a place in the present you never thought you’d be and make you feel as though you’re a part of something special because well, you are! Listed below are the top ten best wax museums in America that you should check out if you happen to be in the area or if you are traveling the country checking out wax museums!
10. Jesse James Wax Museum in classic Route 66.
You’ve probably heard all about one of the wild west’s most notorious and ruthless outlaws back in the day. His story has been told throughout history hence the reason his name still gets mentioned today. This museum is not only located in a nostalgic area in Route 66 but is all about the famed outlaw who took the west by storm and continues to fascinate people today.
9. House of Frankenstein Wax Museum
Located in Lake George, New York this is a place absolutely perfect for horror fans. Aside from it’s name sake star of Frankenstein the museum also features many horror characters sure to scare and excite you to tears. There’s also other horrific looking figures that will leave you talking about them long after you leave.
8. Hollywood Wax Museum in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Okay so chances are most people don’t go to Myrtle Beach to check this place out but perhaps they should. This version of the Hollywood Wax Museum is entertaining, enthralling and a great place to stop by before you head to the beach. It features many celebrities and even had zombie figures because why not, right?
7. National Great Blacks Museum
Located in Baltimore, Maryland, the museum is a dedication and honor in showing African American History. You’ll learn a lot of stuff you may not have ever learned in school and not only is it educational but very entertaining and a must-see for wax museums.
6. Potter’s Wax Museum
Located in St. Augustine, Florida, it’s said to be the first ever wax museum opened in the United States. The museum has many historical figures, celebrities as well as many of horror’s scary characters. Seeing as it’s the said to be first ever wax museum opened in the U.S, why wouldn’t you want to go?
5. Rock Legends Wax Museum
Located in Niagara Falls, New York this museum is perfect for all music and rock and roll fans. The museum features rock stars from the past as well the current ones. It’s a great place to learn the history of rock and roll and get a selfie with your favorite music star!
4. National Presidential Wax Museum
Who said there’s nothing exciting in South Dakota? Aside from Mt. Rushmore the state also has the National Presidential Museum. The place has over 100 historical figures and features every president and is a great place to catch up on your presidential history!
3. Salem Wax Museum & Witch's Dungeon Classic Movie Museum
Two places close to home that I just couldn’t separate!
The Salem Wax Museum is of course located in Salem, Massachusetts and as someone who’s been there I can tell you it’s quite a cool and interesting place! Of course you’ll see figures and learn about the infamous Witch Trials of 1692 but you’ll also learn about the history of the town and how they came to be so witchy as well as how the town came to be founded. There’s also a Pirate Museum in Salem that is really interesting if your into piracy.
Witch’s Dungeon Classic Movie Museum is located in Bristol, Connecticut and is an absolute must-see for horror and classic horror movie fans. The place is owned by Cortlandt Hull, the great nephew of horror actor Henry Hull who played the werewolf in The Werewolf of London. The place has many classic horror figures such as Frankenstein’s Monster, Count Dracula, the Phantom of the Opera and Nosferatu.
2. Madame Tussaud’s in Hollywood, California
If you ever find yourself in Hollywood and you still don’t come across any celebrities walking the streets it’s okay you can still meet them! Madame Tussauds is the most famous place known for wax figures. It’s right next to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is an epic three story building and features 115 celebrity wax figures!
1. Hollywood Wax Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
There’s lots to do in Tennessee and if your planning a trip there you better be sure to add this to your places to visit. You’ll get to see old famous actors and actresses like silent film star Charlie Chaplin as well as Norma Jean herself, Marilyn Monroe. There’s lots to see and is truly the definition of a wax museum.
To find out more on these places visit thishttps://www.drivethenation.com/best-wax-museums-in-america/" target="_blank"> article by Melissa Martinez.
|Posted on October 26, 2015 at 11:35 PM|
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.
|Posted on October 16, 2015 at 2:35 PM|
As many of you may know Shin Shaojin is the antagonist of my crime thriller novel, Opium Warfare. However what do you really know about him besides the fact that he's a bad guy? Well for a simple explanation of him check out a post of him on https://www.pinterest.com/pin/320037117248422254/" target="_blank">pinterest. To be honest I don't really dip into Shaojin's past but tell you enough to give you an idea of the type of man he is. He is a businessman, perhaps the top businessman in all of Shaojin during the times. It isn't mentioned as to how he acquired such wealth but he owns his own business called Shaojin Enterprises and there are several headquarter locations throughout China not just Shanghai. I will give you one spoiler in simple terms that Shaojin is looking to expand his business ventures by having more buildings made in Shanghai which shows his willingness to try new things, expand and better Shanghai. Shaojin has backgrounds in fighting and hand to hand combat but never really mentions it as he is always looking forward and to the future. He's all business first and fun later type but what makes him tick? Why exactly is he so egotistical and arogant? Well there are several factors as to why this is which I will share.
I first took the ole cliche that most big head honchos of big businesses are full of themselves and only care about making more money and if it doesn't benefit them to some degree they aren't interested. This can be said about Shaojin. Also while most businessman tend to have you speak to one of their representatives and what not I sort of allowed people to be able to approach Shaojin which means he cares what people think about him and he's very quick to jump to conclusions and defend himself as he doesn't want to be misconstrued. Basically Shaojin while above people(or thinking he is) still cares what the everday man has to say about him, he's quick to snap at that person and doesn't care whether or not it hurts their feelings but in a way he cares about his image. Shin Shaojin does business with several other corporations and one can assume that he has business in overseas trading, real estate, and a Shanghai-esque Wall Street all to which accounts for his success and wealth.
Donald Trump, we all know who he is. Donald Trump is a modern day entrepreneur, a businessman who has a line of Hotels, clothing company as well as many other business type ventures. Also as you know he is running for president and it's because of this that we get to hear him and how he is. If you know Trump you know he too is egotistical, very rude, arrogant and foul mouthed. Trump thinks he's the king of swing and doesn't care if he offends people because he won't even admit to saying or doing anything wrong in the first place. Like Shaojin he is wealthy, arrogant and is quick to defend himself, always tried to get the last word in. He believes in himself a little too much and is probably his biggest fan, Shaojin can also be said to be his own biggest fan. Does Trump make good business choices? Absolutely there's no question about that and he also makes sure he follows up on topics and makes good points when need be. The problem is sometimes he goes too overboard or as any man in his position does, he jumps the gun, is quick to deliver and makes points and comes off like a total fool. He either tells you what you want to hear or tells you something as long as it's about him or benefits him.
Now everything I have said about Trump could be said to be my opinion but I'm merely basing my information off what Trump himself says and the way he portrays himself. I'm not telling you anything you probably don't already think yourself. Since I talked about what I based Shaojin off of, I'll get a bit more into Trump. Do you think Trump cares about what people think about him? No, I don't think he does and why should he? When your that full of yourself you only care about one person...numero uno, yourself. What does it say about him as a businessman? Well again I'm not downing businessman nor am I saying they are all alike I am merely really in and taking the ole cliche that most are arrogant, ego driven and while they have drive they are all about themselves. This to me is Donald Trump in a nutshell, sure every once in a while he surprises you by doing hospitality(whatever that may be) but in the long run he's the epideme of what I;m talking about, a wealthy man who thinks everything he says and does is right and if you call him out on it, he's going to tell you, put you down or say whatever he has to to make you feel bad for saying it.
Did I base Shin Shaojin off Donad Trump? No, not at all. At least not intentionally. When I created Shin Shaojin, Donald Trump wasn't even in my mind, in fact the old businessman of the day such as John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford were people I had in mind. I then took those two men, visualized they were in another country and then gave them flaw after flaw until I had Shin Shaojin(That was a very brief assessment of what I did). Now that I look back and seeing as I'm writing this article I would say Shaojin definitely has traits that are similar and like Donald Trump. How are they alike? Well let's see:
-Care what people think about them
-Are quick to defend themselves
-Make points and want you to know they made it
-Tend to have slip ups when speaking
-They(pardon my French) know their shit:
-Are very blunt when speaking their minds
However, while they are similar they are also different. Aside from the obvious ones real and the other isn't Shaojin threatens those who oppose him, Trump at least to my knowledge does not. When someone calls Trump out or goes against what he says, he stays firm and takes them down and shows no weakness if only that he turns slightly redder then normal. Shaojin shows signs of weakness when someone catches him on something, he sounds lost as of what to say gets beat red and then decides how he wants to handle it. To put it in simple terms, Trump has one face, Shaojin has many. Basically what it comes down to is that Shin Shaojin and Donald Trump while alike are also very different. I'd give you numbers on their net worth but I don't find it irrelevant and plus I don't want any of us to feel like we are worthless or shells in comparison to these two men.
To find out more about Shin Shaojin please feel free to read about him in Opium Warfare
Donald Trump is actually quite familar with Chinese books and culture. Check out this article on an interview he had with a press agency of China, he listed 20 Chinese books that he had read, from memory.
|Posted on October 9, 2015 at 5:10 PM|
These days heroin is all too familiar in our country and culture. It has become an epidemic and there are way too many people dying from it. I'm not going to sit here and give you numbers on exactly how many because you probably have an idea for yourself as to how deadly it is and how many people it's killed. Also just take a guess and I'm sure your in the ballpark as to the amount. Why is heroin so big these days? That's anyones guess. I'm not familar with the drug world, I do not know how it operates but what I do know is basic information that any other normal person does: those who depend on it, it's easy for them to get their hands on it and will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. Heroin is the source of more deaths in the last two years than it normally has caused. Heroin is derived from an opiate and is made from opium..again known fact. The reason I mention this is due to the fact that this is the focus of thr article...heroin compared to opium itself and how compared to when opium was popular to how heroin is now and why exactly the two drugd while similar, one has a deadly effect and the other did not cause such a panic.
In my novel Opium Warfare, I take a very all too familar trend in both U.S and Chinese culture and put my own collective spin on it. I wanted to focus on opium because it was a popular drug and pass time of Chinese people back in the day. While I can tell you it probably wasn't as big as I make it in my novel in 1920s Shanghai, I assure you it was most definitely still active though my fictional telling of it creates a knowledge of it that while small it was there. I am not going to sit here and list ingredients of the drug, Google it if you must but know the two are similar but that heroin is made from several things and a heavier much more potent version of opium. Let me run a few questions by and answer them to fruther your wonder. Was opium as addicting as Heroin is today? -Yes, any drug is addicting and opium addiction is not to be taken lightly but if anything is to be known it's that back then opium was the only known drug at the time. Sure there was others but opium was the go to drug and people who did it didn't turn to other heavy drugs back then like they are likely to do now. Did people die from overodoses? -Yes, of course they did. Opium is the drug to which most drugs derive from so just like any drug, the effects can be deadly. -How does it differ from heroin today? -People didn't think of opium as dedly back in the day but we all know heroin is very deadly in todays society. Back then opium was a way of life, a practice and people would go to opium dens and have a good time, sure it got out of hands at times but the overall message wasn't to get high and waste your life, it was to extend it. The main difference between opium then and heroin now is that people celebrated and rejoiced and treated opium as a healthy way to life and incorporated it into their culture. Heroin now is like any heavy drug of today, we know the effects of it, we know it's bad, it can kill and we don't see those who do it as celebrating or living life to the fullest.
One thing I came across after reading "Confessions of an English Opium Eater" by Thomas de Quincey and researching on opium was that people were very casual and modest about their use with it. Nowadays if people do drugs chances are the only way you know is if they are strung out out of their minds or simple signs of drug use. When opium was popular centuries ago and during the time of my book, it was almost quiet and people didn't talk about stuff like that. Think of the 50's..look at all the stuff we do now that if it were done in the 50's would have sent people crazy! Well this is the same way with opium to heorin, if people abused opium as bad as they abused heroin, chances are we'd have some serious historical events back then to read about today. I'm not telling you opium was okay to use, no that's not the point to take here. The point I'm making is that back then it was a simpler time and now while it still is simple for most people, their are some who like those who abused opium back then, abuse heroin until the point where they are no longer alive to enjoy life. You could walk into an opium den with others there and enjoy yourself, you could probably have better control habits and know ones limits, today that just doesn't seem to be the case. Way too many people are dying from drug related deaths. It doesn't need to be said that no matter what time or decade it is, drugs are bad and have an ending result that no person wants but at one point, the effects were more clear, I only wish that the awareness or acknowledgement of it back then could be incorporated t today..maybe then people wouldn't be dropping like flies at the hands of overdosing on heroin or any other related drug.
|Posted on September 11, 2015 at 3:50 PM|
There are many things within the book to which people may know or have had an idea about. However as I am about to share, there are 10 things that you probably didn't know about the book. With that being said here they are:
10. The title was a Last minute idea
When you hear the title of the book you would think it was the first choice I came up with but the truth is it was the last. I had originally come up with titles such as The Mixed Book of Poetry, Mixed Book of Goodies and a lot of other less than catchy names, when I thought of Like A Box of Chocolates I realized it was perfect and very fitting.
9. Adrenaline Rush’s last line was changed
The second to last line in the poem within the book now reads “But now the body has become total mush” but it didn’t always read like that. Originally the line referenced the use of drugs in the form of using a needle but seeing as this was a bit extreme and there was already a few drug references in the book it made it easy for this to get dropped.
8. Rhyme scheme of Silverdust
Usually when poems rhyme they are known for either 1,1 2,2 or 1,2,1,2 however in the case of Silverdust a much different rhyme scheme is seen. The first word to start a new sentence in each line is rhymed with the last line of the following sentence and the last word in the first sentence is rhymed with the first word in the second sentence. Confusing I know but if you give it a read you’ll see what I mean. I thought of this while writing it.
7. Frozen Fire was altered a lot
I’ll admit Frozen Fire isn’t exactly the best poem in the book but compared to what it originally was it’s definitely a lot better. The original poem had weak rhymes and some of the lines either didn’t make sense or were misused homonyms. It was fixed up a bit and the last two lines were always there..your welcome.
6. The Prophet was a last minute add
As I explained in the Preface most of the poems titles were thought of by having people vote however toward the end some of them were poems I already had or just ended up writing. The prophet was one of the last poems I added. I also broke it into two sentence formats for a better feel.
5. The Immortal is about Vandal Savage
In the poem The Immortal, it doesn’t just tell of a random or completely made up character but is about the comic book villain Vandal Savage. While most would write about vampires when speaking of Immortals I decided to take a different approach and wrote about the less known comic book villain.
4. The Chemist and Killer Instinct share an Era
The Chemist in many ways is my version of Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde and Killer Instinct is about Jack the Ripper. What’s interesting and on accident is that I put them both same pages back to back and Dr.Jeykll and Mr. Hyde was written in 1886 and Jack the Ripper began his killing spree in 1888, meaning they share a two year difference but are connected in the sense they are in the same era.
3. I consider Razorblades and Revolutions and Amongst the Shadows to be the two best poems in the book
Not to toot my own horn by any means but I believe these two to be the two best poems in the book for several reasons. For one I felt the rhyme scheme was very powerful and the lines all flow quite nicely. I feel the poems meanings are very deep and a lot more meaningful and really make you feel like an intricate story is being told. I put a lot of work into them and I feel they really shine off the pages.
2. There are several conspiracies within the book
One thing that makes the book interesting aside from it’s variety of poems and oddness is the several conspiracies within a few of the poems. I could tell you some of them but then where would be the fun in that? Just know that there are a few and read the book for yourself and see if you can pick them out.
1. The meaning behind the cover
When you see the cover I’m sure your asking what does it all mean? At first glance we see four characters in a bed and wonder why. Well not only do they all have meanings but it does past that as well. The man in the top hat is a Mortician and represents the poem The Mortuary, the skeleton for Skeleton Sex, the train conductor for Ghost Train, the Gorilla in a nightcap for Terminal Rage and the ninja ontop of the bed for Amongst the Shadows. The bed itself represents the poem Velvet Awakening and the fact it’s in space represents Starlight Express.
The bird and the clock on the back represent Upon the Strike of Midnight and the clocks weird morphed look is a reference to Salvador Dali’s work and is meant to represent Deadly by Design which talks about LSD.
|Posted on September 4, 2015 at 3:35 PM|
If you trace the origins of Opium back to a certain date you’ll find that your going to be going a long way back. Opium has been used for many centuries and was a key asset and even was the reason behind certain organizations fall from power. The use of opium is no secret, it started off like most drugs do as a cure for an illness or ailment. However after a while people began to discover it’s true properties and began finding themselves using it for purposes other than just illness and ailments. Perhaps the biggest thing to take from this part is the fact that from all the way back then to now, people still continue to abuse drugs especially opium which of course has made it’s way into today’s society as a more lethal compound of a drug called heroin. However, as we go back through time we notice that the influence of opium was so great that it caused two wars. First the was the Opium War from 1839 to 1842 and the Second Opium War from 1856 to 1860. It was these wars that separated China from the rest of the world. The Opium Wars were not just about the drug itself but what else they represented which was the civilization of China as a whole and the balance between nations especially between the British.
The influence and impact of opium has taken cities by storm and cultivated a flurry of outbreaks throughout Britain and Eastern Asia as well as other places all around the world. The main source, spread and usage of opium however can be traced back to China. The Chinese relied heavily on China so much so that not only did it cause two wars but it left a big mark on the culture today as well. One of the main reasons I decided to write a book about opium wasn’t because of it’s checkered past but because of it’s past in general and that fact that the past has rolled over into the present day today and we here in America face the same struggles with drugs as they did in China with opium all those years ago. However let it be understood and noted that my book is of course written of fiction. While the location and places are of real nature the purpose of the book is to entertain and also enlighten a reader. To entertain them with a tale of a fictional 1920's Shanghai but to also perhaps tell the of a tale that reads all to close to home from the fact that opium is still alive and used today and that back then talks of it were in a fascinating state to which the people did not see the fears we face today. The book’s foundation and the main plot is just that; mixing in the past and the present to create a medium which is 1920's Shanghai.
For more information on the origin, usage and impact of Opium in China feel free to read the following https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_opium_in_China" target="_blank">article
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26090434-opium-warfare?ac=1" target="_blank">Click here to find out more about Opium Warfare
JOIN THE MAILING LIST FOR UPDATES AND YOUR FREE STARTER LIBRARY
Thank you! You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter.