The Official Page of Justin Bienvenue
|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.
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