Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Interview with Jason Beineke

What is Blackstone: Drawing the Circle about?
Blackstone is a mercenary sorcerer who does not rule any valleys and has yet to be bound to another sorcerer. Undertaking work for the sorceress queen, Spiral, he finds himself the expendable pawn in an assassination mission. Turning against the queen he fights Spiral’s loyal sorcerers and finds himself tasked with the guardianship of the marked man’s son. As the two flee from Spiral they have to work through their mutual bitterness and distrust of each other. A new tangle is thrown into their relationship when Blackstone frees a werewolf from her cage set in a town square and reverts the werewolf back to a young woman, cursed since childhood with lycanthropy.

Fleeing from the townsfolk who had previously kept the young werewolf, Loralune, captive, the three person band must confront Loralune’s transformation under the full moon, the posse that runs them to ground and a sorceress looking for revenge against Hiroe and Blackstone. Survival against these threats leaves them vulnerable to other, more insidious dangers.

Where is your book available?At this time the book is available only in ebook form from Amazon and Smashwords.  I hope to someday be able to afford to use Amazon's Create Space services to make the book print on demand through Amazon.

Where did you get the idea for your book?A scene of the book came to me while I was working at a data entry job in the late 1990's.  The scene is found in the chapter, "Bitter Spaces", of the first part of the book.  From there I built up the rest of the book over the years (stories have a long gestation period in mind...). 
I was also influenced by Glen Cook's "Black Company" series and by Darryl Schweitzer's "Mask of the Sorcerer".
I take a lot of inspiration from art, classical and instrumental music and other books that I read.  The challenge, of course, is not to blatantly copy things that I have read in the past.

How did you come up with the title?The Blackstone portion of the title will appear on all of the books in the series to maintain series consistency. 
"Drawing the Circle" has a number of meanings.  First, the series has references to alchemical philosophy and practices.  In certain magical practices (both real and imagined), a spell starts with the drawing of a circle.  Here this relates to the core members of the series being drawn together and forging their bonds with each other.  In essence, they form the circle that the book title refers to.

Who designed the cover?Lin Bo, an artist in Shanghai, China.  I came across his work at Deviant Art.
0bo.deviantart.com

Do you have to travel a lot for your books?Sadly, no, but I do a lot of research online of the geographical/cultural areas that the books relate to.  The first half of the second book will take place in an area that resembles Poland/the Baltic; the second part of book two will take place in an area that resembles the Caucasus and the Russian republic of Dagistan.
I hope to travel to China in the future so that I can learn about the setting of some of my other, future books and stories.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?1987 (Pieces of Power, not published)
I was 16 at the time (and using an old typewriter, it was in the days before personal computers)

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters?Probably non-American actors, heh. 

Blackstone: Uhm, Gerard Butler maybe?
Hiroe: I would have said Booboo Stewart a few years ago, but he's getting too old now...
Loralune: No idea, Nicole Kidman when she was younger.
No idea for Spiral, though I would want someone who was an actual dancer with a lot of presence and strong will!

For the character of Musty, who is introduced in the second book: Brendan Gleeson or Kelsey Grammer

Do you plan on writing sequels?Yes, there should be a total of approximately 5 books in the Blackstone series, then another trilogy that takes place in the same world with the series name of "Love's Dread Wage".
I have written the second book in the series and currently doing a rewrite/edit. The title of the second book will be Blackstone: Butcher's Winter.

How long did it take you to complete Blackstone: Drawing the Circle?Well, I first conceived it in about 1999/2000 and finished the draft in early 2010.  I finally got it prepped and printed on Amazon.com in July, 2011.  So a pretty long time!  The second book, though requiring more research, was quicker to write and done at the end of 2010.  I just have to edit and do some reworking of it.  I expect future books to come about quicker as I go through the scenes in my head more quickly (doing data entry leaves a lot of time for daydreaming).
I experienced a writing block that lasted for something like 10 years wherein I did little, if any, writing.

What is your favorite book?Dune by Frank Herbert

About Jason Beineke:Born and raised in Northeast Nebraska.  I was a bookworm from a very young age, having a particular love for Richard Scarry, then Lloyd Alexander and later Frank Herbert.  My mother was a school teacher specializing in art, my father a cross-country truck driver before taking a position working at a farming cooperative.  I did a lot of reading when traveling with my father, devouring many Star Trek novels and other science-fiction and fantasy novels.
I graduated from high school in 1989, went to college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and was expelled for bad grades in 1992.  I worked a lot of dead end jobs and finally managed to get back into school, changing my major from English to International Business Admin/Economics.  I graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Admin.  Unfortunately, the economy tanked in 2008 and I have been struggling to find a good career since then.  That has prompted my return to writing.
I currently live in Omaha, NE and will be training to be an insurance salesman in the near future.  There are still dozens of other business ventures that I hope to do someday, but I will need the money first.
I live with two cats, Mischa and Suuki, who are just as bothersome as real children @_@
I will be trying my hand at a modern day zombie novel after I complete the third book of Blackstone.  It will be entitled "Spread the Word" and will deal with the concept of the philosophical zombie (or "p-zombie") as opposed to the typical flesh eaters that are found all over the place these days.
One of my favorite cities is Toronto, Ontario, which I have visited a few times and which I am enchanted with! I hope to return to graduate school to obtain an MBA and/or doctorate...someday

His Website:http://jasonbeineke.wordpress.com/

Social Media sites:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Beineke/136625806414033
http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5976738-jason-beineke?ref=header
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12385277-blackstone
Twitter: @JasonBeineke
Google+: https://plus.google.com/108898926867111405384

Links to where his book is available:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005BCPEHG
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/85530

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