I’m just going to go all out fan girl about Benedict Jacka! Fated is a breath of fresh air for urban fantasy and in just one book he rates right up there with Jim Butcher and Mike Carey as my favourites. When I started reading it, I got that frisson of excitement of reading something unique and very special. The character of Alex Verus was brilliant and inspired and the setting was as intriguing at the character. If you love good urban fantasy and I’m talking the gritty and intense non-paranormal romance kind then you HAVE to check this book out. I will never speak to you again if you don’t! Read my review and make up your own mind obviously (as long as you end up reading it 😉 ) I can’t wait for the next book!
Enough of my wittering, on with the Irreverence!
What would you be or want to be (or still are), if you weren’t an author?
Lawyer, probably. Still might end up becoming one!
Do you have any rituals or processes before you can start writing?
Staring out the window. Usually the more trouble I’m having with writing something the more time I spend watching the view instead. I know that things are going well when I don’t look up.
Describe your working environment right now (desk, sofa, bathroom, etc.)
On my bed with my laptop. I have a desk but I never sit at it.
How did you celebrate when your first book was published?
You know, I honestly can’t remember. I’m pretty sure I had a party but I’m not sure what the details were. I guess that means it was a good one?
Whose opinion matters most to you?
Mine. I get convinced to change it fairly often, though.
Do you get fully dressed to write?
I wear whatever I’ve got on at the time (which is often whatever I’m wearing to bed).
What gets you in the mood or inspires you to write?
Not writing! Whenever I go long enough without writing something I get motivated to do something new. Then after I’ve finished writing something I get sick of it and go off to do something that isn’t writing.
Who would play you in the film adaptation of your life?
I’m absolutely sure no-one’s ever going to make a film adaptation of my life. If they did, I’d be played by some actor I’d never heard of who looks younger and more glamorous than I do. The portrayal would have nothing at all in common with my life but that’s how the business works.
What is the weirdest comment you’ve had?
I still get the odd message asking if the setting from my previous books (the Ninja series) is real. Sometimes they won’t believe me when I say no. It’s my own fault, really.
What is the best experience you’ve had with fans?
Hard to pick just one! I love getting feedback on my books and I read every email and comment I get (and answer if I have the time). I remember one lovely letter I got from a pair of children who’d written it and sent it off to my agents, where it eventually found its way to me. Knowing that someone liked my work that much always gives me a little lift for the rest of the day.
What do you value most?
“. . . courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful until it became risky . . .”
How do you deal with negative comments?
Read them with interest. I always like getting honest feedback, positive or negative, but it’s annoyingly rare to get really good negative feedback. When people love a book they show the best of themselves, but when they hate it they hardly ever give you the real reason.
It’s movie night, the credits are just about to roll, Happy Ever After, Everyone Dies, Or…?
Happily Ever After unless I really hate the characters. I can think of a few movies where I’m rooting for the bad guys to kill the cast, but if I hate the cast that much it’s probably because they’re the writer’s pets and so completely immortal. Very unfair.
What do you do to relax?
Gaming! I don’t play computer games so often anymore but I still love tabletop RPGs.
Do you have pets, and if so, describe them?
A very affectionate and attention-seeking Golden Retriever, who true to her name will retrieve anything left within three feet of the floor. If you’re lucky you can get it back before “retrieve” turns to “shred”.
What are your preferred conditions for writing, i.e. silence, background noise, TV?
A little background noise, but not too much. Looking out the window onto a city street’s my favourite.
What is your favourite type of music?
Whatever I’ve got on my computer! My music collection’s so weird and has stuff from so many genres I’ve given up trying to put a label on it.
Do you have any phobias?
Wasps. Hate the little pests.
Do you find the time of year makes it easier or harder to write, are you inspired by spring or delayed by the summer heat for instance?
This is England – we don’t get summer heat, just summer-mild-warmness! Really hot or really cold weather does slow me down but I usually just end up writing at a different time. Deadlines don’t care about the season, after all . . .
Slippers, socks or barefoot?
As little as I can get away with! Barefoot in the summer, slippers in the cooler seasons, and I only wear socks if I gets cold enough to need them.
Huge thanks to Benedict Jacka for taking the time to answer our questions, and if you want to know more about the author, visit his Website, Twitter or Goodreads!
Irreverent Questions is BookThing‘s fun, feature where we ask a series of random questions that popped into Grete’s curious head. If you are an author and would like to take part, please get in touch!