GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Sheep Interview: Benedict Jacka + give away | I Smell Sheep

Paranormal reviews of books, movies, comics with author interviews and giveaways we love urban fantasy, romance, science fiction, horror, fantasy, mysteries

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sheep Interview: Benedict Jacka + give away

check out Benedict's theme music!
Today we have Urban Fantasy author Benedict Jacka visiting. Book two of his Alex Versa series, Cursed, just released in May. He is a pretty interesting guy so grab a moon pie, Kool-Aid and try and keep up <G>. 

Sharon: My partner Danielle has read your books so she will be asking questions that your fans might want to know. I, on the other hand, get to ask the uncomfortably personal ones <G>. But we will start with the basics…for those of us who aren't familiar with your series could you tell us about it and what kind of reader would enjoy your series?

book #2
Benedict: Fated, Cursed, and Taken are the first three books of an urban fantasy series set in London.  Magic is real but most people don't know about it, and the rulers of the magical world are the Light and Dark mages, human beings who can use one particular type of magic like air or life or fire.  The protagonist is Alex Verus, an ex-Dark mage who runs a magic shop in Camden.  He's a diviner, able to see the future, which makes him very good with information but not so good at brute force, which is a problem given his habit of getting into difficulties with other mages, who usually have access to a very large amount of brute force which they're more than happy to use. 

Danielle: Does Sonder know how to use Haste or Stop, or will he learn those sometime in the near future?

Benedict: He doesn't know Haste, but he knows Stasis, which is the equivalent of Stop in this setting (wider area, but doesn't let anything out or in). 

book #1
Danielle: There was the use of the Monkeys Paw in the book, will there be any other types of cursed artifacts (based off of Old Wives Tales/Urban Legend) showing up in future books?

Benedict: Haven't decided.  We've had two very powerful items with very nasty drawbacks, so I might hold off on them for a while to stop them getting played out!

Danielle: How far into the future can Alex see possible outcomes?

Benedict: Depends how predictable/chaotic the situation is.  A few seconds in combat, a few minutes on a street, hours or even days in an empty room.

Danielle: Will there be another appearance of Arachnes lair mate?

Benedict: Maybe!

Danielle: Let’s say by chance “The Urban Legend from Chicago” did happen to show up in London, do you think Alex would be extremely cautious being around him, or would Alex avoid him at all costs?

Benedict: Alex wouldn't go to any particular effort to avoid him, at least not to begin with – he already deals with spellcasters who are massively more powerful than him on a regular basis, and as far as they go Dresden's one of the more decent ones.  Dresden's habit of attracting people trying to kill him literally everywhere he goes might be a bit of a problem, though. 

Danielle: Will we ever find out why Rachel changed her name?

Benedict: Yep, it's in the book I'm writing now, number #4.

Sharon: BWAHAHA! My turn…
Sharon: If I gave you a moon pie would you take your shirt off for the rest of the interview?
*Danielle smacks Sharon*
Ouch! Nevermind…

Sharon: Fess up… the Encyclopaedia on your website is to help you keep track of your world building details?

Benedict: It's more like a way to help me come up with world building details. Once I've written it down in an Encyclopaedia article I usually remember it!

Sharon: Tell us about your Competitive Ballroom Dancing days? What was your favorite dance? Most hideous costume? Got pictures?

Benedict: Favourite dance:  Rumba, though the ones I did best at were Waltz and Quickstep. Most hideous costume:  Only the girls wear flashy costumes.  The guys all dress the same! Pictures:  I've got one with me and my old partner posing on the dance floor in our ballroom outfits – dress shirt, bow tie and waistcoat for me, long flowing sequined red dress for her.  But you can't see it, because I look ridiculous. 
Sharon: pretty please, with moon pies on top? I promise only me; Danielle and about 1000 of our closest friends will see it, and maybe a few more…

Benedict: Well, you could try this:
Sharon: what is it with British men and Rick Astley? 

Sharon: If you could have theme music/song play whenever you entered a room what would it be? And would you dance during your entrance?

Benedict: I could do one of my old street jazz routines.  They all tended to be to cheesy pop or rock though, and nowadays I think I'd be embarrassed to have them as my theme songs.
Sharon: what would you pick today? The theme music to 2000 Space Odyssey would be awesome…

Benedict: Heh, probably one of the Halo tracks.  Don't think they'd work too well for dancing, though.

Sharon:  Which fictional character would like to have your back in a zombie apocalypse?

Benedict: One of the high-level characters from my old D&D parties.  They dealt with stuff like zombie apocalypses all the time and they were WAY more practical about it than the characters in zombie movies.  (Their opening move would be to move everyone to a safe distance and then start nuking the zombies at range.)
Sharon: so you are a nerd?! Don’t worry, we like nerds…even have Nerd friends over in the U.K.
Benedict: Tell them to drop by and say hi!

Sharon: How did you handle those rejection letters in the beginning?

Benedict: I collected them in a file.  Still got them all stacked away somewhere.  I used to tell myself that when I was really successful I'd go through them, but in the end I just forgot about them instead.

Sharon: *pulls out mats, ties on my Black Belt* Quick! I round kick to your head…what do you do?!

Benedict: Step in, catch, shove.  Stop doing that. 
Sharon: I couldn’t help myself! I wanted to test your skills! I love sparring, but not Judo…Judo hurts… Does having martial arts training help you write more realistic fight scenes?

Benedict: In a funny way it does – not directly, but when I'm reading a book with fight scenes I can usually tell when the author's never tried it.  I'm out of training these days though!
Sharon: See Danielle, tackling him to the floor would help him get back into training shape…*SMACK* damn….

Rapid Fire
take a deep breath and relax, take off your shirt if you *SMACK* damn…

Sharon: *rubbing head* elbow strike to the nose or knee to the groin?
Benedict: Knees to the groin are easier to aim. 

Danielle: Coffee and donuts or tea and scones?
Benedict: The second. I'm British, doncha know. 
Sharon: have you travelled to the US? Have you tasted a Krispy Kream doughnut?
Benedict: Yes, and yes.  You get them here as well now; they've started assimilating doughnut shops in other continents.
Danielle: I know you are British; I’ll let that slide this time
Sharon: I live in the birth place of the Krispy Kream doughnut…just putting it out there…

Sharon: hot air ballooning or deep sea diving?
Benedict: Can I get to do both?
Sharon: only if you take *SMACK* damn…
Danielle: Sorry but there was a fly about to land on your head
Benedict: Happens a lot to her, doesn't it?

Danielle: Fire magic or air magic?
Benedict: Air.
Danielle: Well I guess we all can’t be like Cinder

Sharon: Coke or Pepsi?
Benedict: Used to be Coke, but I went off it. 
Sharon: I will take that as a WIN for Pepsi!! We kind of have a little friendly competition going on about this…
Danielle: I’ll let that win go, for now<G>

Danielle:  Daniel Craig or Sean Connery? (have to add a James Bond <G>)
Benedict: Daniel Craig, he reminds me more of the books.

Sharon: stilettos or sneakers?
Benedict: For you or for me?
Sharon: O_o this interview just got a lot more interesting <G>
Danielle: OK that’s my cue to leave the interview

Danielle  Dragons or Griffins?
Benedict: Dragons are too high-maintenance.
Danielle: not all dragons are high-maintenance, I mean look at Puff
Sharon: yeah, he just wanted to frolic in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee

Sharon: girls gone wild or girl next door?
Benedict: Girl next door.

Danielle:  Dr. Who or Sherlock Holmes?
Benedict: Holmes. 

Sharon: boxers or briefs? *Danielle smacks Sharon* Ouch!
Benedict: Boxers.

Danielle:  Star Wars or Star Trek?
Benedict: Use the Force, Luke!

Sharon: is there anything else you would like to let our readers to know? Future appearances, links, book releases, credit card numbers…
Benedict: The next Alex Verus book, Taken, is out in September!  After that I'm hoping to take a trip to the US (and visit a few conventions) but that'll depend on me being organised enough to sort it all out.  Thanks for having me, your questions are the fun kind to answer.  :)

Sharon: We will be sure to check your website for those dates! If you are lucky you might meet one of the flock at a convention.
Danielle: thanks for taking the time to have this interview with us, can’t wait for the 3rd book.

Penguin Publishing is offering a copy of Cursed to a US winner. 
To enter:
1. leave your contact info
2. What dance would you love to learn?
*double entry for followers!


  1. Very fun interview. I'd like to learn how to salsa.

    I follow the blog.

    Thanks for the giveaway.


  2. Great interview. I would love to learn ballroom dancing. Follower
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  3. Fun interview. These books sound interesting, thanks for the give away. I would just like to learn how to dance period. I am the most uncoordinated person alive. :D I'm a follower too.
    jacksnitemare at gmail dot com.

  4. hmm.. 2 of my friends are taking course of ballroom dance.. maybe i need to get them to teach me some moves. i like the energetic ones, like rhumba, salsa and tango. but i also think waltz cool.

    just skip me for the contest.. i'm international *eyeing lustily on the prize*

  5. Loved the interview! (And I'd be voting for the tea and scones!) Already picked up my copy of Fated, looking forward to the read. Dance - I'd love to learn how to do ANYthing, but the Latin ones intrigue me the most.

    And yes, I FOLLOW THE SHEEP! dani at daniharper dot com

  6. Lol, not entering, but thanks for the fun interview!

  7. Great interview. Benedict's interviews and posts have been really interesting/amusing through out his new release blog tour. As for dancing...I'd love to learn any kind. I'm not dancer. I'm more of a sit-back-and-watch type.

    GFC follower: Molly Frenzel
    molly dot frenzel at gmail dot com

  8. Thanks for an awesome interview and giveaway! I've been unintentionally following Benedict's blog tour and all his interviews are a blast. I'm very excited cuz I just got Fated and I can't wait to start reading!

    I would love to learn to do salsa and feel confident doing it. But, alas, I'm so uncoordinated that I dare not try it :)

    gfc: erin

  9. Cool interview and I would love to tango. :-) I put this author and his books on my wish list to read at Amazon. They sound like my cup of tea.

    I follow the blog.

    Thanks for having him here.

  10. Loved the interview. I'd love to learn to dance the waltz correctly, and twirl around the room like you see in historical romance movies.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC follower: Barbara E.

  11. I would love to learn the Tango, but I have a hard time walking forwards so dancing backward is just out ;O) mawmom (at)

  12. I follow the blog as well :OD

  13. I'd like to take a refresher course in the Cha Cha... I actually entered a couple of our youth group dance contests back in the 60's. LOL

    I'm a GFC follower NoraA


  14. I'd love to learn to salsa. I'd also like my husband to wake up tomorrow and magically discover he's found some rhythm.
    I'm a gfc follower.


  15. I would love to learn the waltz.

  16. I want to learn some swing baby!!!! Yay! FUN interview ladies. :)

  17. Thank you so much for the fun interview and sharing, as usual I was able to learn something new about an author and their work while smiling as I read. Sharon sweetie I have a bag of frozen peas for your head ;-) I have always been somewhat of a freestyle dancer and while I think ballroom dancing is incredibly beautiful when done well, I would be grateful to be truly proficient at the funky chicken :D Thank you so much for this awesome giveaway, I think this series sounds like a real treat to read.
    GFC Denise Zaky

  18. Will have to check out these books, and it was a fun interview!!!!

    Katherine Rochholz

    Oh and I would like to learn a bit more salsa dancing, I am pretty good at ballroom or I was anyways... maybe I need some more tango lessons ;)

  19. I would like to learn the tango. I follow on GFC
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  20. I'd love to learn to Shag
    GFC- Lisa Richards

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  21. With the right partners, I'd be willing to learn any dance.

    GFC Anne38

  22. I loved the interview;it was refreshing and not stuffy like I thought the interview would be. Thank You.

    Looking forward to the US tour and also the New book Taken.

    As for what kind of dance I would like to learn, it would be either the Fox Trot or the Rumba. My dad was a dance instructor in his earlier days. He is gone and I never had the chance to learn those from him.

    Thank you again for writing these wonderful and addictive books.
    Margery V.

  23. tango for sure!GFC Gale Nelson

  24. I would love to learn salsa

    GFC follower - vidisha singh

  25. this contest is closed! The winner is Bethany C. Congrats! I have sent you an email :) you have 48 hours to reply.