Interview with Jake dh

Published 2014-08-31.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I wrote a story in 6th grade about two kids who go into a haunted house. They encounter a demonic television that spits out horror icons like Freddy Krueger, Dracula and Chucky that attack the kids. They end up escaping at the end. This was for a contest, which I won a prize for, oddly enough.
What is your writing process?
As far as fiction goes, I load up on caffeine. I'll drink an Amp or coffee before I start. I'll then put on some music, usually alt. rock or metal. Sometimes I'll come with a music list that reflects the type of scene I'm writing, sad, angry, action packed. This happens late at night or early in the morning due to my current third shift schedule. My wife and son are asleep, so it eliminates distraction. I don't like referring to them in that way, but you know.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read when I can. Since I've started writing, I actually have a lot less time for reading. If I make enough off of the books to quit my job-job, I'll start reading a lot. Even though I'm part of the indy author scene, so to speak, I really haven't read as many indy titles as I'd like to.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Tennyson and Boonville, Indiana. These are two towns that are close to Evansville, Indiana, which is where I live now. Dilbane, the small town in Prototypes, is a combination of Tennyson and Boonville. Tennyson had the small grocery store and everyone knows each other atmosphere while Boonville has a high school/middle school and town square. Boonville also has a mayor, where Tennyson doesn't. I'd like to put out there that Mayor Vyle isn't based off any of the Mayors of Boonville, but off of my marching band director in High School/Jr. High (they share the same last name).

There are a lot of negative aspects of these places that end up in the book. There are good things about them that come through here and there, but I had a pretty hard childhood at times. There are also several aspects to the plot that are made up whole cloth, so don't think that either of these places are awful to live in. They aren't, but that's sort of the point. Almost anywhere can be hard to live in, given the right circumstances.
When did you first start writing?
I started to write seriously in high school. I put a lot of that on hold in college. I wrote a lot of the scripts and storylines during my Digital Entertainment and Game Design Degree. Unfortunately the program I graduated from was sub-par (as in a 0% placement rate and was shut down), so game design wasn't in the cards for me. I've come back to writing and hope to make this my new profession and life.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I've been writing and refining the story of The BulletProof Ghost for years. It was the first fully defined mythology I created. I realized in college that the high school version of me had a cool concept, but the execution was drawn out and clunky. I started to rewrite it, but quit because of my studies and related projects. When I came back to it, I decided to turn BPG into a comic book series. This came with steep financial costs that I couldn't cover at the time. I discovered Kickstarter and attempted to fund the first issue. I only received a fourth of the funds needed. I was laid off from my job right after the failed Kickstarter. After getting my current job, I tried another Kickstarter, which didn't reach the funding goal either.

I decided to come back to creating a BPG novel series. It cost less and was easier to control the outcome. I started writing in December of 2013 and finished in March. My wife, Sarah, volunteered to edit the book, but due to us having our first baby, the editing process took a long time.

As far as inspiration goes, I was bullied a lot as a kid. I had only a couple of friends during Jr. High and the beginning of high school. The BulletProof Ghost (or Vengeance as it was originally called) was a way I could vent. This started in my freshman year and continued all through school. Things got better for me about half way through my Junior year, but I still kept writing. I hope that this story (as well as the next entries in the series) help people who have been bullied or currently are. I think even people without those experiences will find the story interesting and become invested in the characters.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
At first it was either financial or professional (or lack there of) reasons. Now, I'm proud of the first book and I really want to get it out there for people to enjoy. I believe in this series and I hope I can convince others to give it a shot. It is hard getting someone to read outside of their comfort zone. I'm asking them to commit hours of their time to read something that came out of my head. Even though that makes me really nervous, I figure I only have one life, so what the hell. I have a story to tell.
What are you working on next?
I'm currently writing the second book in BPG series, The BulletProof Ghost: In Spades. The Spades are mentioned at the end of the first book, but this book you'll see how they connect up to the book structure in Dilbane. The FBI is brought in to investigate the events at the end of the first book, so several worlds collide, which I think will lead to a crazy climax. Kyle will have to figure out his place in the world, which he didn't get to do in the first book. I'm really trying to keep spoilers of the first book to a minimum.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I game a lot. I've been playing my 3DS and Wii U a lot lately, mostly Xenoblade Chronicles, Mario Kart 8 and Link Between Worlds. I have a backlog of Xbox 360 games I need to get to eventually as well. I watch movies, mostly sci fi, horror and super hero movies with a couple of different genres here and there. I'm a pretty big nerd, so my interests align with that spectrum of subjects.

I've been delving into trying to promote BPG, but I'm not very experienced with marketing. I'm trying to figure what works best for my limited resources.

I play with my infant son during the day. I try to go out with my wife when I can, but I have a horrible schedule, so date nights suffer as a result of that.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I'm still trying to get my marketing legs. I'll let you know the answer to that one when I know.
Who are your characters based off of?
Kyle Richard (The BulletProof Ghost) is me as a kid. He is who I wish I could be again. His inner rage is something I've dealt with all of my life. I'm not sure if it's genetic or the result of my experiences, but I have to keep my temper in check a lot more than most people. Kyle always tries to do the right thing, at least when the rubber hits the road.

Al is the friend I wished I had as a kid. He defends Kyle when he can. I never had that, no one took up for me.

Irene is based off of a few women in my life. Sarah is in there, but I wrote Irene before Sarah and I were together, so it's not all her. If you need to talk about something, but won't, Sarah will make you, for your own good of course. That's part of Irene.
There is a bit of my old friend Jenny in there I'm sure. At least towards the end of high school when became friends again. When Irene is trying to get Kyle to tell her what was wrong with him, that happened my senior year of high school, but it didn't have anything to do with bullies. Jenny helped me out with a problem with a girl that was stringing me along. She really cared about me, which was rare back then. I don't think I made that connection until just now. I guess you never know where you get inspiration from.
Irene's kindness seems to emulate a woman I knew when I was 19. Crystal was a really good person who I treated badly. I didn't think I was at the time, but I was stupid. She still was my friend after the fact, which once again, is a testament to how awesome she was.
The name Irene Hedwin is an alteration of a girl's name I knew in elementary school. My first crush. I doubt she'll read the book, but hopefully she doesn't mind. I wrote the first version when I was 14 and very much crushing on her. She knew, I'm sure, but didn't care. I was nothing and no one, at least to most kids.

William is a very exaggerated version of my several authoritative men throughout my life. I think it's best if I don't go into details on that one.

Karen Richard is my mother. She is the good side of Kyle, the angel on his shoulder. She knows the best thing for him to do in tough situations. She makes him a better person.

Four is my logical side. My socially awkward side.

Nick and Josh are based off of two real bullies by the same first name. I'm sure if I do cons or a verbal interview, I'll be asked in detail about the things they did, but for now you'll have to use your imagination.
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Books by This Author

The BulletProof Ghost: In Spades
Price: $3.00 USD. Words: 56,790. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Cyberpunk
The sequel to The BulletProof Ghost: Prototypes, Kyle Richard's hometown has be corrupted by an up and coming crime syndicate, The Spades. Kyle must save the soul of where he grew up, the lives of those he loves and ultimately become, The BulletProof Ghost.
Nightmare People and Other Short Horrors
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 75,970. Language: English. Published: October 29, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
They won't let you die... so they can torture you forever. Five visceral stories crafted by the creator of The BulletProof Ghost.
The BulletProof Ghost: Prototypes
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 40,930. Language: English. Published: August 24, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Cyberpunk
Kyle Richard is constantly picked on by a group of bullies. One day, they took it too far and killed the young boy. Kyle awakens as a cybernetic killing machine created by a mysterious man only known as William. Kyle makes new alliances and reforges connections with old friends as the action packed climax comes to a fever pitch. Will Kyle obey his creator's will or forge his own destiny?