Archive for the ‘#IAGRT’ Tag

Jason Breen   7 comments

We usually interview our good guys and gals when we do character interviews. How about we do an interview with our favorite bad guy?


1. Link your blog to this hop.

2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.

3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.

4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.

5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz code –><div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”2588a950e99846ee826085d02560c2e6″ style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”><div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p><a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div><span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20rel=</span><!– end InLinkz code –>[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”2588a950e99846ee826085d02560c2e6″]

A Hard Prompt

I don’t really write a lot of bad-guy characters. In Transformation Project, the Big Bad is a world gone crazy in the grips of ongoing terrorist attacks and my town doesn’t know who might be the perpetrators (that’ll come later in the series). I figure my characters’ various reactions to society going off the rails is conflict enough and so I don’t really need a particular bad guy. But I do have characters who act in awful ways because … well, let’s ask Jason Breen why he is the way he is. Here’s an interview Click Michaels did with Jason. For his own safety, Click probably shouldn’t run this on his radio broadcasts.

The whole book series is premised on the idea that a small town in the Midwest must cope alone when terrorists attack major cities, shattering the communications and supply grid. It’s now January in Emmaus and things are looking bleak for the citizens of the town.

Jason Breen is Marnie Callahan Delaney’s father which makes him a shirt-tail relative of the Delaney family who are the main focus of the series.

The Interview

CLICK: Jason, thank you for talking with me today. As the town’s unofficial news source, I’m trying to get to know the residents and I’m curious about you. Tell me something about yourself.

JASON: Well, thanks for talking with me. My bark is bigger than my bite, I tell you. Let’s see — I own Liberty Trucking. I’m the father of two — used to be three. My company keeps the town supplied when we can find anything out in the world worth bringing home.

CLICK: That fascinates me. You’re a marauder?

JASON (Laughing): I prefer “provider.” I can get things the town can’t and it gives the town plausible deniability. They can throw us under the bus if someone comes to complain.

CLICK (chuckling): C’mon, man. You’re a highwayman.”

JASON: Sometimes. (shrugs) I prefer to engage in voluntary exchange if possible or to take what nobody seems to be claiming. That’s getting harder though. The last time we were out, we found a lot of other marauders. It’s not a safe world anymore. But Emmaus would become a lot more unsafe for my family if the townspeople couldn’t get what I can provide. Do you know how scarce antibiotics are now that China’s no longer sending them and pharmacists are no longer selling them?

CLICK: I like antibiotics. How did you get into that business?

JASON – Yeah — I was a mechanic for Frelander’s Garage. Had just had my son. Well, my ol’ lady had just had my son. I dropped a car off at this guy’s house. He didn’t answer the door, so I left the bill and the keys in the screen and headed home–or — well, I was young. I was probably headed to the bar — which I was legal by then. Anyway, I woke up at the crack of dawn to cops handcuffing me at gunpoint.


JASON: The guy was dead. Someone beat the crap out of him. It must have been around the time that I dropped the car off.

CLICK: Was that the only reason they suspected you?

JASON: I didn’t know I knew him–we’d met at the bar a few weeks before and he got a little rowdy with one of the bartenders, so I kicked his butt. I guess something I said sounded like a threat. But I was over it as soon as he left the parking lot. I didn’t even really remember him by the time he died. But, there were people in town who liked me for it. They put me in county jail, wouldn’t let me have bail, basically found me guilty without the jury even deliberating. I went to Levenworth. But Jacob Delaney — you knew Jacob, right?”

CLICK: Of course.

JASON: He and Carl Sullivan — you knew him too?


JASON: They believed I was innocent, so they paid for a lawyer for an appeal and DNA evidence showed it wasn’t me. It took almost three years to get out though. And when I got out, nobody would hire me. Even though I’d been exonerated, I couldn’t find a job. My ol’ lady didn’t want to pull stakes — she’s got family here — but I was pretty sure I needed to leave the state or move to Kansas City or Denver to find a life again. That’s when Jacob stepped forward and gave me a lifetime lease of $1 a year or 1% of the profits on the land here by the airfield and he staked me a loan for my first truck.

CLICK: That sounds like a legit business. How’d you end up smuggling?

JASON: It wasn’t like that. When I was trying to find work, I started delivering cannabis to some of the towns and then once I had my truck, some folks asked if I’d haul booze. Do you know Kansas still has dry counties?

CLICK: No. That’s fascinating.

JASON: Of course, I guess it doesn’t matter now. There’s no real law but what we make now, right?

CLICK: I think Rob Delaney and your son-in-law might disagree.

JASON: You mean, they might pretend to disagree, but they’ll still not ask any questions when I show up with something they need.

CLICK: Tough times do change the view of the law, yeah.

JASON: Anyway, it was never a mainstay. Mostly we were a cartage company – moving furniture, hauling firewood or lumber, groceries for Huffman’s, materials for half the businesses in town. I was barely doing the booze at all except for a few old-time-sake customers and if my guys were making cannabis deliveries, that was on them – a little gravy for them from my meat-and-potatoes. Besides, it was legal in Colorado.

CLICK: So you have a reputation in town….

JASON: It’s not deserved. (Stares at the ceiling, chuckles) Yeah, maybe it is a little. I don’t much care for all those people who judge me. It’s my life and I wasn’t guilty. Stop looking down your noses at me. So, I guess maybe I’m a little gruff, pushy even.

CLICK: Didn’t you threaten to kill Shane Delaney when he helped to put your son in prison?

JASON: Yup, and he richly deserved the threat, though I’m glad I didn’t go through with it. I’ve never killed anyone and I don’t think I want to.

CLICK: What if the town needed you to help with defense?

JASON: Nah. I’d defend my compound, but the town’s on its own.

CLICK: I’ve heard people say you’re a libertarian.

JASON: Yeah … kind of. I believe in liberty, hence my company name. But obviously I violate the non-aggression principle outside the borders of the town, so I can’t really claim I’m a libertarian. But, here’s the thing — I figure if people don’t value their stuff enough to defend it, I might as well benefit from it. You lean to be practical in prison. Ain’t nobody innocent in there, not even the ones that are not guilty of the crime they were incarcerated for.

CLICK: Your son did about five years for conspiracy to commit treason. Was he guilty?

JASON: Of shooting his big mouth off? Sure. What 18-year-old isn’t? Of acting conspiring to overthrow the government? Naw. The militia were just preparing for the collapse when it came. And turned out they were right. Is that treason or just good future-gazing?

CLICK: What about now?

JASON: Josh is doing his own thing and I don’t ask. When they’re adults, you gotta stop asking.

CLICK: Was that your rule with your daughters?

JASON: Marnie’s like her mother. Callahan women are a force of nature. Marie never got to be an adult and I don’t want to discuss her.

CLICK: How do you think the future is going to work out?

JASON: We’ll have a future. Life as we knew it is in transition right now, but the world will go on. That’s why I’m trying to keep my neighbors supplies with food. I don’t want to be living in the middle of nowhere all alone. Can’t get a lot of customers that way.

CLICK: Thanks for talking with me.

JASON: Sure. Just, you know, be respectful about what you run about me and I’ll stay friendly like.

CLICK (laughs nervously): Absolutely. I might not even use this interview.

JASON: That might be a healthy choice.

Posted December 15, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , , ,

Blog Hopping Everything must Change.   Leave a comment

Richard Dee talks about how his writing process changed after he published his first book.

Posted December 23, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in #openbook

Tagged with , , , ,

When Pleasure Becomes Difficult   6 comments

We’ve talked about writer’s block. Have you ever gotten reader’s block?


1. Link your blog to this hop.

2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.

3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.

4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.

5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz code –>

#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”>

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter

<span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20href=</span>

<!– end InLinkz code –>

Defining Terms

Image result for image of reader's block

I’d never heard of “reader’s block” before the question was asked, so, definitions are in order:

  • Readers Block is a phenomenon where a person cannot proceed with a book. They are frequently distracted from the book or after flipping a page realize that they have been reading individual words mechanically without processing and understanding the meaning of the text in their mind. It has been named in sync with Writer’s Block, where a writer suddenly loses interest in writing.
  • Reader’s Block
  • This can happen because:
  • a) You have no interest in the book.
  • b) The book is itself bad and not written to generate interest.
  • c) You are too tired and exhausted to read pretty much anything.

What is Common To Humankind

The answer is – yes. Pretty much everything other human beings have suffered, I have suffered also. I’ve said I don’t believe in writer’s block, but that’s because I’ve never allowed myself to be mugged by it. That doesn’t mean I’ve never experienced the processes behind it, but that I’ve taken control of them and used them to my advantage.

Reader’s block, however ….

I don’t know when I first experienced it, but I do know when I became aware of it for the first time.

In high school, a friend gave me a copy of The Hobbit. For a fantasy and science fiction geek reader, it was right up my alley and I eagerly sat down to read it. I read the first page. I set it down. I didn’t pick it up again until college when someone was raving about The Hobbit and I felt like I couldn’t claim to be a fantasy geek if I didn’t read it. I picked it up and I read maybe a page and a half. I set it down. I didn’t pick it up again until my daughter was a new reader and she begged me to read the story to her.

I read 10 pages to her that night and then she had to go to bed and I finished the book before morning, then read it aloud to her over several nights following.

The Hobbit starts with an info-dump and I struggled to get past it to the meat the story. It kept boring me and that boredom “blocked” me from the story. I didn’t have a teacher (how I got through the info-dump that starts The Tale of Two Cities) or my dad (who expected me to read all the classics) pushing me to keep reading and so, I didn’t — until a seven-year-old pushed me to do it and then I got past the hard part and found a lovely story.

Too Rich for My Blood

But I’ve also blocked on Conceived in Liberty by Murray Rothbard because it just is so historically dense. It’s hard to read big chunks of it because it’s so rich. Reading is an intellectual exercise, and not always an easy one. I’ve never encountered a book that demanded more than my intellect could handle, but I’ve definitely been humbled by an occasional struggle with how smart a writer might be. I am still reading Conceived. It’s just that I’ve learned to take it in small bites.

Life Happens While You’re Reading a Book

When my son was a baby and my daughter was an elementary schooler, time for reading became the constraint. Yeah, there were the frequent “Mommy, will you read this book for me?” moments, but the times to sit down and read a book for pleasure just wasn’t happening. There was about five years there when reading for pleasure was a forlorn hope and writing was squeezed into minutes between life events. I totally don’t regret not having much time to read during those years.

Try a New Genre

Sometimes there’s no explanation but that you’re tired of reading. Frankly, I’d been in a reading slump for a while this summer. I had several books to read and I wasn’t reading any of them. I felt badly about not cracking the spine on Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer after I’d longed to read it for over a year. Then a friend suggested something totally outside of my usual interest – a romance. I do occasionally enjoy mysteries or thrillers that have romantic elements, but pure romance where the focus is man meets woman and they fall in love, usually after disliking each other for a while — naw, not my style. I am a skeptic of Happily Ever After, especially for people who have nothing in common but sexual desire. But my friend suggested I read Ghosted because it involves a second-chance romance between a recovering alcoholic and his baby mama who is deeply angry at him. I could feel myself yawning even as I opened the Kindle file, but I truly enjoyed the story — probably because it was more true-to-life than most romances — and that got me back reading other books (almost entirely non-romances — still haven’t changed my opinion on the genre). I realized something from my foray into this genre. Several of the reviews for Ghosted mentioned it was long. For me 450 pages is nothing. I’m a fat fantasy reader. I guess that’s pretty long for a romance (which might be why I keep thinking “nobody falls in love that quickly”). But — wait, maybe that was why I was in a reading slump. Fat fantasies are a commitment. You start it and it will consumer your evenings for a while – days, sometimes weeks. And maybe that’s why I couldn’t start it. I felt overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. After I finished Ghosted, I still wasn’t ready to read Oathbringer.

Revisit an Old Favorite

Rereading an old favorite is one of the best ways to cure the book blahs. When you revisit an old favorite, you remember why you love to read, how a fictional character could resonate so deeply with you, what ingenious word-play exists in the world, and what diabolical drama a writer is capable of concocting. You can reignite your love of reading. After Ghosted got me reading again, I went through several old favorites that have been sitting on my shelves for years and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I then cracked open Oathbringer and finished it in about 10 days.


The downside of igniting your love of reading when you’re a writer is that you may be inspired to write your next novel. Or is that an upside? Hmmm?

Feast for the Intellect   2 comments

April 9, 2018 – Recommend books to your readers in your genre(s).

1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.


Custom Blog:

An InLinkz Link-up

get the InLinkz code

Of course, if you’re looking for books to read in my genres, you should check out my books or some of the fine authors over at Breakwater Harbor Books.

I am published in fantasy, apocalyptic and political satire, but I’ve also published short stories in alternative historical fiction.

In fantasy, I am a huge fan of Katharine Kerr’s Deverry series. Stephen Lawhead’s Pendragon Cycle, King Raven Trilogy, and Celtic Crusades, Kate Elliott’s Crown of Stars series and Crossroads series, and pretty much all of Brandon Sanderson’s catalogue, but especially the Stormlight Archive, but I also really like my friend Dyane Forde’s Rise of the Papilion series and her most recent book Beserker. There are so many good books to choose from in this genre that it is really hard to narrow them down.

A Threatening Fragility Front CoverIn apocalyptic writing, I find there is less high-quality content. Too many books in this genre tend to fall into the trap of teaching people how to prep for disaster rather than focusing on the humanity of that disaster. That makes for really boring fiction. I admit, I watch this genre more on video because of that. But I really enjoy Willian Forstchen’s John Matherson series, which focuses on a community’s survival following an EMP. Since seeing the movie World War Z, I have started to read the book by Max Brooks and I recommend it more highly than I do the movie, which was well-done. Earth Abides by George R. Stewart in 1949 is a great post-apocalyptic, worthy of the detour, but the seminal novel of the apocalyptic genre is On the Beach by Nevil Shute, which is why I quoted from it in the first book of my Transformation Project series.

As for political satire, I think humor is a very subjective thing, so I’m merely going to recommend my own Hullabaloo on Main Street. As for alternative historical fiction, I’ve got a nice anthology that might interest you. Yes, my story is in Echoes of Liberty, but the book is also a great taste-treat of alternative historical fiction in bite-sized pieces.


Elliot's Blog

Generally Christian Book Reviews

The Libertarian Ideal

Voice, Exit and Post-Libertarianism


Social trends, economics, health and other depressing topics!

My Corner

I write to entertain and inspire.

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

Deep Thoughts from the Shallow End of the Pool

Steven Smith

The website of British steampunk and short story author


a voracious reader. | a book blogger.


adventure, art, nature, travel, photography, wildlife - animals, and funny stuff


The Peaceful Revolution Liberate Main Street


What could possibly go wrong?

Who the Hell Knows?

The name says it all.

%d bloggers like this: