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Creation of Crime: An Interview with JB Blake, author of The Killer Half

Blake 1

JB Blake—student of military history, behavioral science, servant leadership, critical thinking, innovation, and economics. Successful entrepreneur and intrapreneur, corporate executive, and university professor. Every career path has led to interactions with fascinating characters whose traits could be woven into this story. They are like the ingredients that make an amazing recipe! See you on the other side.

You can buy The Killer Half here.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

The title was easy to determine. The soldier, Hawk, had PTSD and was convinced he was nothing but a killer. Then he met a young woman that turned his heart toward love. He began to feel as if he was two people: one the killer half and the other one who could love. He wasn’t certain as to which one he would ultimately become.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

The cover art perfectly captured the title and theme of the book—a soldier in combat in darkness while a beautiful young woman was trying to bring him to love with blue skies overhead.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I was influenced by a magazine article about a terrible crime. I wondered if I would have stopped the crime if I had been there when it was happening. I determined that I could not have stopped it. Then I wondered who would have stopped it. That’s when the soldier, Hawk, was born. I spent three years dreaming about the story every night. When I felt that a large part of the story was told in my dreams, I wrote it down. It was like taking dictation from my mind because that’s where the story, the characters, and the dialogue were all stored.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I’ve been an entrepreneur in two successful ventures. I’ve been a corporate executive that started two intrapreneurial ventures that were wildly successful. Finally, I’ve been a university dean and faculty member. I’ve taught approximately 2,000 students in a variety of disciplines.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

Seeing the creation come to life.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

I originally wrote the book with rock-and-roll titles, and some of the verses. Then I discovered that it would be impossible to get permission to use all the titles and verses (for subtitles) in the book so I took them all out. For the big knife fight, I would have used the theme song from the TV series Vikings: the song is titled If I Had a Heart. And the final scene of the book would be accompanied by the song Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

I hope they are entertained and feel like it is a great story.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I’m working on a second novel with a similar theme.

How was working with Atmosphere Press? What would you tell other writers who want to publish?

Everyone at Atmosphere is very knowledgeable and professional. They were a great help in getting the book published in a way that was pleasing to me.

You can buy The Killer Half here.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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