RR: The “The Templar Paradox” sounds catchy, what was the inspiration for this series?”
JC: The Templar Paradox started out being a one off but I soon realised there was no way I could keep to just one book after I’d written a few chapters, so The Jake Sheridan Mysteries was born. The Templar Paradox itself was based on the premise of me having lived and travelled extensively in France over the last twenty-two years. Despite travelling often to where the story is based, I and to be honest the locals, had no idea this Templar fortress was built on top of a huge limestone horse deliberately cut into the stone. The stone that was cut was used to build the fort and support buildings. The shape of the horse matches exactly the one the templars used in their seal. It took Google Earth to reveal it in all its enormity, a mile long, and as is traditional, situated inside the famous hexagram shapes pinpointed by various sites at much greater distances.
The question became why? Why do this? Why build it here, and what for? And how did they know to cut the horse so precisely over such a huge site? Just as importantly who knows now (in reality nobody knew about it), and what mystery can be weaved around it? As it happens one of the nearby villages really did suffer a Nazi attack and they did hang the local partisans, so what with that, the horse, and a host of very amusing characters, it became huge fun to weave a story around it all.
It was easy to run that into HONOURS AMONGST THIEVES, Book 2 as that is where it all carries on and swings Jake in a new direction. It’s a better book in my opinion, and now Jake has had his fling with a bit of glamour and politics he needs something to bring him back down to earth, and Book 3 BLOOD RED MOON will do that.
RR: What helped to shape the character of Jake Sheridan?
JC: Me trying to get some of my life experiences down on paper and using them to make something interesting plot wise. I needed him to be more intelligent, clever, maybe not even always nice. I wanted to make him someone who realised he’d only just realised who he really was, what he really wanted and how easily we can be so complaisant and complacent with people we think love us. Some of that si from my experience., but much from the experience of others. I wanted though to be sure that what he was didn’t have to be the be all and end all of the story. It was a fact and he deals with it like he tries to deal with all facts. Except like it or not he’s over emotionally driven, though he’d kill you for saying so!
He’s in the second part of his life, and he realises this only gradually. In the end he sees his own strengths and weaknesses, but there is one thing he won’t do and we’ve not yet tested him on that. That will be Book Four.
RR: Who are some of you favorite authors?
JC: Robert K Massie whose ability to bring history to life is exceptional. John Fowles “The Magus” is a favourite, depth and duplicity on a scale that still needs to be made into a BBC TV series in my opinion! James Anderson’s “Affairs of” series are terribly amusing. Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley series is also brilliant and daring for its time. George RR Martin or the whole Game of Thrones universe. He may wander off the point and the plot a fair bit in the books but such an entertaining and engrossing read.
RR: How long have you been writing?
JC: Since I was a boy. My parents were told that “his imagination runs away with him” when I was six”. I love writing but now I can write how and when I like and thats a wonderful thing, and I know it, I’m very lucky.
RR: What is your favorite part about the process? The least?
JC: Writing the book is huge fun, actually finishing it as I imagined at the start, that’s even better. The worst part is the formatting for e-publishing though I’ve got that sorted now!
RR: How many books are in the series?
JC: As many as it can handle and I think it can stand. I have a short story in the works as Book 3 tentatively entitled Blood Red Moon, entirely local to Jake then we go off on the big story for Book 4.
RR: How have you felt about the feedback and the reviews that you have received so far?
JC: I worked in Press PR and Marketing so I don’t mind what the reviews say, I don’t get emotional about them. One day someone will write something horrible I am sure, when they do you put it down to experience and get on with it. For the most part reviews have been very positive, I have a few core people who write me all the time wanting some tidbit of a plot giveaway and that’s very flattering, but they’ll never get anything! It has to be a surprise.
You can find out more about the author: http://www.jonchamps.com/