Today we’ve got a great interview with author, J.T. Bock. J.T. is the author of the UltraSecurity Book Series, a series of adventure meets romance meets superheroes meets Aztec gods book. As you can see from my review on this page, I loved A Surefire Way!
I absolutely adored working with J.T. on the candle named for A Surefire Way. I feel like she and I could be besties for sure – She likes Marvel. I like Marvel. She likes Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She has her picture in a Delorean. Well, I don’t have that, but I would if I could! 🙂
Anyway, enough fangirling from me…check out this interview and get to know J.T. yourself!
I was reading about you on line and it sounds like you were a very creative child. I loved hearing about your acting in your Grandma’s basement. I’d love to hear your Origins story and how you ultimately gave up acting to become a writer.
More like I realized that I’m more of a ham than an actor. 😉
As an only child, I relied on my imagination to keep me entertained way before the immersive video games today (I’m totally dating myself). I was a voracious reader and loved stories with a supernatural or adventurous element. When my friends and I would see movies, we would act them out in my play area—the basement. I based my first stories on detective shows. We only had one TV and my grandmother took over most nights and loved her Rockford Files, Remington Steel, Murder She Wrote, and Heart to Heart. For school assignments, I wrote detective stories using my friends, who would beg me to read them aloud because they were excited to see which one of them I had written as the killer. Their enthusiasm encouraged me to keep writing.
As I said, I’m a ham, so I liked the attention. 🙂
I really loved your book! It hit home with a Marvel fan who has an unnatural love of Captain America. Ha! I feel like anyone who enjoys those types of stories will love your books. How did this story come to you and what was your favorite part about writing A Surefire Way?
Thank you! It means a lot that you enjoyed it, especially since you are a Marvel fan. And I totally understand the Captain America love. 🙂
I’ve always enjoyed superhero stories and romance novels. I didn’t read many comics as a kid (although I did read a lot of romance books from the library). Instead I watched the superhero cartoons, movies, and TV shows. When I started dating my husband, who was a collector and huge fan of X-Men, he took me to comic book conventions, and I discovered the complex stories beyond the plots shown in television and movies.
I was watching a Batman animated movie, and my gears started turning. Batman climbed into a warehouse and darted across the ceiling beams to catch Catwoman, who taunted him at ever leap. What if it was a woman chasing a sexy man who was a thief? What kind of powers would she have? What kind of powers might he have? I wrote the first scene that night.
My favorite part was the Aztec ballgame that Surefire and Raven must play to get the next piece of the crystal skull puzzle. The research was fun and fascinating. Some Mesoamerican historians have speculated that women may have played based on female figures wearing the game uniforms found at Aztec sites.
I also enjoyed the Aztec connection – how did this aspect become part of the story?
About ten years ago, when I was in Mexico, I visited these amazing, massive ruins. I’d never seen anything like the long I-shaped field and slanted stone walls with two large stone circles one either side. Our tour guide described the game, Ullamaliztli, played by the Mesamericans on that field. It was similar to modern-day soccer where players on two teams used everything but their hands to score points. The ultimate goal was to get it the ball through the stone circles. I knew I wanted to incorporate that game in a story one day. As I researched the Ullamaliztli, I read about the Aztecs’ rich history and their mythology—and was inspired to weave their gods into my story.
Okay, lets talk about Raven. I must love bad boys because he won me over from the start! What was it like writing him?
I had so much fun getting into his head. I began writing this book about six years ago and based him on Ryan Reynolds (specifically his character from Blade)—way before he donned the red and black Deadpool suit. Reynolds’s guy-next-door charm and sarcastic humor gave me the inspiration for Raven’s character—and I have thing for sarcastic men. 😉
Surefire is our Heroine. She’s a spitfire who doesn’t take any crap from Raven or anyone else. What it is about her that makes her strong in the face of Raven and Aztec gods?
Surefire grew up in a family with a tough-as-nails general as a father and a former Olympian mother. She showed weakness once when she failed to get a spot on the Olympian team and disappointed her parents. So she spent her life trying to prove that she is strong and capable to make up for this past mistake. It takes her journey in A Surefire Way for her to understand she doesn’t need to their approval—or anyone else’s—to validate herself. She needs to believe in herself.
Neither of the main characters were born with their gifts and they sure didn’t ask for them. Some of the “transhumans” do ask for the upgrades – and all are treated differently because of it. You’ve touched on a topic that is a common theme with comic book type stories – people who are seen as different are feared. Do you develop this theme more in the rest of the series?
Surefire and other agents fear being used—whether they are forced to perform for the government on military operations or manipulated by a Big Bad. They worry about society treating them differently so many keep their talents hidden. In the next books, I explore what happens when nefarious others try to exploit our heroes’ powers without their consent.
The next book Dama X is already available, and book #3 will be soon. Can you give us some teasers on what’s coming next for the UltraSecurity team? And will we see more of Raven + Surefire?
Raven and Surefire are back in Dama X and in the third book, TimeTrap, as supporting characters. Our core heroes are developing into a team and they use their powers and resources to take down the super baddies. Dama X is about the journey of UltraAgent Oracle and Pax who figure prominently in A Surefire Way. The Aztec gods are causing trouble again as Oracle and Pax travel to Mexico to solve a gender-bending case involving a transhuman cartel leader holding a weapon of mass destruction on a secret island.
Thanks again for chatting with us! I definitely recommend my followers pick up a copy of the book, A Surefire Way, and the candle of the same name to accompany their reading.
A Surefire Way
is inspired by A Surefire Way by J.T. Bock
The soothing scents of lavender, apples, lilac and soft woods in red.
What I loved about A Surefire Way:
This book is so awesome! You get adventure, romance and superheroes all in one story! I loved it! When you meet the main characters you can tell there’s some chemistry, but it’s their history as independent people that make them lovable to the reader and each other. I can’t wait to read Dama X (book #2 in the series)!- Nalana @ Book Scents