Interview (& Giveaway): Benedict Jacka, author of Fated and Cursed!

I’m so thrilled to have Benedict Jacka on the blog today! Benedict is the author of the Alex Verus series (Fated, Cursed, and the upcoming Taken), and was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. There’s also a giveaway of one copy of Cursed to one lucky winner, so be sure to check the details at the end of the post!

Please welcome Benedict to the blog!

Benedict, you’ve already got the Fated and Cursed (both wonderful)under your belt, and Taken will be out very soon! How did you celebrate when you found out Fated would be published?
Went out for a meal, told my friends, and was very happy . . . for a day or so at least, then I had to get back to work! I was right in the middle of exams at the time, and I was completely focused on studying, so I didn’t get to enjoy it much. I did my celebrating after the exams were over – kind of a two-for-one!

When you started Fated, did you have an idea of how many books you’d like to write in the Alex Verus series, or did you just plan to see where it took you?
I had no idea it was even going to be a series. At the time I wrote Fated I’d just come off a long string of rejections – I’d written four novels over the few years before that, and they’d all been turned down one after the other. Fated was the fifth, and I was giving serious thought to just packing it in. If Fated hadn’t sold, I’m not sure if I’d have written anything more for a very long time.

What are some of your favorite books or authors?
Watership Down and Lord of the Rings were my favourites when I was a kid, and I’ve read just about everything written by Agatha Christie. I grew up with the Wheel of Time books too, and I’m also a fan of Jack Vance and Jim Butcher.

If you could read one book again for the very first time, which one would it be?
Probably Watership Down. Though I might give whoever recommended it to me a bit of a funny look . . . “The main characters are all what?”

What are you reading now?
I’ve been reading my way through the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold. I love the main character – Miles is hilarious to watch when he gets going!

London plays a very big part in your novels. What do you love most about living there?
It’s really hard for me to say, because I’ve spent so much time in London that I just take everything there for granted. So instead of noticing what’s different about London, I judge every other city I visit about how it’s different from London. London just feels comfortable, for me. I like visiting other places, but I find it harder to relax there.

If someone were to visit you in London for the first time, where would you take them?
I’m the worst person in the world to ask to do something like that. I’m absolutely terrible as a tourist guide, because I have no clue what a visitor to the place would enjoy doing! I’d probably end up taking them through the city centre, hoping desperately that they were happy to be there.

I also read that you spent some time teaching English in China? Will you tell us a bit about your visit?
I was in a small city in Anhui province (‘small’ in China meaning only a few hundred thousand people). The population of non-Chinese in the city was approximately five, which made things interesting – I got a lot of chances to practice my Mandarin, at least! The biggest problem I had to deal with was that the schools I taught in had a little under a hundred students per class.

Ok, I’ve got to know about the ballroom dancing…
I picked it up at university, and was quite surprised to find out that they actually did it competitively. So I joined the team, and spent an fun year travelling around the country going to competitions. Competitions were all-day events – you’d get up in pitch darkness, have a 3-hour coach ride, then spend all day hyped up on adrenaline before falling asleep on the journey back. I had the most fun with latin, but did best at ballroom.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about upcoming projects or events (or anything at all!)?
I’m currently working on Alex Verus #4, the sequel to Taken! Nothing’s been signed yet, but I’m hoping that it’ll be published next year (though that’ll depend on how the first two do). I’m starting to get a long story arc planned out for the Alex Verus series, and I’m really happy with the way the story’s unfolding, so as long as people are going to keep reading Alex Verus books I’m going to keep writing them. Thanks for hosting me, and hope you enjoy the books!
Keep up with Benedict: Website | Twitter

1. You MUST fill out the form below (lots of chances for extra entries!)
2. Giveaway is for 1 copy of Cursed by Benedict Jacka to 1 winner.
3. Giveaway is open to residents of the US or Canada ONLY
4. Must include a valid email address with your entry (no need to leave it in the comments, just include it when you fill out the rafflecopter form)
5. You must enter on or before 6/30/12
6. Please see my Giveaway Policy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I’ve been hearing fabulous things about this series – I can’t wait to read it. Thanks so much for the interview, and I’m glad Benedict didn’t give up after the earlier rejections!

  2. I’m sorry to say this is the first I’ve heard about this series, but I’ve definitely added it to my TBR pile!

  3. I already had Fated on my TBR, thanks to some great reviews. I’m gonna have to bump it up, though, so I can get to Cursed now, too! 🙂

  4. I’ve got Fated in my To-Read pile. I’ll get started on it soon.

  5. these books look great i’ve heard alot of good things about them. i’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.

  6. Victoria Zumbrum

    Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good.

  7. I thought Fated was fantastic and I’m really looking forward to reading Cursed.

  8. I’ve been seeing these books around the blogs lately. I think I’d enjoy reading them. Must add them to my TBR list.
    Thank you.

  9. Congrats on the new release! Thanks for fun interview 🙂

  10. I’m really psyched to read this series, and I love getting to know the author better! If I ever get to England, I would be happy to be shown around the city by you 🙂 Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  11. I love “discovering” a “new” author!

  12. These look fantastic! Definitely on my ‘list.’

  13. A series in which London plays a big part? I’m totally checking this series out.

  14. Interesting that he like Lois cmaster Bujold. She has long been a favorite of mine

  15. Pingback: Cursed Blog Tour Special! | Benedict Jacka

  16. This series sounds really interesting and fun and would love to check it out. Thanks very much.

    Amy Harlib
    NYC life long lover of SF &F.

  17. Rachel @

    I have heard alot about this series but haven’t had the chance to read it yet. It sounds good and I do intend on reading the series.

  18. Very nice interview. This sounds like a good series.

  19. Can’t wait to read this one!

  20. Thanks for the interview. It looks like an interesting series.

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