Today I have C.C Humphreys over for an interview (and there is also a giveaway at the end :)
Could you please tell me a little about yourself?
Absolutely! (Sorry – but you’ll be amazed how often that pun comes up!)
I am bi-continental – born in Canada, lived till I was 7 in LA, then grew up in London. But North America drew me back – I lived in LA again as an adult, working in Hollywood, then Canada. I now live on an island in British Columbia.
All four grandparents were actors and so was my dad, so naturally I became a marine biologist. Joking! I acted all over the world for years. Major roles have included Hamlet, Caleb the Gladiator in NBC’s ‘AD’ and the original voice of Salem the Cat in ‘Sabrina, the Teenage Witch’. And of course, the role of Jack Absolute in the 18th century comedy ‘The Rivals’. But more of that later.
I’d always dreamed of writing. Began with plays but soon moved to my passion, historical fiction.I have written eight historical fiction novels: ‘The French Executioner’, runner up for the CWA Steel Dagger for Thrillers 2002; and its sequel, ‘Blood Ties’, a bestseller in Canada; ‘Jack Absolute’, ‘The Blooding of Jack Absolute’ and ‘Absolute Honour’. My latest are: ‘Vlad – The Last Confession’, the epic novel of the real Dracula. (Sourcebooks May 2011); and the recently published, ‘A Place Called Armageddon’ published in the US by Sourcebooks in September 2012. My new novel about William Shakespeare’s fight choreographer, ‘Shakespeare’s Rebel’ came out in the UK March 2013 and in Canada in June 2013. I have also written for young adults: a trilogy called ‘The Runestone Saga’ consisting of, ‘The Fetch’, ‘Vendetta’, and ‘Possession’. (Knopf). My latest YA novel is ‘The Hunt of the Unicorn’ (Knopf), runner up in the recent M Awards, Victoria BC. I have been translated into thirteen languages.
You newest book is Jack Absolute. How about a quick intro to this book?
Of course! ‘Jack’ is a true labour of love. Having loved playing the role on stage, years later I decided I could be him again by making him the star of a series of novels. In the play, he’s a bit of a rogue, an adventurer, a ladies man – all things I use in the books. But I knew he had to be something more. Hence the unoffical subtitle: ‘the 007 of the 1770’s’.
In this first novel Jack is caught up in the American Revolutionary War. He has history there – speaks fluent Mohawk, knows the land well – he’s a bit Hawkeye as well as Bond. But he falls foul of a sinister secret organization, the Illuminati – and in love with an American Loyalist, Louisa. His main task is to root out the spies bedeviling the British. This takes him into some very tough scrapes during and after the Saratoga campaign.
How did you come up with the idea for the character?
As I said, I stole him! But my Jack is very different from the play. My theory of writing is to write my fantasies. So I added to him the whole Mohawk side, the spy, the soldier, the lover. He’s also brave – and very foolish sometimes. Especially regarding women. Don’t know where he gets that from!
You've written about different eras in time. Is there another you’d like to explore?
Gosh, all of them! I love history, most eras. I would like to write about more ancient history, Greek or Roman perhaps. I am also fond of the Wars of the Roses. But my favourite battle is Waterloo, and the 200th anniversary is coming up. Maybe I can get Jack there. He’d be 72 but…
In which period of time would you like to time travel to?
Actually I have just done it – my latest novel, out in the UK and Canada now and the US soon is ‘Shakespeare’s Rebel’. Its about William Shakespeare’s fight choreographer and is set at the time of the first production of hamlet, the play that obsess me. I describe its first performance at the Globe – the place where I would most want to be that afternoon.
What’s coming next from you?
Sourcebooks, my wonderful US publishers, are publishing all my books over the next few years so I get to revisit them all again. And I am just finishing my new novel. Its called ‘Plague’ and is set against the Great Plague of London 1665. It will be followed by ‘Fire’ set against – you guessed it! – the Great Fire of London 1666.
1 copy of Jack Absolute
1. US only
2. Ends June 2nd
3. Just enter :)