Today, I'm very happy to welcome C.C. Humphreys to A Bookish Affair. C.C. is the author of the wonderful "A Place Called Armageddon."
1. All of your books seem to focus on different people and different times. How did you come up with the ideas for your books?
Yes, I do jump about a bit! Tudor, 18th Century, medieval epic – and my last teen book was a fantasy!
For me its all about story. An idea hits me, or a place overwhelms me – as in the case with this book. Occasionally I make a purely commercial decision to begin: Vlad, my novel about the real Dracula, was calculated to appeal to all those new Vampire fans out there. But really, I just get intrigued by a set of characters and their dilemmas.
2. What was your research process like for "A Place Called Armageddon?"
The usual mix. I spend a lot of time in books – though I use the internet to fact check or visit specialized websites, there’s nothing like a hard cover and my note pad beside it. I also need field research. Maybe it’s an excuse because I love to travel; but going to such a place as Constantinople throws up all sorts of details both historical and sensual. There truly is nothing like experiencing the light on the Bosphorus, or the scent of the Judas Tree.
3. Do you have a favorite character in "A Place Called Armageddon?" Why?
You are asking me to choose between my children! Whenever I am writing, or re-reading that character whoever it is becomes my favourite for that moment. I know all the effort I put in to make them as they are. This book is filled with leading roles, since it tells the tale from multiple viewpoints, and a villain appeals as much as any hero.
Forced to choose? I have a soft spot for my morose Scot (and real life figure) John Grant. I am still a little in love with Leilah, the sorceress-assassin. But Gregoras, the wounded core of the story moves me the most. There’s something about redemption that is very powerful to me.
4. What's the last great book that you've read?
Great? Man! I recently re-read ‘Warrior Scarlet’ by Rosemary Sutcliff. A children’s historical novel, I have loved her since I was a child and still do. Talk about redemption! But I also loved Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘When We Were Orphans’. A brilliant unreliable narrator.
5. What 3 fictional/historical characters would you want with you on the deserted island?
Am I allowed to choose my own? Jack absolutely, because he’d be such fun and quite good at hunting. (I wouldn’t choose Vlad because he’d try to impale then eat me when the food ran out!)
I’d want Shakespeare there (my new novel, just finishing, is about the Bard’s fight choreographer).
And Leilah, from ‘Armageddon’. So sexy - and very useful with a crossbow. A good combo for a deserted island.