Today I’d like to welcome C.C. Humphreys, author of the totally enthralling Jack Absolute historical fiction series, including his recent title The Blooding of Jack Absolute (reviewed here).
Marlene: Holding up a new mirror to the American Revolution: by bringing Jack Absolute to new readers in the U.S., you’re also showing us a perspective on the war we don’t usually read about. What might U.S. readers learn?
Chris: Well, we all think we know the history of a war, or a revolution, until we start to delve a little deeper. I think Jack can be our guide in that. He’s not really anti-rebel. In The Blooding he fights beside the men that later in the series he fights against and finds that hard. He also has a revolutionary spirit, inherited from his mother, an Irish rebel. He prizes individual freedom. Thus he’s quite conflicted. So perhaps we can see through him the sort of choices people were forced to make. He has other loyalties: to the uniform he’s worn with pride, the Redcoat. To his commander, John Burgoyne. To his comrades. But he also believes – and this begins with The Blooding – that his adopted people, the Iroquois, are not going to gain from an American triumph, that they are better off under the Crown. It’s a big driver for him and he argues their cause passionately.
Marlene: As a fencer and fight choreographer (among other things), you know a thing or two about swashbuckling. What books/movies/TV shows best depict that fine “tradition”?
Chris: Ah, swashbuckling! I just wrote a novel, ‘Shakespeare’s Rebel’ about the Bard’s fight choreographer which will be published in the US in 2015. In it, my hero does a true ‘swash buckle’: he beats (swashes) his small steel shield (his buckler) with the flat of his sword to provoke a fight. He’s a real swashbuckler!
I became an actor so I could leap around with bladed weaponry and I think I became an author to write the same – nearly all my novels have duels and swordplay. My inspirations? Well, Dumas and his Musketeer books certainly – the 70’s movie with Michael York and Oliver Reed was the best. I loved Flynn’s Robin Hood, (“You speak treason.” “Fluently!”) and Tyrone Power’s Zorro. Scaramouche was good in print and on the screen. But one of my favourites has to be The Princess Bride: great fights, terrific acting. Coupled with a real sense of honour. Honour’s important and the dishonourable deserve their come-uppance!
His new adult novel ‘Shakespeare’s Rebel’, about William Shakespeare’s fight choreographer at the time of ‘Hamlet’, was released in the UK in March 2013 and in Canada August 2011.
He has recently signed to write two books for Century in the UK and Doubleday in Canada. Plague and Fire are tales of religious fundamentalist serial killers set against the wild events of 1665 to 1666, London. They will be published in 2014 and 2015.
Chris lives on Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada, with his wife and young son.
Chris is kindly giving away a copy of The Blooding of Jack Absolute to one lucky winner! (US/Canada). To enter, use the Rafflecopter below: