Thursday, July 25, 2013

Author Interview with Historian C.J. Adrien

C.J. Adrien
Bend, OR

Okay, C.J., what have you written?

"The Line of His People", a historical fiction novel set in Viking Age France.

What is your favorite genre to write?

Historical Fiction.  I am a historian by trade, and teach history at the secondary level.

Favorite food.

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Cookies.  According to my mother, my first word was "cookie".

Okay, I like you already.  Where would you like to visit?

I have actually been everywhere I have ever wanted to travel.  I was fortunate while growing up to have parents who thought that it was essential for me to see the world outside of our small village in France, and our summer house in Oregon.  I would, however, enjoy a second trip to Ireland.  It is a beautiful country with extremely kind people, and they have a rich history to explore.

Favorite musical artist.

Scooter, a German techno band.  They're well known in Europe, and they're definitely not for everyone.  If you mean classical music, then Verdi.  In fact, I enjoy putting on Verdi's Requiem while I write.

What makes you laugh?

Absurdity.  So I laugh quite a bit, this world is full of absurdities.

How old were you when you started writing?

I began attempting to write short stories in grade school, none of which I believe were preserved.  My sister and I created a short graphic novel about the Super Mario Bros. in sixth grade.  I continued to do some creative writting in high school, then college, but never followed through with any larger projects due to the workload of other writting that needed to be done throughout college. 

Where do you get your inspiration?

My passion is history, and when I delve into history, I need nothing other than the excitement of discovery to keep me enthused.  When it comes to writting, I draw on my passion for history and the rich stories it provides.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?

I bury whatever I'm working on, try to forget about it, and then return to it one or two weeks later with a fresh set of eyes.  This technique has yet to fail me.

Who is your favorite author?

Herman Melville.  His writing is beyond complements.  I aspire to some day be able to write with such elegance, creativity, and mastery as he.  If I may, I would like to share with you a quote of his, from his novel "Moby Dick", which I find to be particularly demonstrative of Melville's genius: "And he piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the rage and hate felt by his entire race.  If his chest had been a cannon he would have shot his heart upon it."  Beautiful.

Best book you ever read.

Neil Degrasse Tyson's "Death by Black Hole".  I couldn't put it down.  It's not fiction, it's science, and the manner in which Mr. Tyson presents the science, and argues in favor of science is simply captivating.  And, he covers a great deal of history in his essays, which I of course appreciate.

I loved that one, too.  I find astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium Neil Degrasse Tyson fascinating.  Who is the one person who has influence your personal life the most and why?

My mother.  She taught me how to write in English (she is an English teacher), how to enjoy reading and learning, and she allowed me to explore my curiosities and inquiries freely.  She encouraged me to excell in my field of choice with unwavering support. 

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?

Hypatia of Alexandria would be my choice.  She was the first female scholar of her time (and the last), and was the first to accurately calculate the eliptical orbit of the earth around the sun.  She was also the one who organised enough people to rescue some of the scrolls in the library of Alexadria before it was burned down by the Christians for having "blasphemous artifacts".  I would want to speak with her about the world she lived in, the things they knew before they were destroyed, and what she might have predicted for the future of humanity based upon her experiences.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?

Don't listen to the nay-sayers.  If you tell someone that you are writting a book and they laugh, ignore them.  If you have a book in you, it will happen.  And it will be you who is laughing when the project is finished.

Do you have a cover you'd like to share with us?

 You'll have to wait until August 1st for that.  But I have some maps you may find interesting.

How about a link where can find out more about you?

My novel, "The Line of His People" will be available August 1rst, 2013 on Amazon kindle, and on paperback on after that (date tba).  You may link my website and blog: where there is an excerpt of the novel, and where all the links to purchase the books will be available. 

Thank you, C.J. for your time.  You are delightful.


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