Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Impaler's Author Confesses

(Image:  Chris Humphreys discussing the cover art of Vlad)

Two days ago, the Pacific Northwest Writer's Association (PNWA) was honored to have two guest speakers at our monthly meeting:  C.C. ("Chirs") Humphreys and Laura Munson.  For this occassion, our asssembly relocated to the University Bookstore in Bellevue, WA. 

Chris Humphreys, is currently on a small book tour in conjunction with running workshops in Portland and San Diego, to promote the American release of his book, Vlad: The Last Confession--The Epic Novel of the Real Dracula.

I read the book last year and posted a review on this blog: 

Chris described his novel as a horror story--but not a vampire tale and it was the darkest story ever written.

Why then, pick Vlad the Impaler, of all people, as the subject of a historical novel? 

Because it's never been done before.  Even though Chris broke new ground in historical fiction, he credited his editor for giving him the idea.  I won't say the idea was the result of a drinking binge; but by Chris's adimission, it did involve the two having lunch at a pub in Soho, London, where two bottles of claret were emptied...

(Image:  Chris reading the opening scene of Vlad)

Chris compared his writer's journey to climbing a mountain, where he as the author, made the first ascent.  The second "climb" was made along with the editor and the final expedition is made by the readers, once the book is published.  While everyone "climbs the same mountain" of the story, the view from the summit can be a different experience for each reader.
(Image: Chris autographing books)

There was a short question & answer period and then Chris was whisked off by Pam Binder, PNWA's president, for another appearance.

Chris's upcoming book, A Place Called Armageddon--Constantinople 1453, is something of a tie-in novel to Vlad, will be released in the UK this July.

For more information on Chris Humphrey's and his books, check out his website:


sharon said...

I bought Vlad and had it autographed at last year's PNWA conference and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Dark,indeed, and graphically violent, but with moving, empathetic characters. Chris showed me some tricks for my own historical novel, in progress.

Didn't know he was at the meeting. Guess I should read the emails more closely. Thanks for writing it up, Ted.

Ted H said...

You're welcome Sharon! What's also important to note is the violence in the book, was indeed, graphic--but not gratuitous. As with everything else in writing, each scene; violent, sexual, or otherwise, has to move the story forward.

Good luck with your WIC!

deb said...

I can't believe I missed seeing Laura Munson! I remember that now famous piece for the NYTimes when it came out.