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Interview With C.C. Humphreys, Author of Vlad: The Last Confession

If you’re like me and have loved reading vampire novels for as long as you can remember and then discovered that one of the most notorious vampires in the genre, Dracula, was based on a real person, you’d want to read about that person — Vlad the Impaler.

C.C. Humphreys satisfied my curiosity in his novel, Vlad: The Last Confession, about the infamous Wallachian and made me even more curious about the 15th Century.  I got so absorbed in this story; there were times when “Wiggles,” my daughter, was starting to fuss and I just wanted to ignore her.  I did not want to be pulled out of this story.  If you haven’t read my review or entered the giveaway, you better hurry it ends July 1 (it’s open internationally as well).

Today, I’ve got a treat!  C.C. Humphreys was kind enough to answer some questions, and I’m going to share those with you.  Don’t hesitate to let us know what you think.

1. What inspired you to tackle Dracula in Vlad: The Last Confession?

It was strange. It was not something I’d ever considered. Then I made the mistake of getting drunk with my editor in London. We started analyzing historical fiction, what worked, what was most successful. It seemed that books about real people always did well. But everyone had been done. Then he suggested Dracula and I scoffed. Had to have been done! But it hadn’t and that intrigued – so famous a name? Why? I discovered fast – there was a horror story there and I don’t do horror. But then I discovered the real story behind the propaganda. And I was off and running. Summed up in the phrase: ‘Trust nothing that you’ve heard.’

2. How is your book about Dracula different than the others available on the market?

Well, its not about a vampire. Its about the real Dracula – Vlad, Prince of Wallachia. Vlad the Impaler. Vlad the tyrant and the hero. The lover and the murderer.

3. A number of your books seem to fall into the historical fiction category. What is the allure of this genre for you and when did you first realize that it was a genre you wanted to write?

I have always loved history. It was one of the signs at the crossroads for me at 18 years old. Go to university and read History. Go to Drama School. I chose the latter. But when I came to write novels, I always knew they would be like the stuff I read as a boy, but with an adult slant. Wild adventures, great characters, exciting lives and events.

4. As an actor and fight choreographer, how different is the solitude of writing in comparison?

Quite different. I have always enjoyed both. I seem to have a split personality – on the one hand gregarious and liking company, on the other needing to spend long stretches of time alone. That’s why its fun to still do both, though writing is my main thrust now.

5. Please share a few of your obsessions (i.e. chocolate, bungee jumping, etc.).

Obsessions? I like beer. A lot. But I can’t drink too much because I have to get up early to write. I love the water, swimming, snorkelling and, especially, body surfing. Give me a wave and I’ll wait for my beer!

6. What are some favorite books and/or authors that you wish would get more recognition or a larger readership?

I think anything by Rosemary Sutcliff. People only really know ‘The Eagle of the Ninth’ but all her stuff is superb.

7. Most writers will read inspirational/how-to manuals, take workshops, or belong to writing groups. Did you subscribe to any of these aids and if so which did you find most helpful? Please feel free to name any “writing” books you enjoyed most (i.e. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott).

I am afraid I didn’t. I just sort of jumped in. But a book that got me going just before I wrote my first play was ‘Writing, the Natural Way’.

8. What current projects are you working on and would you like to share some details with the readers?

I have just completed the follow up to ‘Vlad’. Its called ‘A Place Called Armageddon’ and is about the fall of Constantinople in 1453. That’s out in the UK in July, Canada in August, and the US sometime in 2012. Meantime, I am about a third of the way through the first draft of my next historical which is set in London 1599-1601 and is about Shakespeare, the Globe… and one very special swordsman.

Thanks to C.C. Humphreys for answering my questions.

I’m glad to hear there will be a new novel dealing with the fall of Constantinople, since it was a big part of Vlad’s story. I adore Shakespeare, so his next historical novel will be another one on my radar. How about you?

  • Marvelous interview! I very nearly sputtered water everywhere at: “…Then I made the mistake of getting drunk with my editor in London. We started analyzing historical fiction, what worked, what was most successful. ” — BEST way to get novel idea, ever.

    I’m quite keen to read this one — hopping over to your review to see what you thought.

    thanks to you and Humphreys for the fabu interview!

  • Great questions! I haven’t yet had the chance to read this book but have been intrigued by it and will certainly be looking forward to his upcoming books. I think Constantinople is fascinating!

  • You’ve made me really want to read this book. I’m not a huge fan of vampire stories, but I’d really love to learn more about the real person behind the Dracula story. I’ll have to borrow your copy.

    • Glad to be of help. 🙂

  • AND CC Humphreys lives in BC! Woot!

    • This is a Canadian author I would love to read again.