An on-line Interview

by
Charles Martin

Some fun stuff in one of my most recent on-line interviews—with a few questions I’d never been asked.  Really got me thinking.

What was your favourite childhood book?
“The Brave Cowboy” by Joan Walsh Anglund

Which book has made you laugh?
Huck Finn, Winnie the Pooh and Love in the Ruins

Which book has made you cry?
“Band of Brothers”, “Undaunted Courage” and my current manuscript. (Because it’s not finished.)

Which book are you reading at the moment?
Other than the one I’m writing, I’m not.  By the time I get in bed at night, my eyes are tired and reading isn’t a pleasure.

Which book would you give to a friend as a present?
Depends on the friend, but see below…

Which other writers do you admire?
I’m a big fan of Grisham, Krakauer, Tolkien, Walker Percy, Hampton Sides, Stephen Ambrose, Louis Lamour, Clive Cussler, C.S. Lewis

Which classic have you always meant to read and never got round to it?
“The Count of Monte Cristo” and I can’t quite seem to finish “Great Expectations”

What are your top five books of all time, in order or otherwise?
No particular order – The Lord of the Rings, the Psalms, Robinson Crusoe,  Huckleberry Finn, The Heavenly Man

Which book would you never have on your bookshelf?
See next question.

What is the worst book you have ever read?
The statistics textbook used in graduate school.  I’m not a big proponent of burning books, but I’d be tempted with that one.

Is there a particular book or author that inspired you to be a writer?
Not really.  I wasn’t enamoured with ‘being a writer.’  I was fueled by ‘wanting to write’ because it’s how I process whatever is going on inside me.  Being published, and ‘being a writer’ has just come with the package.  For which I am thankful.

What is your favourite time of day to write?
Before sunup.

And favourite place?
Wherever my computer happens to be.  Usually, the shed behind my house.

Longhand or word processor?
Microsoft Word along with whatever piece of scrap paper happens to be in my pocket at the moment.

Which fictional character would you most like to have met?
Off the top of my head – Friday, Aslan, Pooh, Crusoe, the Count, Tel Sackett, Gandalf, Scout, Boo Radley, Jean Valjean, Chingachgook and Hawkeye,

Who, in your opinion, is the greatest writer of all time?
King David

Which book have you found yourself unable to finish?
Remember that statistics book I was telling you about…?

What is your favourite word?
‘Do-over,’ followed closely by ‘redemption.’  My least favorite word is ‘rewrite.’

Other than writing, what other jobs or professions have you undertaken or considered?
I’ve sold insurance, loaded packages for UPS, worked as a tree surgeon’s helper, pressure washer, dock builder, cabinet maker, handyman and general hack for hire.

What was the first piece you ever had in print?
“The Dead Don’t Dance”

What are you working on at the moment?
Good question.  I wish I knew.  Did my editor put you up to this?  It’s my 7th novel, and at the moment trying to figure it out is a lot like trying to hit a moving target.  Everytime I try to explain it, it changes.  I will say this – I think it has something to do with a ‘do-over’ and ‘redemption.’  At the moment, I’m rewriting.

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