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Plague
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Previous Monthly Reads > Oct 2016 Questions for the Author

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Emma Flanagan (emma89) The author has kindly agreed to answer any questions we have on the book. To facilitate this people can post questions here until the 21st Oct. We will then send them to the author.

To avoid confusion please only post questions for the author here. If you wish to discuss the book please do so in the main thread or spoiler thread.


Trelawn I suppose the obvious question for me is, do you envisage this series going beyond two books or has Coke and Pitman's story been told?


Trelawn Also, I read that Plague had been optioned for TV. If that were to go ahead, do you have anyone in mind who you would like to portray Pitman, Coke et al?


Paul A big part of this book for me is the armosphere. Does he think his acting background feeds into his ability to create this in the book ?


Trelawn Oh also, he has a series called Jack Absolute and in this book. we meet Lucy Absolute and read about Quentin Absolute who died in the wars. Is there a whole family of Absolutes throughout Humphreys' historical fiction? What was the reason for that?


Maria Hill AKA MH Books (mariahilldublin) | 601 comments My thoughts for questions.

He reads the audible book himself, not surprising as he is an actor, does he read what he writes out loud as he is writing a book to see how it sounds? Many writers so this especially for dialogue.

Does he think the audio version of the book and the written version are two different experiences? Ruth Ozeki who also reads one of her own books on the audio version says at the end that she recommends reading the written version too as she thinks they are very, very different.


Emma Flanagan (emma89) What drew him to this era of English history as the backdrop to a book?


Bookworm with Kids Regarding the character of Dickon, how did you envisage him when writing the story? The suggestions by the readers are that Dickon had autism, Down's Syndrome, severe neglect or a childhood trauma. Do these suggestions surprise you? Did you have any other idea in mind when writing this fascinating character?


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C.C. Humphreys | 9 comments Hallo All! Just wanted to say how thrilled I have been to read these insightful and inquisitive thoughts on my novel. I am touring in Canada right now with Fire (Plague's sequel) and my new Young Adult novel, The Hunt of the Dragon. But I shall try to keep up!
Many thanks for the interest
CC


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C.C. Humphreys | 9 comments Trelawn wrote: "I suppose the obvious question for me is, do you envisage this series going beyond two books or has Coke and Pitman's story been told?"

I have another planned: BLOOD which would follow the nasty villain of Fire with Coke and Pitman in hot pursuit. Alas, the publishers have kinda shrugged at it despite the last two's success, especially in Canada. So I hope to return - just not straight away.


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C.C. Humphreys | 9 comments Trelawn wrote: "Also, I read that Plague had been optioned for TV. If that were to go ahead, do you have anyone in mind who you would like to portray Pitman, Coke et al?"

Many are optioned, few are made, alas. Still hoping. I think Hugh Bonneville would make a great Coke. Or Dominic West. Pitman's harder because he needs both physicality and subtlety. Not sure. For Sarah - I am in love with Ruth Wilson right now (The Affair. Luther) so... her!


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C.C. Humphreys | 9 comments Paul wrote: "A big part of this book for me is the armosphere. Does he think his acting background feeds into his ability to create this in the book ?"

I think my acting affects everything I write. I do like to play tension on the stage and create it on the page. Also I do love a good setting. London, its contrasts then and now, is always fascinating.


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C.C. Humphreys | 9 comments Trelawn wrote: "Oh also, he has a series called Jack Absolute and in this book. we meet Lucy Absolute and read about Quentin Absolute who died in the wars. Is there a whole family of Absolutes throughout Humphreys..."

I am trying to link up nearly all my books from the Rombauds through the Absolutes. It tickles me - and I hope that keen readers will enjoy the continuity. Have you read Shakespeare's Rebel yet? Spoilers!


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C.C. Humphreys | 9 comments Maria wrote: "My thoughts for questions.

He reads the audible book himself, not surprising as he is an actor, does he read what he writes out loud as he is writing a book to see how it sounds? Many writers so t..."


I don't tend to read it aloud - though there is a certain amount of muttering! When I did the audio book of ,y first novel, The French Executioner, as soon as I started I smiled with the realization: I write to be read aloud... by me! My cadences are very strongly personal. But yes a different experience each one. I'd certainly try both if you have the time.


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C.C. Humphreys | 9 comments Emma wrote: "What drew him to this era of English history as the backdrop to a book?"

It's always a story idea for me, rather than a period to fit a story into. I liked the idea of showing men reacting to the horrors of war in different ways. The aftermath of any civil war is ghastly. The English one as bad as any. The more I read the more fascinated I became. It was a time still with the barbarism of the medieval but moving into the modern.


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C.C. Humphreys | 9 comments Bookworm with Kids wrote: "Regarding the character of Dickon, how did you envisage him when writing the story? The suggestions by the readers are that Dickon had autism, Down's Syndrome, severe neglect or a childhood trauma...."

I'm so glad you all seem so fond of Dickon. I love him. I didn't see him as having a particular condition. Trauma, abuse and neglect, early starvation have indeed given him all these tics and oddities. Loved the suggestion that his fondness for nuts was a reaction to that starvation. By the way, he's named for my cat, who sleeps on my desk as I write.


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Paul Thanks for your time Chris. Much appreciated.
I have to say I'm a sucker for London based books and probably would have been drawn to this even if I hadnt read a few of your other books.
Are there any of your research books you would particularly recommend for London ?


message 18: by Paul (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul Also love the idea that Dickon has a good home on your writing desk.


Trelawn Chris, thanks so much for answering all our random questions. Sorry to hear the publishers aren't showing enough enthusiasm for Blood. Just send it to me and I'll happily read it :-). I like your suggestion of Ruth Wilson for Sarah, I loved her playing Jane Eyre. Amazing actress. I haven't read Shakespeare's Rebel yet, it's next up after my current read but I'll keep my eyes peeled for my Absolutes. It's a nice thread to link the books.


Bookworm with Kids I would also like to add my thanks to C.C. Humphreys for answering questions about Plague. Dickon is such a likeable character, especially when he is trying to read the pamphlets and keeps saying the words that appeal to him - 'guts', for instance! I will definitely be reading more of your books, especially any set around that period in history which I really find fascinating. Please do keep trying to get 'Blood' published - there are quite a few readers here already lined up for it!


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