My guest for July is Christopher Farnsworth, the author of the Nathanial Cade Novels, a trilogy that include Blood Oath, The President’s Vampire, and Red, White and Blood. In his comments on Amazon.com, Mr. Farnsworth mentions a “weird factoid” that he based his books. Well, just for you, I put on my research hat and did a little digging and here it is! I love fiction based on weird fact and Mr. Farnsworth has done exactly that.
July 26, 2013
My interview with Christopher Farnsworth was insightful and scintillating. I was able to talk with him equally intelligently about vampires and politics. Okay, it’s late and I’ve been sick but does anyone notice that the word “politics” implies a small insect that actually does suck you blood. Hmmm. Chris matches my fascination with history and digs up wonderful little nuggets, combines them with today’s political world, and uses alchemy (or at least the other side) to deliver gripping stories about the War on Horror (which just happens to parallel the War on Terror) in which we are unknowing pawns.
I spent a delightful interview with him and got some great wisdom for novice writers as an extra benefit. So enjoy his interview. He is delightful and a deep thinker. And you thought he just picked the name Cade out of a hat, didn’t you. Mwhahahah, boy were you wrong.
Christopher Farnsworth – Audio of the Interview
The audio is VERY large so be warned that it takes a while. All material is protected and may not be used without Mr. Christopher Farnsworth and Miss Musick’s permission.
And here is a special link to the website for John Rember – Chris’ writing teacher who pulled him away from the dark side. Chris says that he is an extraordinary writer as well as teacher. According to Chris he’s got a great book on writing for anyone who wants to know why it’s worth it to do this. His website is: www.JohnRember.com/
So be sure and check it out and send him your thank you notes for putting Chris on the author’s path.
Christopher Farnsworth was born and raised in Idaho. After working as a journalist and a screenwriter, he published Blood Oath, a novel about Nathaniel Cade, the President’s Vampire, in 2010. It has been optioned for film and TV and published in a dozen countries. After two more books featuring Cade, he is currently at work on The Eternal World [UPDATE: now out, formerly the working title was BIMINI], a novel about the legendary Fountain of Youth, due out from William Morrow Summer 2014. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughters.
Christopher Farnsworth on The President’s Vampire
There are probably some people who wonder why I decided the world needed another vampire novel, let alone one about a bloodsucker who works for the president.
But to me, changing the War on Terror to the War on Horror didn’t seem like that much of a leap.
My vampire Nathaniel Cade even has his birth in U.S. history. I got the idea when reading a weird factoid about a sailor pardoned by President Andrew Johnson after being accused of killing two men and drinking their blood. I wondered: What would a man sitting in the Oval Office do with a vampire?
Then it hit me. That was the wrong question. The right question is: What wouldn’t the president do with a vampire?
Since 9/11, it seems that the United States has struggled with one nightmare after another. There’s a feeling that the ground isn’t stable under our feet; that it might crumble at any moment and the graves will open and all kinds of nasty, hungry things will spring out.
You can see how we’re handling it in our hunger for stories of zombies and vampires and conspiracies. John Connolly’s Charlie Parker is a detective constantly fighting ghosts and demons, both symbolic and literal. Jonathan Maberry pits soldiers against what can only be called mad science; F. Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack is a street-level fixer forced to confront undying evil. Meanwhile, Justin Cronin and Max Brooks have imagined worlds that show us what happens when humanity loses to horror.
This is where Nathaniel Cade comes in. He’s our front line and last resort in this war. He makes sure the nightmares never infect the brightly lit world of the American dream. He’s able to fight terror with terror.
There are two sayings that constantly go through my head when I’m writing Cade. The first is the old aphorism from Nietzsche: “Whoever fights monsters must take care not to become a monster himself.” The second I read in Shibumi, one of my favorite books of all time: “Who does the harsh things? He who can.”
Cade has already lost his humanity. He’s never going to get it back. So he knows the cost if he fails; he knows how easy it would be to slip into the future as it exists in The Passage. But he’s able to go into the shadows and survive precisely because he isn’t human. The shadows are where he belongs now.
To paraphrase Franklin D. Roosevelt, Cade might be a monster, but he’s our monster. And in a world filled with terror and darkness, it’s somehow comforting to think that we’ve got something with teeth on our side.