Featured Interview With C.J.S. Hayward
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I’ve lived in the U.S., Malaysia, France, and England, and have letters after my name from three out of those four. I studied French at the Sorbonne, a mixture of math and computers at UIUC, and a mixture of philosophy and theology at Cambridge, with brief treatment of languages and cultures at the local Institute for Cross-Cultural Training at the end.
Those eclectic interests are part of the picture, but not nearly as central as that I am working to enter Mount Athos in Greece, the Holy Mountain, to enter monastic repentance for the rest of my life. This is along lines I discuss in “A Comparison Between the Mere Monk and the Highest Bishop” at cjshayward.com/monk, which I wrote after failing to track down a North American library able to loan St. John Chrysostom’s comparison between the monk and the Emperor.
As far as pets go, I’m an animal lover, but it’s not responsible to adopt a pet when you’re hoping to leave in a few months. I do however visit one pet shelter to socialize with the pets.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I scarcely remember a time when I was not involved with books.
I wrote numerous megabytes of text in high school that are to my knowledge lost, and I don’t think much was lost. I was slowly working on how to make a point that normal people can understand, and it took me a whole lot of practice to start making progress.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
C.S. Lewis, more than anyone else, formed me as an author. I’ve read almost everything he wrote apart from an academic textbook on 15th to 16th century literature. And really, C.S. Lewis is a terrific starting point even beyond writing well; one piece of advice that’s been given is, if you are going to choose a first author, choose one who will take you places.
There are other authors I’ve liked, including Madeleine l’Engle and more recently the authors collected in the Philokalia, plus St. John Chrysostom (his “last name”, as it were, is a nickname, “Golden-Mouth”). Through C.S. Lewis one imbibes the rhetoric included in the Middle Ages’ seven liberal arts; through St. John Chrysostom one imbibes the classical pagan rhetorical tradition. Both authors have much to share, and much to show about writing well.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My newest book, if you will, is not exactly a book: it is a meta-book or website at https://eBook-Maker.gifts, and creates both Kindle and ePub.
This website, like a product configurator, lets you see which of my works you would like in a book: you can collect categories and topics such as “Short Stories” or “Humor,” or drill down in something like 200 individual offerings. You can also set your collection’s title as you want, an introduction and dedication if you so desire, and a cover image if you have one. This creates more options than the stars in the sky: many times more! And the books are licensed CC0 (“No rights reserved”).
I invite you to visit at https://eBook-Maker.gifts!
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