Featured Interview With Bruce Calhoun
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
Exploring the woods behind my house when I was growing up in rural Wisconsin, working passage on a tramp freighter, fending off White Tipped oceanic sharks on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, filming lowland gorillas in Africa, capsizing a sailboat in the Bermuda Triangle, mushing sled dogs in Alaska, teaching marine biology in Puerto Rico, visiting the Amazon and founding Save the Rainforest in 1988 are but a few of the highlights in my life. Other highlights include writing an award winning play, an autobiography and my latest novel, Ardennia. Currently I am serving as president of Save the Rainforest and living a rather sedate life in Southwestern Wisconsin with my beloved wife and my dog, Paco.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I fell in love with books in conjunction with falling in love with nature at the tender age of fourteen. Not only did I fall in love with nature, I became enamored of wilderness – especially after reading some Jack London novels. His books had such an influence on me that I went to college at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, where as I already mentioned, I did some dog mushing.
I started writing at sixteen, as I recollect. My first short story was about a hunter getting treed by an grizzly. Little did I dream that some day I would I would have my own encounter with a grizzly – in Glacier National Park. Life mirrors fiction?
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I read a lot of historical non-fiction, but I also love the literary fiction: Cervantes’s DON QUIXOTE is one of my all time favorites; such a favorite that my latest book draws inspiration from Cervantes. I must give honarble mention to the books of Victor Hugo, Leo Tolstoy, Oscar Wilde and John Steinbeck, as well.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
A Cinderella story like no other, my book, ARDENNIA: THE UNLIKELY STORY OF CINDERELL’S PRINCE, is a young adult historical fantasy that captures the magic, brutality and earthiness of the medieval age. It chronicles the many adventures of Cinderella’s prince as he experiences his first joust, undergoes his baptism of fire in the Battle of Paris, is charmed by Cinderella at a masquerade ball, and sets off on a quest to find her after she flees the ball at the midnight hour.
The quest takes him and his folksy mentor, Sir Guy, through strange lands supposedly inhabited by ogres, pixies, hobgoblins, man-eating plants and giants; and peopled by an extraordinary and motley cast of characters that include an epileptic bard, a bean counter who wagers his gold tooth in a dice game, a merchant who can never be too prosperous, a little girl who has a running feud with three bears, pilgrims that argue over who is the most pious and a beggar who has been cursed with leprosy for committing all the cardinal sins. Be on the look-out for a bit of Chaucer-like satire in this adapted fairy tale.
It only took me a couple months to come up with a rough draft of ARDENNIA. It has taken twice as much time to polish it, and get the word out about it. So, if you are reading this – that’s great: And let me just add there are at least seven great reasons for reading ARDENNIA. They are:
7. Robinette the Hood’s cameo
6. The buffoon’s gambit
5. The ironic ending
4. The love affair between Cinderella’s stepmother and the hunchback
3. Sir Guy’s story of the elf and the troll
2. Queen Bernadette’s sagacity
1. Prince Henry’s tete-a-tetes with the 14 ladies who attended
Links to reviews and to purchase the book are on my website.
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