Featured Interview With C. R. Stewart
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I am originally from Newport Beach, California, and have twenty years of experience writing fiction, nonfiction, and movie screenplays. My areas of expertise also includes film and media production, global strategy, and international marketing.
I received a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature and European History from Brown University; did post- graduate work at Harvard University; earned an MBA from Boston College; and am pursuing a Master of Science in Advanced Management and a PhD in Strategy.
I am now based in San Diego, and am a strong supporter of education and the arts. I enjoys world travel, reading, riding, swimming, sailing, tennis, and am currently on a National School Book Tour with Britfield & The Lost Crown speaking to students on the importance of creativity! (so, no pets left at home!)
Britfield & The Lost Crown was conceived as an idea over 10 years ago while I was enduring a boring finance seminar. It started as a sketch of a hot air balloon with a young boy and girl trapped inside. From this simple drawing sprang the entire concept and story for Britfield.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
It really started for me in 6th grade. What a wonderful teacher and an amazing class. Our assignment was to write a book. Can you imagine an assignment like that, where do you start? I think there was a limit of 30 pages. I was 12 and loved the James Bond movies, so I wrote James Bond Eat Your Heart Out. I was a secret government agent working for the British government and had an assignment to track down a notorious villain. My partner was Jaclyn Smith (that should date me). We traveled all around Europe tracking down the villain and were involved in high-speed chases and plenty of combat. I had so much fun writing this and the experience never left me. I still have this book, wrapped in a leather binder with embossed lettering. This was when I knew I wanted to be a writer, it just took a long time to get there.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I have always been creative. I loved reading as a child, movies and storytelling, so all these areas had a huge influence on my life. Some of my favorite books growing up were The Mouse and the Motorcycle, by Beverly Cleary; James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl; and the Hardy Boys series. As I grew older, I enjoyed Charles Dickens and his ability to take a Shakespearean cast of characters and seamlessly weave them through his stories (Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, and Great Expectations). I was heavily influenced by C. S. Lewis, his amazing depth and creativity as an author. Jane Austen captured the aristocracy, the intrigue, the forced etiquette and the psychological games and hypocrisies of the upper classes. The Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, wrote mysterious, romantic gothic novels that are powerful, moving and deep, such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Thomas Hardy took simple characters living in a rural setting and created complex, multilayered stories. And Daphne du Maurier, such as her epic novel Rebecca. I have visited most of the places these stories took place or were based on.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
I am exciting that you are interested in Britfield & the Lost Crown. Part of a seven book series, Britfield was conceived as an idea over 10 years ago while sitting in a seminar in New England. It started as a sketch I did of a hot air balloon with a young boy and girl trapped inside. From this simple drawing sprang the entire concept and story for Britfield. I also liked the idea of adventure, exploration and freedom—seeing an extraordinary country for the first time: moving from place to place, enjoying spectacular scenery and exciting events, learning new things, meeting people, making friends and having hope for a better future. I like that not everything is what it seems. Not everyone is who you think they are: the simple often can become great, the great often turn out to be simple. Everyone has a unique story and this is Tom and Sarah’s story.
Britfield, Book I takes place in England, and I have always loved the country—its complex history, dynamic culture, wonderful people and beautiful countryside are filled with a rich tapestry of amazing stories. I also lived in England for almost a year and have been back to visit over thirty times. I have visited Hadrian’s Wall between Scotland and England, walked the haunting moors by the Brontes’ home in Haworth, wandered the streets of London, toured Dicken’s house, explored Thomas Harding’s Dorset and made my way down to the Cornish shores of Fowey, where Daphne du Maurier wrote her romantic suspense novels. All these experiences have deeply influenced my life and my writing, especially Britfield & the Lost Crown. Enjoy this exciting adventure novel!
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