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Chris HumphreysAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Joe Torre

The three novels of the Runestone Saga are my most personal books . . . which is strange considering they deal with headless walking corpses, soul stealing, murderers, and ritual sacrifice! But like my hero, Sky, I was a serious sleepwalker. (I once woke up...read more
The three novels of the Runestone Saga are my most personal books . . . which is strange considering they deal with headless walking corpses, soul stealing, murderers, and ritual sacrifice! But like my hero, Sky, I was a serious sleepwalker. (I once woke up outside my house . . . with a vacuum cleaner!) Like Sky, my grandfather nearly met his own Fetch (the Double) when he walked into an elevator and the operator went white. “Sir” the man said, shaking with fear, “I took you up five minutes ago!”

Strange stuff! No wonder I had to write about it. But I always tell would-be writers: don’t write what you know . . . write what you love. I am fascinated by–as Sigurd says in the books –“the secrets that whisper in the blood.” How much can I change my life, how much is set down, like the color of my eyes, by what I’ve inherited from my parents, my grandparents . . . even my remote ancestors. I love history, so I write about times when I would have liked to live, places where I would like to go, adventures I would like to have. There is a lot of fighting in my books. Not because I am violent. But I do like to imagine the thrill of battle as well as its terror. To dream that honor, glory, or perhaps the life of someone you love waits at the end of a sword.

I have always been a wanderer. More secrets in the blood from my Viking ancestors? Or because I was born in Toronto moved to Los Angeles when I was two, and to London when I was seven? I lived in America again, Canada for the last little while, and I have traveled on every continent in the world. I have stood at Macchu Picchu, on the pyramids of Egypt, watched a dawn from the lip of a volcano in Java. A father now, I am a little more settled . . . yet last year I still had Dracula’s ruined castle in Romania all to myself for five hours and, a few days later, walked the walls of Istanbul, the city that was once Constantinople. I go to these places to listen for stories. Sitting quietly, they come.

Life is a series of adventures, ones you live, ones you imagine. Both are great. A friend once asked me: are you ticking off all the boxes? Of course I am. I want to know what this random collection of blood cells and experience called Chris Humphreys can achieve. As an actor, I can be heroes and villains and everyone in between. I arrange stage fights in the theater to hear an audience gasp. And then, in my writing, I get to live, deeply, even more lives. All characters, however extreme, are parts of their creator. Mini-Me’s struggling, working for good or evil, failing, triumphing! Writing novels? Wow! I still pinch myself that I get paid to do it!

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