Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Author Interview: Cyrus P. Underwood

As Martinus Publishing has some new contributing authors, I'll be conducting interviews to help promote their anthologies/works.  Today, I'm interviewing Cyrus P. Underwood, an intriguing author who contributed the short story A Girl’s Best Friend to "Altered America."  Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed.

CYRUS P. UNDERWOOD: You're welcome Martin.

MTI:  Starting off, could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

CPU:  Cyrus P. Underwood is a pseudonym. My real name is Richard C. Anderson. I live in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. When I was about eight, nine years I became sick with Guillian Barre Syndrome and now I can't walk. I am now twenty seven.

MTI:  Now, getting down to business; what first compelled you to weave fiction, and what's your favorite type of story to write?

CPU:  I have always had ideas bouncing around in my head. Writing seemed like the obvious choice. And I mostly write alternate histories, though I would like to write mysteries some day.

MTI:  Tell me, if you had to pick just one author who has influenced or inspired you, who would it be?

CPU:  Michael Slade. He is a Canadian Thriller writer out of Vancouver who also writes under a pseudonym. His descriptions are raw, his characters are life like, and the historical background he provides are wonderful, even if it doesn't seem to fit the story at first.

MTI:  Your story, A Girl’s Best Friend, appears in Altered America, an anthology of alternate histories.  The fictional accounts in this collection let us imagine what it would be like if something had happened differently at different points in history.  Tell us a little about how your story changes history.

CPU:  A Girl's Best Friend is a story of Marilyn Monroe, if she had survived the overdose that accidently killed [in real life]. My story is an interview with Marilyn in her late 80s.

MTI:  If you could go back in time and try to change any one historical event (aside from killing Hitler/stopping WWII—almost everybody tries that), which would you choose?

CPU:  Yes stopping WWII/killing Hitler is a bit obvious at this point isn't it? As is helping the Confederacy win the American Civil War. I have been curious about what would have happened if the rebellions that took place in what are now Ontario and Quebec in 1837 had succeeded. Would they have eventually gone back to Britain or gone to America? What would those two countries have done with them? What are the other knock on effects of it?

MTI:  Conversely, name a historical event that you would never want to see changed/would go back in time to stop somebody from changing it.

CPU:  The American Civil War. Despite what the Libertarians might say that war needed to be fought. And in the end it was about ending slavery whether Lincoln saw it in the beginning or not.

MTI:  Shifting back to your writing, can you tell us a little about what you're working on right now?

CPU:  I've finished a novel, The Bully Pulpit, and I'm working on another short story, another novel, and a screenplay. The short story is about superheroes and the rest are alternate history.

MTI:  Other than your story appearing in Altered America, do you have any other works being published in the near future?

CPU:  I hope to get my first novel published, though I haven't submitted it yet.

MTI:  On a lighter note, have you watched any good television lately?

CPU:  I love The Amazing Race. I have watching the new season and going back and watching the old seasons again.

MTI:  What sort of music do you enjoy?

CPU:  I listen to classic rock mainly.

MTI:  What are three of your favorite movies?

CPU:  In no particular order: L. A. Confidential, Back to the Future Part I, and Gettysburg.

MTI:  You have the attention of potential readers?  In conclusion, do you happen to have any words of wisdom to share with them?

CPU:  Whenever you do something don't hold back. And don't wait, you never know what could happen if you do.

MTI:  Salient advice.  Thank you for that interesting interview, sir!  Those who’d like to check out A Girl’s Best Friend and many other alternate history stories can pick up a copy of Altered America.  

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