Story Monday: An Interview with Charles French

Charles French
You can click on the pic to go to his site, too!

Hello everyone!

Way back in February of this year (it was still 2016, I promise) I posted something I called The Story Monday Spread. You may or may not remember. If you do, you’re an amazing person.

In that post, I said that I would start doing interviews. The point was, as with anything on this blog, to tell a story. To tell your stories, with your words, so we can move beyond the surface and categories we place each other. Well, because this blog is highly professional (ahem), I’m now going to post my first interview! (I know you can barely contain the excitement that I moved so quickly with this).

As I promised, these are in the words of the interviewee – I asked the questions, and they gave their answers. I don’t want to manipulate them and try to “pretty” them (or detract from their own power) to make a story – It’s not my story.

For this first interview, I’ve asked fellow author and blogger Charles French three questions about who he is and, I believe you’ll see in his answers, he answered them better than I could have wanted.

If you don’t know who Charles is, then please go and check out his blog so you can find out more. He is an author, and English Professor, a blogger, and so much more. You can find him at Charles French: Words Reading and Writing here at WordPress.

Now, enough of my rambling. On with the interview!

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Me:

If anyone has read your blog for some time now, they are probably familiar with what you call your atypical path from steelworker to janitor to professor of English Literature. You’ve also spoken on the valuable lessons learned from failure. My question is this: What was the driving force that kept you going from one place to another on your path? How did that steer you toward where you see yourself now, as an English Literature professor?

Charles:

I am not sure if there was one force that kept me going on a particular path from my early adulthood to becoming an English professor, except for a desire not to take the well-trodden path. While not always followed because of a well-considered intellectual desire, I often simply took a different road from what would have probably been a far easier path.  Sometimes, I think I was simply a young man who had not yet learned how much I did not know.
I should add though that I have always loved books–I cannot remember a time when I could not read, and the experience of reading and the love of books has been a constant in my life.  Taken together, they might form a directive force.

Me:

You have spoken about the powerful impact of literature (or words) in our lives. What opened your eyes to this in your own life? Was there one particular piece of writing/speech that impacted you more than others, or was it a systematic awakening? How does this inform your own writing?

Charles:

As I mentioned in my previous answer, I have always loved books and have been a constant reader, often covering 3-5 books a week. But if I had to choose one kind of book or writing that had the most impact on my life, it would be Shakespeare. I discovered him as a teenager at a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and I have read, studied, watched, directed, acted in, and taught Shakespeare most of my adult life.  Shakespeare is essential reading for life.

Me:

You’ve worn many hats in your life, and you still wear many. What do you feel is the most rewarding hat you wear/role you play? What is the most challenging? How do you approach these responsibilities?

Charles:

I wear the hats of teacher, writer, and husband and father–soon to be grandfather.  They are all deeply important in my life, in very different ways.  They are all also intertwined.
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This interview was conducted via email – and I know, it could have gone better (on my part, I could have asked more interactive questions), but I think Charles answered well – and we all can get a better look into who he is.
So, Thank you Charles for being my first interviewee! And much success to you in all your many pursuits.
As for you, readers, go and visit Charles on his own home front (the blog – I don’t know if he would be prepared for a bunch of you to show up on his doorstep) and say hello. You won’t regret it.
A very Happy Story Monday to you. Drop me a line and let me know what you think. What questions should I have asked? What did you learn about Charles that intrigued you most?

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I would love to discuss this story and more with you. You can Contact me through email, or Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.

Need a good story? Join my New story Email Group and get my two Scifi short stories as a gift!

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17 thoughts on “Story Monday: An Interview with Charles French

  1. Charles French is not only a marvelous blogger, writer, and teacher; he is a fine human being. You picked the best for your first interview. I learned about Charles early in his adult life and not taking the well trodden path. This was a terrific interview. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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