Posted by Cassondra Murray Jun 18 2013, 2:04 am
Okay time out!!!! It’s all my fault.
Yes, it is. Today was supposed to be a visit with screaming-funny author, Lexi George.
Y’all know I don’t bring guests to the Lair unless I love the books, and I DO love these books. But some stuff happened, and…ahem..well..it’s my fault she’s not here. There was a timing issue. Bottom line? I blew it. *hangs head* She will join us in August and she’ll bring her hunky Dalvahni Demon hunters along with her. So watch for that.
But in the meantime…
YES! I’m starting a series. I’m calling it Cassondra talks Bandit to Bandit.
I’ve wanted to do this for a long time–interview the other Bandits. Ask them the questions that don’t usually get asked.
I make no promises about the timing of the interviews, or who will be my guest. And chances are good I may scare some of the other Bandits away and nobody else will agree to let me interview her.
Enter at your own risk. Muahahahaha!
Sven is bringing around drinks for everyone, and the house lights have been dimmed.
So for my first interview in the Bandit to Bandit series, please give a rowdy lair welcome to our own Nancy Northcott!
Cassondra: Nancy, most of us know you have a thing for super-heroes, comic books, science fiction and fantasy. That came from when you were little, I’m guessing.
What was the first book you remember being read to you?
Nancy: It was a picture book version of Silver Chief, a story about a wolf and a Mountie. It had no super-powers, no paranormal elements, not even a mystery.
Cassondra: This is not the Nancy we know. *raises eyebrow* How did you get from Silver Chief to Super-heroes.
Nancy: I discovered super-heroes when I saw the window of the M&M Soda Shop in my hometown of Davidson when I was seven. I was walking down the street with my grandfather (my mom’s father) and spotted a Superman comic (I think it actually may have been an issue of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen) lying in the window. It had a Phantom Zone story on the cover, if I remember right, and I was intrigued with the bright colors and spooky ghosts. So I asked my grandfather to buy it for me.
“Honey,” he said, “are you sure your mama wants you to have that?”
“She won’t mind if you buy it for me,” I replied, with greater insight than I realized. And so it all began.
And Cassondra, you’re not that scary. So far.
Cassondra: Hmmm. I’ll have to try harder.
What’s the first book you remember reading by yourself?
Nancy: I don’t really remember what that was. I suspect it would’ve been in the Dick & Jane series.
Cassondra: I know nothing of this series, but since I’m a romance writer, based on the cover I’d say Dick and Jane had something going…Ahem…
What book did you read over and over as a child?
Nancy: The D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths, an oversized, beautifully illustrated picture book about the Greek gods.
Cassondra: Oh, jeez. I knew you were a geek, but I had not fully comprehended the extent of it, or how early it started.
Nancy: It’s never too late to be enlightened. Anyway….I discovered that book in the school library when I was in third grade, and I checked it out over and over and over again. This was about a year after I discovered super-hero comic books, so maybe the two are related. From a third-grader’s perspective, the Greek gods seemed a bit like super-heroes.
Cassondra: Okay, yes. I can see that connection.
Nancy: The dh learned of this a few years after we were married. The book was back in print, and he gave me a copy for Christmas. I later enjoyed reading it to the boy.
Cassondra: Okay now for the serious stuff…
What are you willing to tell us about your first date?
Nancy: Hmm. It was with a guy I met at the Latin club banquet. He was taller than I was–always a plus!–as well as a year older and actually looked pretty good in a toga (with a shirt–remember, this was high school a few decades ago). I thought he was interested in my friend, but he called and invited me to go with him to hear a chamber orchestra.
All I knew about classical music was what my piano teacher had managed to instill in me and I’d absorbed from being in the band. Still, he was cute and nice, and into Latin, so why not? We had a great time and dated for a while.
Cassondra: What was the best date you ever went on? (No, it doesn’t have to be one with your significant other. Shhhh. We won’t tell.)
Nancy: That’s kind of a toughie. My view of any date is shaded by what came after it.
Cassondra: That is so quintessentially Nancy.
Nancy: *rolls eyes* So I’ll pick the night the dh and I got engaged, which happened on the sidewalk as we walked from dinner to a play. It’s tough to focus on the stage when you feel as though you have champagne fizzing inside you, but we stayed for the whole thing. That was 26 years ago, so what came after obviously shades it rather nicely.
Cassondra: What do you collect, and why?
Nancy: I love dragons (big surprise!), so I collect dragon pictures and glass goblets with blown glass dragons in the stems. I have four different goblets. They’re not very expensive, which adds to their appeal, but I haven’t seen a new one lately. We drank champagne out of them when Renegade sold.
Cassondra: You love dragons. So it’s no coincidence that you were the Bandit who found Ermingarde and brought her to live here in the Lair.
Nancy: I guess it’s not a coincidence. She turned up in our back yard when the Golden Rooster was here overnight. Our house was too small for her, so I brought her to the lair, and that was that.
Cassondra: Good thing we had a turret. Ahem….What toy do you still have from your childhood?
Nancy: A small, red (now faded) stuffed dog I hid in the Barbie airplane box in the basement because he had holes in him, his stuffing was coming out, and my mom was going to throw him away. As the years went by, I kinda forgot about him. I found him again when we cleared things out before my parents moved out of the house. His foam stuffing is rock hard now, and he looks pretty bedraggled, but I’m never getting rid of him.
Cassondra: Okay that’s just totally awesome. *sniffle* A beloved stuffed animal goes straight to my heart.
If I say the word “hero” what male actor comes immediately to your mind?
Nancy: Christopher Reeve. His Superman was superb–
Cassondra: *interrupts* I totally agree.
Nancy:….and the way the man turned personal tragedy into an opportunity to help others was awe-inspiring. Even without a red cape and spandex, he was amazing.
Cassondra: We all know you’re a history geek. But what is up with you and Richard III? I happen to know you’re crazy about that era, and it comes up frequently in conversation when we’ve been together. It comes up from YOUR side of the conversation, since I know zip about this time in history. What’s up with that?
Nancy: I read Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time on a recommendation from a law school classmate. Richard III has a reputation, thanks to Shakespeare, of murdering many, many people. So, the gist of the book is that Tey’s Inspector Grant sees the NPG (National Portrait Gallery) portrait of Richard III and does not believe this is the face of a murderer. He then starts looking into the history of Richard’s reign.
I’m an English history geek. The mystery just drew me in. So I went out and read everything I could get my hands on, on both sides of the question, but with particular attention to the sources that believed Richard III was not a murderer.
I still read about this now, and I have to say I think the traditional case has a great many holes in it. It bothers me to see historians write about other figures in the Wars of the Roses and credit them with intelligence and political ability, then flip to say Richard hoodwinked them and murdered them. The internal inconsistency makes me nuts.
Cassondra: Only you, Nancy, would be driven nuts by this.
Nancy: I’m restraining myself here with an effort because I could go on about this at very great length..
Cassondra: Yes, we see that this is, indeed, the case.
Nancy: Ahem….and your Bandit to Bandit would turn into Nancy’s Soapbox on Historical Controversy.
Cassondra: Thank you so much for not taking it there.
Nancy: I was talking to Anna Campbell and Duchesse Jeanne about this in the bar at the Washington, DC RWA conference when Anna C started laughing.
“What?” I said. I mean, to me the fact the National Portrait Gallery had rearranged things and stuck Richard in with the Tudors, the ones who, yaknow, knocked him off the throne, was a matter of great moment. Quite annoying, especially as it took me half an hour to find him.
Shaking her head, Anna chuckled. ”You talk about these people as though they’re your neighbors.”
Well. Yeah. Because they interested me at least as much as my neighbors did. *g*
Cassondra: So you’ve studied all of this at great length and been to see the sites involved?
Nancy: The last time we were at the National Portrait Gallery and I was seeking out the portrait of Richard III, the dh waited in the lobby. Someone taking a poll for the gallery approached and asked him why he’d come there that day.
“My wife,” he replied. ”When we’re in London, we have to come here so she can see Richard III.”
He reported that the woman didn’t seem to know what to say to that, but he was merely speaking the truth.
And just think, this is me being restrained!
Cassondra: Indeed. And this is why we love you. *grin*
Last question…Most of us have something–some hobby or dream–that we’re saving for “later.” Later when we have time. Later when we have money. Later when we retire. What are you saving to do when “later” finally gets here?
Nancy: Assuming “later” arrives with considerably more money than we currently possess, I’d like to spend two weeks in England and have box seat tickets on Centre Court for the second week of Wimbledon.
Cassondra: Me too! I love tennis! It’s my sport of choice.
Nancy: Thank you for having me kick off your series, Cassondra. I hope we haven’t scared anybody.
Cassondra: I guess we’ll see whether they come back for seconds. Thanks so much, Nancy, for being my guest and guinea pig.
So, Bandits And Buddies…
What’s the first book you remember–whether it was read to you, or you read it yourself?
Who is your favorite super-hero?
And when you think of the word “hero” (or heroine) what actor comes to mind for you, either male or female?
Are you like Nancy?—Are you a geek about something? Is there something you love, like Nancy’s comic books or Richard III, that you obsess over but nobody else around you gets?
Do you have a toy from childhood–one you’ve saved–that means something to you?
Sven is serving drinks, and Ermingarde is toasting marshmallows on the front lawn.
Hey, don’t question it. She. Breathes. Freaking. Fire….
It’s her way of fitting into the lair festivities.
The guys who keep the Lair running are passing around snacks. Grab some food and drinks, tell us about youself, and join the fun as we get to know our favorite history and comic book geek, Bandita Nancy.
Posted in Author interviews, Bandit to Bandit, Cassondra Murray, Cassondra's blogs, early influences, Nancy Northcott, Richard III, Superheroes