I get asked a lot of questions by students doing book reports and/or mysterious spies searching for answers to cryptic questions. Either way, here are some of those questions I get asked a lot and some of the answers:
What does the "C" in C. Alexander London stand for?
Answer: It stands for Charles!
What is your birthday?
I assume I get asked this because you all want to buy me birthday presents. If that's the case, I'm happy to say I was born on January 16th, 1980
I'm doing an Author Study, Can you Tell me About Your Childhood?
Sure. I was born a very young baby. Seriously! I was born 3 months premature and had stay in an incubator. I grew in Baltimore, Maryland, where I played Little League and liked staring at the clouds and daydreaming stories while I stood in the outfield. That did mean I was terrible at Little League. Truly terrible. I made up stories a lot. I distracted my friends with them. I distracted myself with them. I got in trouble a lot for distracting my friends. It was good practice for being a writer. Daydreaming was always my favorite hobby. Also drawing pictures of underground bunkers. Not sure why I liked doing that so much, but I did. A lot.
I was a weird kid. I'm a weird adult. Being weird is the best.
I was an exchange student in Germany in High School, where I dyed my hair bright green. What can I say? Teenagers make strange choices. I kinda liked it though. Maybe I'll do it again one day.
Were any of your Dog Tides or Tides of War books inspired by true events?
Yes, they were! While they are works of fiction, I did a lot of research to learn how animals are used in wartime deployments. I learned about the history and places in which I set each story and I learned about the science behind the use of dogs, dolphins, and sea lions in the the military. Each book in the series has an Author's Note which describes my research, explains some of the true parts behind each of the stories, and provides further reading material (and even a few things to watch). So make sure you read the Authors Note if you've got questions!
Can you tell us Five Fun Facts about yourself?
Yes I can!
- I spent a month as the Maryland State Jr. Skeet Shooting Champion because I was the only one entered in the “Junior” Category. It might actually have been in Delaware. My triumph didn’t last.
- My full name is Charles Alexander London because my parents saw the monogram “CAL” on a towel in Macy’s and liked how it looked. They did not buy the towel that I am named after.
- I was born three months premature and lived in an incubator for quite a while. I weighed less than two pounds and slept on a Ziploc bag filled with water that the nurses could jiggle when I forgot to breathe. I think I’ve been drawn to those breathless moments in life ever since. Also, I still love Ziploc bags.
- I don’t remember how to write cursive.
- I quit my job as an assistant to a movie agent in order to get a Master’s in Library Science because of a speech Chris Crutcher gave. At the time, I hadn’t read a single one of his books.
Do you have a favorite word?
I really love the word "ballyhoo"
You write about adventures, but have you had any of your own?
While traveling as a journalist, I have watched television in 24 countries, survived an erupting volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a hurricane on small island in the Caribbean, 4 civil wars (one of them was over by the time I got there, thankfully), and a mysterious bite on my little toe in the jungles of Thailand. The bite got infected and swollen and gross and gave me a deep mistrust of lizards, even though it probably wasn't a lizard that bit me.
Where did you get the idea for ____________ book?
I get asked this question ALL THE TIME about EVERY ONE OF MY BOOKS. Of course, this means that I have answered it a lot of times in different interviews. You can search the internet and usually find out. That's called research. I can't do it all for you. :)
Will there be a 3rd Book in the PROXY series?
This is the question I am most often asked (and am thrilled people love the books enough to want more!) I've answered it a few times, for example, here.