Christian Larsen’s story, “Sic Semper Versipellis“, retells a tale we all know: the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. At least, it’s a tale we all thought we knew. After reading this one, we may need to rethink who the real monster was, after all. Mr. Larsen was kind enough to answer a few questions for us all today, so let’s get right down to it. And remember, leave a comment below to enter our ongoing contest, which you can be caught up to be speed with HERE.
So, who the hell are you, and why should we listen to you?
In the words of Arthur Brown, “I am the god of hellfire, and I bring you … FIRE!” Also, I am a husband and father, and people would make fun of my luxurious beard more if it was not so stunning to behold.
Do you have any other jobs besides writing?
I’ve run the gamut of professions, having worked as a printer’s devil at my grandpa’s print shop when I was a tween, a newspaper reporter in college, a radio personality, and even an English teacher for a couple of years. Of all the jobs, I miss radio and the print shop the most–the way those cold Pepsis tasted coming out of 16 ounce glass bottles in the summer heat, man, those were good times. Also, I miss my grandpa.
Your story must have been awesome to have been chosen over the hundreds of other submissions I received. What made you choose the topic you wrote about?
I read Gore Vidal’s LINCOLN a couple of years back, and through it, discovered that Lincoln, while arguably our greatest president, was not the demi-god that some would have us believe. I suppose that “Sic Semper Versipellis” was my way of working through that particular burst bubble. No one is the hero–or the villain–that history would have us believe.
Did you enjoy history class as a child? What would you have changed about the teaching process that would’ve interested you more back then?
I LOVED history class. It was the one class that always made sense, and all I had to do was read the assigned passage, or listen in lecture, and I was set. Making arguments out of it all was easy. I can’t think of how history could have been MORE fun. It was pretty much awesome to begin with.
Forget the teaching process. What would you change about history itself? Let’s say you were handed over a time machine with a Post-it note reading “HAVE AT IT, BUCKO”, and you were able to change one thing that would shape the world as you know it. What would that be, and why? Excluding the whole mandatory Hitler answer, o’course.
Damn. You’re keeping me from being a Hitler chrono-assassin? Bastards. In all honesty, I wouldn’t change a thing. I don’t mean to be a buzzkill, but we are the sum of our experience, and despite the groans this will induce, I still cling to the childhood belief that all things happen for a reason. But if I HAD to choose one thing, it would be to warn Warren Zevon about his cancer when it was still potentially curable.
Okay, let’s forget about that too. Let’s say you didn’t give a crap about changing history, and you just wanted to go back in time and challenge a certain historical figure to a fight. Who would it be? And why?
Friedrich Nietzsche, because he killed God.
What would be your weapon of choice?
Broken off liquor bottle necks taped between my knuckles.
Before we go, do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to talk about?
I have stories appearing in several anthologies. FOR WHEN THE VEIL DROPS (West Pigeon Press) will include my “724,” “The Corpse Road” will appear in FOR ALL ETERNITY (Dark Opus Press) and CHIRAL MAD (Written Backwards) will feature my “Mirror Moments,” which draws on my memories working as a printer’s devil. I also have completed my first novel, LOSING TOUCH, which is in the latter stages of editing and I hope to have out sometime in 2013. I’ll have updates on these and other future works at www.exlibrislarsen.com. I am also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/exlibrislarsen and Twitter @exlibrislarsen.