C.J Anderson, author and open atheist, is a minority amongst his literary brethren as he has taken a different road, one still rocky and rough, but lately he is much more likely to see another traveler or grey shadow disappearing just beyond the next turn. It is not as if there haven’t been atheist authors in the past but the current sociopolitical atmosphere of the United States and parts of Europe have seen a steady growth in those who do not believe. This new demographic, of which C.J. is clearly a part, has begun to produce visual arts and literary works elegant and transparent in their questioning of faith, in the need for more than earnest promises, and in what it is to be human having left the shackles of a totalitarian past behind. C.J. has used his personal experience to lead the reader on deftly transcribed first person narrative of lost faith in “No Kingdom Come” and his vast imaginative processes, combining the inspirations of great philosophers and storytellers, into his own distinctive style in the “Ruinland” Series.
To begin lightly, you favorite please: Teapot, Flying Spaghetti Monster, or pink Unicorn? Spaghetti Monster
Your bio lists you as a Las Vegas resident as well as having studied writing at UNLV, have you always called Nevada home? I have also lived in Florida.
What was your childhood belief structure like, your parents and family? My parents claimed to be religious but they didn’t take it very seriously.
Did you have a eureka moment in which defiance of god or genuine disbelief were the only options, or was it a slow, gradual journey? I was a devoted believer for many years until a series of events in 2010 opened up my eyes to reality.
What has driven you to the level of outspoken activism you now enjoy? Were there ever any reservations or repercussions? I am passionate about the truth and I see religion as a form of darkness that enslaves people. My atheism has definitely caused problems within my family.
Have you always been a writer or is this a fairly new aspiration? I always loved to write but didn’t publish anything until 2012.
Who would you say were the most influential writers or people in your life. Cormac McCarthy and Friedrich Nietzsche.
“No Kingdom Come” is a deeply personal journey garnering a variety of emotions online, was it difficult to put such a vivid account of your journey to print and give it to the world? Definitely. I was still recovering from my awakening to reality and it was a challenge to describe my experience but I wanted it all to be chronicled. If my experience can save even one person from religion than it was worth writing.
Was “No Kingdom Come” always an account of your journey or did it start as something else? Research on the failings of religions and Christianity in particular perhaps? No it was written immediately after my eyes were opened and meant to be my personal story.
Moving on to the new “Ruinland” series, what is it about the post apocalyptic canvas that inspired you? I was always a fan of Sci-Fi and there is a book called “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy that inspired me to write Ruinland. The story is also influenced by movies like Blade Runner and Alien.
Any particular philosophical goals with the series? The goal is to be thought-provoking and entertaining. The story will deeply explore both belief and disbelief in God from both human and artificial intelligence points of view.
You list one of your inspirations as the indomitable Friedrich Nietzche, any specifcic portions of his work tied to “Ruinland” or your own personal apostasy? His quote that really inspired me: “There is not enough love and goodness in the world to permit giving any of it away to imaginary beings.”
Where do you see “Ruinland” heading and are there any dream projects that you wish to tackle one day? I am working on the sequel to Enter Ruinland now called Survive Ruinland, which will be followed by a third book called Exit Ruinland. I am also working with a really talented artist in Venezuela named Carlos Quevedo who is doing all the cover artwork.
Another inspiration you list is Cormac McCarthy, how did you personally interpret his religious connotations in “The Road” and is some of your writing a possible secular or atheistic response to such prose? I immediately felt a connection to Cormac’s writing and any fans of his books will probably recognize the influence in my writing. I love the quote from The Road “There is no God and we are his prophets.”
To close I would like to give you a chance to plug your pages, links to your writing, and any pages/podcasts/communities that you think would be useful for our readers here at Atheist Analysis.Best place to find me is at Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6477052.C_J_Anderson and I am working on making Enter Ruinland free to read at all major outlets. You can find links and free downloads in Epub, PDF, and iBook form at Noisetradebooks: http://books.noisetrade.com/cjanderson. Basically anyone can just search “Enter Ruinland” on Google and they will be able to find a free version for whatever device or file form they prefer. Thank you for this opportunity and if anyone wants to share their thoughts or ask questions come find me at Goodreads or message me on Twitter/Facebook.
On behalf of Atheist Analysis I thank you for your time and please send us updates on your work and when you release new material as we would be more than happy to help bolster the career of an openly Atheist author! Thank you! Many more books to come!
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