It’s the last Monday before Christmas, so I’m bringing back one of my friends for a return visit. You remember AC Adams, right?
AC Adams is a bright light on the lesbian romance scene. Since her first book, Finding Faith, launched in August she’s been blown away by the support from the sapphic community. Her second book, Testing Faith, will be out in February. She’s also been publishing, releasing an anthology of hot romance stories called Spice & Steam and planning another anthology for the spring. When she’s not busy writing, she’s tormenting students as an Associate Professor of English. She lives in Boston with her wife and a cranky cat.
A book you’re looking forward to release (by someone else)?
I can’t wait for Nat Paga to release Ashe & Dez as an ebook. Still. No pressure there Nat!
A book that pleasantly surprised you?
I’ll go with an author. I didn’t know her, but Jae (and yeah, that’s all the name she uses) is a fabulous lesbian romance author! She really does a good job building up the tension in her stories, making them sweet, slow burn, and spicy all at once while giving her MC’s their HEA. I wanna grow up to be her!
Coffee, tea, or cacao?
I blame you for this. Cacao with coffee. Bastard. Got me hooked on it!
Favorite hangover recovery recipe?
If I knew one, I’d share it, but sometimes Sober AC remembers to leave out a big glass of water and two aspirin next to the bed for Drunk AC to have before crashing.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I read Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. Judy Blume really totes spoke to ten-year-old me, and from that moment I wanted to tell my stories!
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Fuck if I know. Seriously. I mean, the sex scenes, right, I know those, kay? I’m lesbian, so writing lesbian scenes is easy. I know how women think and feel and what we like, right? But the theology and shit like that I throw at the page, I have no clue where it comes from. I’m just glad it does.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Crazy. I’m a professor IRL, so I have little time during the day, then I go home. I like to cook and my wife doesn’t, so I start things going, then sit down to write a little bit. Make dinner, eat, and while Leila cleans up I do more writing. I’ll get in an hour or so before my brain turns to concrete and I have to stop.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Does refusing to write on a laptop count? I can’t stand the keyboards.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I spend as much time with my wife as I can, between our work schedules. Weekends we tend to take off for somewhere, or maybe lock ourselves in the apartment and turn off our phones. Or we also wander around the city, too, when the weather’s good. When it’s crappy, we’ll take the T and explore.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Oh, goddess, yes! I think I really struck a nerve with Finding Faith. So many people, mostly women but a few guys, have told me how much they enjoyed it, that the characters hit home and are fun to read, and how much they want the next one. It’s really encouraging for a baby writer like me!
What does your family think of your writing?
My wife is very supportive of me and is absolutely the best alpha reader out there. She can cut through all the bullshit and illogic in a millisecond. I don’t know if that’s because she’s an IT professional or just the way her brain works, but it’s awesome! And my blood family? They appreciate that I’m doing something I love, though my dad’s not crazy about reading the smexy scenes.
Do you like to create books for adults?
It’d be a wicked pissah if I didn’t! Seriously, my book starts with one of the MC’s bent over and getting screwed by her assignment. Yeah, it’s for adults.
What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
Everything. I know authors who have been beating their heads against the brick walls the big publishers put up for decades, talented authors who deserve the chance. Then you have cases like, well, I won’t give a name but it’s a HUGE author and they’ve been screwed over by their publisher. It went to the Justice Department before the publisher even began to say “oops we screwed up” and agreed to make reparations. Frankly, fuck ‘em. And then you have the vanity publishers who prey on the impostor syndrome so many of us face. Pay them a few grand and they’ll publish your book, guaranteed! Fuck them, too, with a rusty chainsaw. Authors, self-publish. Pay for a professional cover and a professional editor, but do the rest yourself.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
I think when the author gets bigger than the story it’s a problem. You taught me this, Adam: we write down the words, that’s our jobs, but it’s our characters’ lives. Without them, where would we be?
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
It’s funny. When I was a student, working as a barista, and writing as a hobby? I had so much time to go hang out in the Common or just walk around the city. Now, even though I don’t have the crazy barista hours, it seems like my time has just vanished!
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I sort of do. I mean, my first name isn’t AC, right? If I’d thought about it before launching my writing career, I would have, because I’m a professor. But at least I have a little anonymity.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I like to think I’m pretty original. Not in the tropes I use, because enemies-to-lovers and slow burn and even fated mates aren’t original, but in the backstory and worldbuilding I’m doing to support my MC’s. Like, Lucifer and God being the younger siblings of an older sister who actually runs the universe? But when you get down to it, I’m writing a romance.
Is there a trope you find yourself going back to in multiple works? Or one you avoid?
Not really? I mean, so far I’m writing historical fantasy romance, right? But I’m kinda turning the tropes on their head, at least where I can. Though I hafta say I had fun working one plotline into slow burn, enemies-to-lovers, and fated mates while still making it burn-your-hand hot.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you building a body of work with connections between each book?
Definitely connections. I love Kalili and Faith. Kalili’s smart and snarky and has seen it all, while Faith is the naïve youngster (relatively speaking, though they’re the same age and Kalili’s older. Don’t ask, it makes sense in the book). I don’t want to not write them, you know?
What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?
Read the magazines which publish stories in your genre. Those are going to be the most cutting-edge, current stories, and will give you a sense of where the industry is trending.
What do you have coming next?
Next up is Testing Faith. Like Finding Faith, it’s being released on Kindle Vella first. It’s out now, and I’m posting a new episode every day because the freakin’ book is FINISHED! Yeah baby!
I’ll release it as an ebook on February 28, 2023. Sometime after that, I’ve already arranged with Marie Bishop to do the audiobook, just like the first book. I’ve started writing Keeping Faith, which will finish the trilogy. That will come out sometime in 2023, first on Kindle Vella, and then as an ebook/print/audible.
You and I are also putting together another anthology, which should hit the shelves in spring of 2023. Until then, people can sign up for my newsletter at https://kaliliandfaith.com