Welcome back to another MONDAY!
Did you get your taxes done yet?
Filing deadline is tonight!
Let me take your mind off taxes for a while, and we'll talk with Adam Evans, an indie crime novelist.
Star Trek or Star Wars?
Star wars (the six films. I pretend the rest don’t exist)
Reboots – a great idea or a lack of creativity?
Lack of creativity. And we all know why they're made really, don’t we!
Coffee, tea, or Cacao?
Coffee. Always will be.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Quite early. I always enjoyed writing as a small child but after a screenwriting module in uni, that’s when I really decided to take it seriously.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
This sounds bad, but mostly from other books. I have four completed manuscripts and notice that each one has greater resemblances to the material I was reading at the time of writing.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
The first book I wrote was an unpublished manuscript called The Association. I did this between the ages of 21-24 and sometimes look back in on it. I realise just how bad it is too and I’m not sure if that’s demotivating or encouraging when compared to newer material.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Procrastinate about writing haha. No, I’m pretty in to yoga. My social life isn’t exactly packed out, and I don’t mind saying so.
What does your family think of your writing?
They don’t mind it. They generally prefer I phone them though.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Four, but only one that I’ve flowed through to publishing. I’m hoping to continue with one every year from here on out. I think it’s a stock answer but I’m more fond of Pelican Island than the rest… you know, first born and all that.
Suggestions for a new writer?
In a way, it’s so important to know whether you’re self publishing or conventially publishing from the off. The reason I say this is because I found myself 50/50 with my first professionally paid edit. I’m not saying an editor isn’t genuinely being constructive, but if you’re self publishing, it can take this element of ‘what would an agent want?’ out of the equation. Just get proof readers and if it makes sense, and youre happy with it, keep it.
What do you think makes a good story?
So this goes back to a point I made earlier. An early edit report stated sometimes the reader is on the back foot with the way I can sometimes convey information, and they can lose interest as a result. I think the mystery element and the unfolding story shows a greater degree of trust to the reader. I like crime stories that generally interconnect over two narratives. You can pick and chose your moments to flip back and forth the two narratives as a means of holding suspense too. Of course I’m not trying to cheat my way out of good writing, but see it as a trope for building/maintaining tension.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
I don’t know if this holds merit, but watching too much tv or film can be bad. I feel like too many liberties are taken with suspension of disbelief. There’s also a very unnatural way of writing dialogue in film and tv which you need to throw out for books. Its far more dramatised when you need to asking ‘is that what someone would really say in that situation?’… when something bad is on the horizon I can’t ever remember stopping to say ‘there’s a storm coming’ hahaha.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
Hurt. How can you take constructive advice if you aren’t willing to be humbled? You know I’ve thought about this previously about whether to include little easter eggs to ones self in writing. Like a nod to one of my other novels, but every time I snap put of it and realise its self indulgence and ego coming to the table. I’m glad I never actually follow through.
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Probably. It depends on the genre and I’ve read books where the emotions and characters aren’t necessarily the main draw of the novel, but the plot has enough strength to keep me turning. So, probably. Also, if it helps, I don’t find writing has ever come natural to me and I see as a matter of research and effort.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you building a body of work with connections between each book?
If you’re writing a series, then sure. That’s a nice way of falling in love with your characters all over again and expanding on them. But my second novel isnt connected to my first and see it as self indulgence if I try to make some tenuous connection that doesn’t serve the story. I can also write more freely with unconnected books.
Who shot first, Han or Greebo?
I’m sure Lucas changed that again didn’t he so that now it’s the same time. The real question is who killed star wars… and that’s Rian Johnson.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
My editor was incredible in helping my adjust my perspective on why crime dramas work. For example, my novel Pelican Island had a series of chapters at the beginning that didn’t connect directly with each other. In a race against the clock, the advice given was to have them directly on top of each other. If Joe walks through a door at the end of chapter 1, that same door is closing at the start of chapter 2. It really helped give a sense of urgency to things. So, I suppose to answer the question, it’s more about stepping back and thinking about what the novel is about and what the intention is. In my example here, it’s urgency.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
On a professional level edit. But also my cover design. I’m so pleased and maybe the cover out does my actual book ha. I’ll have to wait and see on that one but I’d use the same designer again for my next project.
How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?
That’s such an interesting question and I had to stop and think about this one a lot. I think for what I write, it’s about the drip feed of information. My natural inclination is definitely the former and I tend to roll it all out and keep the mystery. The care aspect seems to come later when in editing and asking how I can make the flow of information a little neater.
Are you traditionally or self published? Or both? Do you feel there are advantages to one over the other?
I’m self published and to tell the truth I try to take the money element out of it. I have a job so that’s my income. As for writing, I just want to tell the story and get it out there and find self publishing is the quickest way to do so. I just couldn’t stand the idea of my novels being on the scrap heap never looked at and just festering away.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Just the one that’s actually published so far. But I’m working on a second for the end of 2023, and two further drafts for next year.
What is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything?
I’m not sure, but if we all work together and rewatch twin peaks start to finish, it’s in there somewhere.
What does literary success look like to you?
Like this. It’s out there. And someone will like it. Maybe that’s cheesy but that’s how it is.
What’s the best way to market your books?
I’m very early having just self published so this I’m not sure on. Maybe some fellow self published authors can give me tips ha.
What do you have coming next?
My next novel is another crime drama only less of a police procedural than Pelican Island. Its working title is Black Sheep but that may change. My very next project is the website currently being created for my books, so I’m really excited to see that in the next month or so.