Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Author Interview with D.A. Adams

This week I would like to welcome another author, D. A. Adams to our blog. I've had some time to ask him a few questions so we can get to know more about him. 

1. Please tell the readers a bit more about you.

I’m a walking paradox.  I’m equal parts responsible father and mischievous rascal.  I’m equally happy sitting on a panel at a con as digging in the dirt on the farm.  I’m stubborn and prideful but compassionate and humble.  Life has toughened me up, but I’m still sensitive enough to cry.  I’ve faced a lot of adversity and been knocked down more times than I can count, but somehow I always get back on my feet and keep fighting for what I believe in.  I’m a simple man with simple tastes who loves to write stories.

In 1989, I had a traumatic head injury from a freak accident during track practice.  Until that point, most of my focus had been on athletics, and my goal was to become an officer in the United States Marine Corps.  The accident ended those dreams and forced me to focus more on my intellectual development.  Fortunately, I didn’t suffer any serious long-term effects from the injury, and through the process of working through my grief, I discovered writing as an outlet for my emotions.  I also realized that I had always enjoyed creating stories, so I made the decision to become a writer and have been working in this industry, on some level, for 22 years.

2. What types of books do you write?

I call it old-fashioned fantasy action-adventure that’s character driven.  I draw on elements of high fantasy, epic fantasy, and sword and sorcery, so the series doesn’t fit well into marketing pigeonholes.  I try to write books that are fun and entertaining.

3. Who's your main audience?

Because of my approach, I don’t have a tightly defined demographic.  The books have been well-received by such a diverse range of readers that I don’t want to say any one group because the story really transcends boundaries.  Many readers from all walks of life have told me that.  I try to reach people on a deeply personal level and tell them a story that will inspire them to face and overcome the own obstacles in their lives.

4. When it comes to writing- what are your strong points? What are your weaknesses?

Personally, I believe my strongest points are narrative voice, character development, plot pacing, and dramatic tension.  My weaknesses are dialogue, which I’m always striving to improve, physical descriptions because I try for minimalism, and exposition.

5. What do you think of this term- Writer's Block? How do you overcome it?

To me, writer’s block is simply a product of an undisciplined writer who doesn’t work on their craft and feed their creative energy.  I rarely deal with it because I follow my writing process rigorously and keep my creative juices at a fairly high level.

6. How many books have you written?

I’m currently finishing my fifth manuscript.

7. How many are published?

This will be the fourth one published.  The first was an awful book I wrote in my early 20’s that hopefully will never see the light of day.

8. Are you self published or traditionally published?

I began as self-published in 2005, but in 2011, Seventh Star Press out of Lexington, KY took over rights to the series.

9. What's the hardest part of the writing process for you?

The hardest part is hanging in there for the long-haul.  Novels are a marathon that require patience and commitment.  Maintaining the focus and mental stamina for the duration of the book is the biggest challenge I face.  Life throws so many obstacles in the way to hinder writing, and overcoming those obstacles is what separates the professional from the rest.  It’s not easy to complete an entire book, and that’s what makes it so fulfilling.

10. What type of books do you enjoy reading?

Today, when I have time to read, I mostly enjoy good nonfiction based on anthropology, psychology, sociology, or horticulture.

11. Who's your favorite Author?

In terms of fiction, probably Harry Crews.

12. What's your all time favorite book?

“A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole.

13. How long does it take you to write a book?

In terms of physical time, about 8 months of writing and 3-4 months of editing.  Unfortunately, it seems with each manuscript of this series, I’ve had some outside disruption that has interfered with the process and made the time from beginning to end a little longer.

14. Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite? Why?

Probably my main protagonist, Roskin, because he’s grown so much as a character.  He learns from his mistakes and matures as a person.  He’s also pretty bad ass, so that makes him appealing, too.

15. What is one of the most surprising things you've learned as a writer?

The act of discovery as the story unfolds.  When I first started writing, that part of it was foreign to me.  Realizing that the characters themselves would tell me the story as I went was one of my biggest breakthroughs as a writer.  The best thing I can do is get out of their way.

16. What does your family think of your writing?

My family has been incredibly supportive.  I couldn’t ask for more encouragement.

17. What does your writing schedule look like? 

I write at night.  My most creative time is from about 10:00 PM to about 4:00 AM, so I always try to write within that window, and I try to dedicate a minimum of two hours each day, more if I can.

18. Do you manage to write every day?

Yes, 5-6 days a week.  I give myself at least one day off a week to rest and recharge.

19. What's the latest news you'd like to share?

On July 18 and 19, my publisher is having an open house and offering at least one book from each author as a free download on Kindle.  Book one in my series, The Brotherhood of Dwarves, will be free on those days, so this is a great chance to check out the series at no cost.  You don’t have to own a Kindle to download any of the titles, either.  Just an Amazon account.  Amazon will store the book ad infinitum in their cloud.

20. Do you have any advice for new writers?

If you’re looking for quick riches, you’re in the wrong line of work.  If you’re seeking fame and accolades, keep searching.  However, if you have a burning desire to spend much of your life working very hard to practice your craft and refine your skills with very little promise of financial return, then go for it.  But don’t expect any shortcuts.  The road is hard, steep, and long.  Commit for the long-haul or don’t start the journey.

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