It’s Author Spotlight time! If you want to know more about how the series got started, go check out the introduction post.
Today the spotlight is on London native, CC Adams, author of horror and dark fiction. I’m not really a fan of long introductions, so let’s jump right in.
Let’s start with the most important. What’s your most recent/next book, and where can we go to learn more about it and you?
Most recent book? Aside from the appearance in Crossroads In the Dark: Volume II anthology in December 2016, I’ve got two releases slated for August 2017. One in Turn To Ash: Volume 3, and the other one in Weirdbook #36. As for where to go to learn about me? Website is ccadams.com, or on Twitter: @MrAdamsWrites. Or hit me up on Facebook. Feel free to engage me – it’s always cool to hear from fans of the dark matter.
Do you have a favorite book/story among the one’s you’ve written? Why is it so special to you?
Hmmmm. The most likely favourite I have is a novella called, “But Worse Will Come”, which is the sequel to the short story “Sunset Is Just The Beginning”, which is set 30 years earlier. The short is already published – I’m still looking for a home for the novella.
As for why it’s special? A number of reasons, I guess. The initial idea which sparked the short came from when I was working in account management years back. One guy in the office threw a live spider at some else. The spider was in one of those little clear pouches, like the ones spare buttons come in when you buy a suit. Still, he threw a spider at the guy. As you could imagine, shit got heated. What it did for me was pose the question: “If someone throws a spider at you to scare you, how do you scare them back?” So that’s where the original premise came from. Both titles together sum up the arc of the tale: “Sunset is just the beginning …but worse will come.”
With the novella, outside of having done NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) just once (in 2009) and knocking out 52,000 words in 29 days, the first draft of this novella clocked in at about 25,000 words in three weeks. Comparatively slower than NaNoWriMo, sure, but the words just poured out – the work just flowed. For the most part, while I like what I write, it won’t necessarily hook me as a reader, since I’m too close to the process of crafting the work in the first place. This novella is an exception. It’s also partly the reason why I now sleep with the light on. I shit you not.
Do you feel you’re influenced by other authors?
It depends on the context. From what made gravitate to writing way back when, the most likely influence is Michael Crichton: may that good man rest in peace. His stories had a kinetic pace to them, laced with action, some violence and, depending on the novel you read, elements of flirtation and sex. But what really stood out to me was the blending of fiction and fact: the level of detail of a particular science that got woven into the story. They were tales of intrigue; they were page-turners, and it impressed upon me, ‘this is the kind of craftsmanship to bring to your work.’
When I left primary school aged 11, we got to pick a free book gift to take with us. For years, our dad always made us take textbooks: mind-numbingly boring shit that no kid I knew would read in their downtime. But this year, for whatever reason was different, so I picked a horror anthology called Aidan Chambers’ Book Of Ghosts And Hauntings. Now Aidan Chambers was an author from my childhood who collected stories that were best described as ‘eerie’, before ‘creepy’ became a thing. And these stories weren’t torture-porn or splatter-porn or heavy on gore or whatever adjective someone might be quick to throw at it. It was straight-up horror: stories of terror, the ones that set the scene as well as the atmosphere, with monsters and victims included. I was hooked – that was some good shit right there. 30-plus years later, I still have that book. But it was that kind of story-telling, that kind of sensibility that moves me the most, so that’s what I try and bring to the writing.
Now in terms of what I currently write, I’m not influenced by whatever else is out in the marketplace. Primarily, I write what I want to see or what speaks to me. As yet, I can’t produced a polished work end to end in complete isolation – that’s where the beta readers come in. And more often than not, those beta readers are authors too. They won’t necessarily go with everything I put in a story: some parts will work for them, other parts won’t. It goes with the territory. So I take all the criticism on board and cherry-pick the elements that I feel work best for the story.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in researching your book(s)?
Most recently, that suicide is the leading cause of death among young people aged 10 – 34 in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics figures released for 2015. Think of looking back on the joy of your childhood, shit you got up to, funny things you did, a sense of wonder for your first holiday, first kiss, first ride on a horse or whatever. I’ve done those things, but young people that age must be a world apart from that if they’re turning to suicide as an answer.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
< grinning > It depends on the scenario, I guess! Women might compliment my features or appearance. People will comment on my independence/strength of character …or that I don’t look as old as I am – generally they peg me at about 10 years younger. I do try and keep a body and mind in shape, since I’m the only me I’ve got. So as much as I might be busy writing/editing/etc, I exercise: lifting weights. I should be back in kung fu soon… Lounge, play a little bass, travel, hang with friends, go out to eat. All keeps me grounded and well-rounded. From an author point of view? To hear my stories give people the creeps, or freak them out. Catch them off guard. Regardless, it’s just humbling and cool to intrigue and move people – really, it is.
What is one question you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview?
One question I’ve always wanted to be asked? Man, that’s a tough one – I can’t think of anything specific now. Most interview or Q&A I get is pretty varied and cool, so even if I’ve not thought of a question, the ones thrown at me are engaging. Thought-provoking. This here’s no different – so thanks for taking the time to dig a little deeper.
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There’s a quick spotlight on Mr. Adams. I’m happy he took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for me. If you want to know more, make sure to check out his website and Twitter and Facebook profiles. If you want to be creeped out, check out his stories.