Today, I would like to introduce you to Pete Adams author of “A Barrow Boy’s Cadenza”.
Hi Pete, thank you for agreeing to this interview
Where are you from?
- Orpington, Kent (it is now the London Borough of Bromley), UK; my family are all Londoners, and I currently live in my adopted home city, Portsmouth, on the south coast of England, and I love it; I set my novels here, although they nip in and out of London occasionally.
Tell us your latest news, current projects.
- I have just completed the first draft of my eighth full length novel, Umble Pie (the book published last year, A Barrow Boy’s Cadenza, is Book 3. Umble Pie is the concluding part of the eight book trilogy Kind Hearts and Martinets. I will return to commence the lengthy process of self edit and rewrites after a month or so – strangely I enjoy that part. I am way ahead of my Publisher and so under no pressure; the way I like it. Book 4 Ghost and Ragman Roll is with the Publisher and I impatiently await their comments.
When/why did you begin writing?
- It had to be six, maybe seven years ago and the day I started remains vivid in my memory. I often reflect and wonder if I always wanted to write, but doubted my ability to do so, and some people may say, “So no change there then”, but I do recall talking to people about writing books and them advising on ‘Mind Maps’, ‘story boards’ and the like, and I just could not do it. Then I heard a radio interview with Michael Connolly and he said that he starts with the first chapter and has no idea where the story will go from there; I started that evening and haven’t stopped.
What genre are your books?
- My Publisher says, “Crime thrillers that will make you laugh (cry and think), with a thoughtful dash of social commentary.” http://urbanepublications.com/book_author/
What draws you to the genre?
- I always quote Peter Ustinov, “Comedy is a funny way of being serious.” My books have serious intent, book 9 is starting out with a commentary on bullying, but the humour is there within the serious import, the good –v- evil comes through if sometimes it is subliminal; I have a message I suppose.
In A Barrow Boys Cadenza, give us a little insight into Jack Austin’s character.
- I am always put off by Hollywood glitterati characters with fat bank balances, toned bodies and sparkly teeth; I cannot relate to that. I suppose it is why I love Nordic Noir so much; the characters are real, ‘warts-an-all’. In my books the characters are so important, one reviewer saying that it was refreshing to see books driven equally by the reader’s interest in the characters as much as a pacey narrative. Jack (nicknamed Jane) Austin appears central but it is the surrounding characters that truly drive the plot. I have had people contact me to say they liked how I had drawn such strong women; an astute observation, because it would be true. Jack Austin is an elderly, overweight, disfigured and ugly Detective with more depth than good sense, and an unhealthy love of Pride and Prejudice and Mary Poppins; he is a copper who has never solved a crime in his life, but, things happen around him, and that is the essence of all of the stories that make up Kind Hearts and Martinets, (good -v- evil). A Barrow Boy (in cockney parlance) is a term to describe a London street hawker, selling fruit and veg from a barrow, often used to describe a social climber from the East End of London, noted for his above average ability, but lack of refinement, and this is Jack Austin, but is he totally inept?
Do you have any strange writing habits?
- Now that is interesting; I live in an old house, 1850, and had to stop major extensions and refurbishments at about 80% complete, due to the thousand dip recession, so the dream writing study is not quite complete. As a consequence I work underneath the stairs in a space I share with the washing machine, tumble drier and central heating boiler, too close to the temporary kitchen to resist grazing, oh and the mice whom after surviving my artless attempts to trap them, we have become quite close friends, they pop out every now and then and casually squeak the odd suggestion for the stories; strangely I love this space.
Where do your ideas come from?
- Haven’t a clue; mice?
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate, longhand?
- Desktop computer, I had a laptop but that went the way of my kindle and a few other things with my teenage son up to Conservatoire.
What makes a good story?
- That is something personal to every reader and writer, for me though, it has to be equally character and plot driven, and I love a bit of romance, I’m a sucker for it…I believe in the ultimate good in people.
How do you keep from resenting your duties and every human sleeping requirement when you have to stop writing to care of them.
- I have a day job as an architect which I also love, except there is no respect these days for talent in design; lip service only; how cheap you, not how good you are, but I have a practice that I am proud of, albeit we struggle because we have principles. But, pretty much every day I manage to write and this is not about discipline, it is about an inner drive and this often manifests itself in the wee hours, when I write best, but that is not exclusive.
Do you think covers are important in the buying process?
- I am told it is, but I am the sort of reader who will pick a book up and just read and sometimes have to go back and look at the title and author, but in bookshops I grant that a captivating cover says all and will draw the reader in; my Publisher came up with a brilliant cover for a Barrow Boy and it will set the style for all eight books eventually.
In 10 words or less, describe your writing style.
- Serious stories that will make you laugh, cry and think.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
- Yes – please, always write a review. Because I have a Facebook page for my books, I get messages of how much people enjoyed reading them. I reply asking for a review on Amazon and Goodreads but it doesn’t happen. For A Barrow Boy I currently have twenty two five star and two four star reviews and the book is a Top Pick for Amazon book club, but if those nearly fifty messages were converted to a simple review, Amazon would actively market the book. I self published my first two books, which helped me get a Publisher, but nobody told me how important reviews were, and how hard it is to get readers to write them; authors thrive, or whither on the vine on the number of reviews. We are emotional creatures with delicate egos, and just love to see a review, preferably good; it enhances the pleasure of writing, and finally, please send me photos of you reading my book, wherever, it doesn’t matter – I am interested, to post on my Facebook page, and people are now doing this. My book is currently being read in Mannheim Germany, Dublin, Australia, Charlestown USA, Thailand, and recently travelled the Trans Siberian Railway from Moscow to Beijing
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Blog: I have one but haven’t a clue how to work it; maybe something I will do soon.
Facebook: book page where I also review other books; I enjoy this page, fun posts, reviews of my books, interviews… https://www.facebook.com/Peteadamsauthor/?ref=bookmarks
Twitter: @Peteadams8 – I’m new to this, so still like a monkey with a machine gun.
Amazon author page: books:
- Cause and Effect – Book 1:
- Irony in the Soul – Book 2
- A Barrow Boy’s Cadenza – Book 3 –