Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?
I suppose I've always written since being at school. Whereas most other people I knew gave up when they left school I just… didn't. Wrote two (terrible) novels that will certainly never see the light of day then finally stopped messing about and did a couple of writing courses. I think they focused me in what I was doing right and wrong and I've been writing and publishing ever since.
How to you schedule your writing time? when do you write?
It's difficult and something I've always struggled with. The problem is there's always a distraction! Some, like having a family, are fantastic and some, like having a full-time job, are less than fantastic! Right now I try to do an hour after I've put my daughter to bed at least four days a week. I've found that setting aside that specific time slot seems to work well and most weeks I manage a couple of extra hours here and there as I'm able.
How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?
I have an office if I'm writing during the day but on an evening I usually just plonk myself on the dining table and start typing. I've got a laptop and a desktop computer that both sync all my writing via dropbox so I can pretty much pick up any project at a moment's notice. Since January I've also been experimenting with dictation and that's going well. The idea of getting more words in the same time frame is very appealing.
What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
I like outlining. I usually produce a few thousand word outline for any novel I'm working on and that's pretty enjoyable because you've got the complete blank page to work from but my absolutely favourite part is once that is nailed and you start getting into the meat of the chapters.
Because my writing time is quite limited I've found outlines invaluable for just being able to pick up where I left off and keep the flow of a longer work going so just glancing at that and getting down to the business of writing is great fun.
The worst part? Editing. Fortunately with more work spent on outlining there's rarely any major edits to do but I have to say editing just bores me, I have to force myself to do it…
How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?
Different book ideas came in different ways. The novel for adults I've just completed is called 'The Dali Deception' and that was born of fear! I had been writing stories of varying lengths about a detective character for years (and not finishing a great of many them) and I was worried that was all I could write. That one character. Forever. So I deliberately sat down to write something else. After a while I decided that I wanted to write a heist like Oceans 11 and so then I just gradually decided on all the elements; the characters, the villains, the crime.
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The kids books I write came about because I was frustrated with the horrible fairy and princess books that seemed to be the only books that were popular for Middle Grade readers. I wanted something that had a kick-butt girl as the main character but I also wanted to frame it in such a way that I wasn't going to be restricted to always write a certain type of book. The hidden room in the Lost Bookshop was the result of that; the children can go on any adventure because, as we know, a bookshop contains ALL the adventures. So they are transported into the Wild West, to a circus to investigate a missing monkey and a little trip into Grimm territory for the last one I completed.
Once I've finished the outline the books don't take too long, The Dali Deception took around three months to write and the Lost Bookshop series each take around a month and a half.
What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?
All of the marketing!
It's the one area I neglected in the past so I'm currently throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks then doubling down on those avenues. I recently advertised with Bookbub for my free kids book and that result in fifteen thousand new readers in the first week but I have a mailing list that I'm trying not to neglect and looking at Facebook in more details at the moment. I think I’ve got the hang of Twitter so come and say hello to @LostBookshop if you’re so inclined.
What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?
I just finished editing 'The Dali Deception' for adults so that should be out in the next couple of months, just getting my schedules in order.
In terms of writing I'm working on the next installment of The Lost Bookshop for kids. I finished the outline at the beginning of March and I’ve got the first few chapters in the bag already.
Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
I do indeed, it's an Urban Fantasy series. I've written a prequel novella, done a lot of character development for the main characters and written the first couple of chapters too… it's a big project so I keep dipping in and out of it.
What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?
Write. A lot. It's literally the only way to get better. Writing groups are another great source of feedback, it's impossible to improve if you can't see what needs work.
A question for me:
What's the best piece of marketing advice you can give to an author about to launch their first novel?
Don't be afraid to try what feels right for you. In my book, Marketing Your Book on a Budget, I go through book reviewers, online interviews like this one, free sites to market your book, how to put together a book trailer without any out-of-pocket cash and more. I love doing book signings - though not in the usual places like book stores. I also carry postcards that have my recent book and contact information on them. Who knows when you'll be meeting someone interested in your book.
Learn more about Adam:
My author website is at http://www.adammaxwell.com and you can get links to my most recent kids book (it’s free!) by going to http://lostbookshop.com/books/witch-with-the-glitch/.