I’m so pleased to be fortunate to have this interview with author Adam Croft, which is aimed to appeal to writers, fans and potential readers alike. Adam is a successful Indie Author of Crime Fiction who has sold over 1 million novels worldwide.
Do you mind me asking, was the success in your writing career a gradual process or very sudden?
A bit of both. I hammered away for five years before I saw any meaningful success. Things seem to come in spikes in this industry. There’s no gradual increase or visible progression — it all seems to happen very much behind the scenes, and then plays ‘catch up’ all of a sudden.
Are you single minded in your writing? Do you treat it as your main work and plan your day accordingly or write when the mood takes you?
I’m absolutely single-minded with it — as I am with most things! As far as I see it, this is my job. I’m very fortunate to be able to do it, so I give it the respect it deserves and treat it much like any other job. I’m usually in the office around seven in the morning and am often here until ten o’clock at night. I also employ three other people to help take care of everything else so I’m free to focus on writing, media engagements, responding to readers and all the other things that can only really be done by me.
You would call your main genre Mystery? Wouldn’t you? How would you describe your writing style to potential readers?
I think I’d probably call it Crime. A couple of my books are mysteries, but most are police procedurals or psychological thrillers. Generally speaking, readers say the books are fast-paced, aren’t filled with inane waffle like what the character had for breakfast (even if it is waffles) and drag people straight into the story. I have a short attention span myself, so I write the books I’d want to read. I think that’s a good rule of thumb for any writer.
I think the last book I read of yours was a mystery. I’ll have to check out your new ones …
Can you give fellow writers any marketing tips?
Marketing isn’t something it’s easy to give tips about, because it’s entirely dependent on the writer and their books. In general, I’d say know your market. That’s not just ‘readers’ or even ‘women over 60 who read’, for example. Who is this woman? What’s her name? Where does she live? What does she do? How does she speak? Find your tribe. Most of all, stand out from the crowd. Too many people look at what others are doing successfully and think that must be ‘the right way’. It might be for that author, but it most likely won’t be for you. Experiment, find what works for you. And keep at it. It’s not a button you push — it’s years of concerted effort and hard work.
Very good advice Adam …
Have you one annoying habit you can share with us?
I’d probably have to ask my wife that one…
What pastimes keep your feet on the ground, or maybe not, when you aren’t writing?
I genuinely don’t get much time to myself, so I tend to try to escape to the pub where possible. That way, I’m out of the house and physically unable to work or worry about work. It’s also a great social environment that allows me to people-watch and, of course, all writers like a drink or twelve.
Was there a single moment in your writing life when you thought ‘YES, THIS IS IT’? Can you describe that moment for us?
Honestly, no. There’ve been many moments where I’ve been incredibly proud and happy with where e I am — Hitting number 1 spots, knocking JK Rowling into second place as the most widely-read author in the world for a few hours according to Amazon, being awarded an Honorary Doctorate for ‘services to literature’ (I know — hardly literature in my case). They’re all great, but I genuinely never feel I’ve actually achieved anything, or at least haven’t achieved what I’m meant to achieve. Maybe that’s what keeps me going and pushes me forward. If I don’t know what I’m aiming for, I’ll never feel the journey’s over.
Hey Adam, that’s a good few exciting wow moments …
We’d love to hear your latest news:
I’ve got a new book out on 28th July, called WHAT LIES BENEATH. It’s the first in the new Rutland crime series and has had an absolutely incredible reception in Rutland. I’m already working on the second — ON BORROWED TIME — which comes out in September. It’s been odd going the ‘old school’ route with this series. It’s very locally-focused, so many of the sales are through local retailers and bookshops. It’s extremely paperback-heavy for me, too. But it’s been incredible. That face-to-face, one-to-one contact is something you can’t replicate with an Amazon report.
And finally, do you see yourself writing in five years time and have you ever been tempted to write in a different genre to surprise your readers?
I’ll either be writing or dead. That can be said for pretty much any point in the future, to be honest. I’ve also written plays and had them performed, although they’re VERY different to my books. They’re either super-commercial farces with predictable plots and jokes (but which get snapped up quickly) or are quite avant-garde and surrealist, often verging on Dadaist in their style. Definitely not murder mysteries or police procedurals. I have been tempted by a genre change, but I’m not sure how I’d manage it. I’ve got ideas for other things and am keen to get them done, but I’m not sure when or under which name.
We all hope you are very much alive in five years and still writing prolifically …
Here are a few links to find Adam and his books on the internet:
Adam, thank you so much for being honest with us about your writing. So many points to mull over for authors. I’m a little in awe of all that you have achieved since we met years ago in that little Ampthill bookshop, to be honest with you. It’s nice to know that you still have time for small bookshops and meeting your audience, as well as a pint or two in the pub. I can see you now in my minds eye…
Good luck with your new series too!