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Adam Croft ~ 1st of my Summer Special Interviews of Successful Indie Authors

             Author Adam Croft

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.

Hello Adam,

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 Croft’s Amazon.co.uk Author Page

Adam Croft’s Amazon.com Author Page

Adam Croft’s website

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!

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Summer Special ~ Interviews with Successful Indie Authors

DO YOU WANT TO HEAR HOW SOME AUTHORS

WROTE THEIR WAY TO SUCCESS?

For the month of August, starting on Monday 3rd August and every Monday after, I will be interviewing successful Indie Authors,

whether they have self published all of their writing career,

sat on the both sides of the fence ~ both Trad and Indie,

or published through a small Independent Press.

I am so pleased to be introducing my first guest Adam Croft this Monday. I first met Adam at a tiny Indie Bookshop in Ampthill Bedfordshire, at the book signing for my first novel Riduna, which was published by Pegasus back on 2009. He, too, had just launched his first mystery, self publishing from the very beginning and he has now sold over one million copies worldwide!

Watch this space…

 

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Real v Imaginary Settings in a Novel

WHY IMAGINARY LOCATIONS ARE CHOSEN?

There are many reasons why an author may choose to write in an imaginary setting rather than in a real location. Here are a few of them. Do let us know if you can think of others.

To Avoid Association with Crime

Agatha Christie was the mistress of creativity when it came to imaginary villages where her crimes too place. She did not wish the reader to associate her murderers and criminals with real villages. Brackhampton and  Chipping Cleghorn to name but two of her places; names close enough to their Cotswolds equivalence in order to conjure a picture in the reader’s mind.

To Deter Literary Tourists from Snooping

Alexander Mc Call Smith successful ’44 Scotland Street’ series is set in Edinburgh but many settings within the novel are fictional.

In Book trails, an interesting site to check up on if you re investigating an area for its literary connections, tells us:
“Although Scotland Street is real and can indeed be visited (as we did) no.44 not surprisingly is fictional due to the risk of people, readers etc knocking on the door.”

The writer was able to locate a possible cafe which could well be the one that Big Lou’s Coffee Shop is based on (but maybe not!)

Very considerate and essential I should think.

An Allegory or Hidden Message

In John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress in which, I’m sure you know, Christian is on a journey towards the Celestial City. It is an allegory of life as he faces trials and tribulations on the way towards death; Christian’s ultimate goal of heaven.

Pure Fantasy

Fantasy novels are usually in fantasy settings, but not always!

Emerald City, which is pure fantasy, became a successful TV series. It is known and loved by children and adults alike telling, of course, of the stories of the wonderful Land of Oz.

Fictional Towns in Literature

Wikipedia have a page on Imaginary settings for novels. It’s quite an interesting list.

WHY REAL LOCATIONS ARE CHOSEN

To Associate with a Famous Landmark or Place

When I think of classical fiction set in London, immediately my mind turns to Charles Dickens; for Bath I think of Jane Austen and for Dorset my thoughts turn to the rolling fields of Thomas Hardy country. This list could go on and I’m sure in other parts of the world you could add some well known authors and places.

Genfinnan photo on visitscotland.com

More recently, which novels have an instant association with the Glenfinnan Viaduct?

Hogwarts and Harry Potter of course!

Under normal circumstances this particular landmark has become a victim of its own success and usually, in the height of the summer it is almost impossible to park there. To ensure you are able to see the famous steam train going over, I recommend getting there early before the coaches arrive and choose your spot to stand.

 

In answering whether all of Maeve Binchy’s books were located in Dublin she replied:

“Not all; but I set many of my books in Dublin because I am very familiar with the place and I know the nuances and lights and shade of the city.”

To Associate with a Less Familiar Location

Peter May’s haunting mysteries are set in the Outer Hebrides; Uist, Barra, Lewis and Harris. Although, I should think, his novels are very popular reading matter for islanders, they are certainly well read worldwide.

Author Anne Allen has chosen to set all of her novels on the island of Guernsey. She has a captive audience (normally) of tourists and folks who have visited to island in the past but also those who have family associations with Guernsey.

My Riduna series stem from the island of Alderney and my mysteries are set mainly in Bedfordshire, although in

MISSING, Past and Present the actual town and village are fictional to protect the location of the empty house which inspired the novel.

Historical Fiction

Needs to be location specific to be credible, unless it included fantasy elements.

In a New Author’s Own Area

There is something appealing about trying out a new author who lives close by and has written in your shared locality. See Maeve Binchy’s comment above.

Write what is familiar,’ is the mantra, especially as a new author.

Targeted Marketing

Many authors write in familiar locations local to where they live by:

  • Building up their reputation with local newspapers etc before branching out nationally if they are successful, becoming a local celebrity.
  • Encouraging people to order books in their local bookshops and maybe having book signings.
  • Giving local talks where books can be sold.
  • Selling at gift fairs and craft markets.
  • Writing blog posts about the location of the novel. This is a wonderful hook. I wrote virtual tours of the various locations of my novels and they were quite popular at the time,but with clear Categories and Tags folks still read them from searches years on.
  • Giving a focus for Facebook and Twitter, without the hard sell.

Whichever you decide, some authors put maps in the front of their novels. Do you think this is a good idea?

 

 

 

 

We have visited the

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