Hello, Adam. I’m glad you stopped by today to talk about your book and your life as a writer. I’m always interested in how other authors view themselves as a writer. My vision includes the antique typewriter I use for Author Wednesday. What is your vision of yourself as a writer?
I’ve always been ambitious. I write to entertain but also to illustrate my own personal worldview in a way that compels readers to come along for the ride, either because they identify or simply find my view interesting. My books generally fall in the suspense genre, but I strive for something deeper and more memorable than a beach read. And yet, I never want my readers to feel bored or preached to. Any message must come across organically. Story first. Always.
I love that. While we are forced to categorize our books into genres, often those books don’t fit into the strict definition. Speaking of messages, what messages or themes do you try to convey to your readers?
My work tends to come from a cynical place. I don’t intend to be negative, but rather realistic. Human nature can range from ugly to silly, and I look to capture that range in my stories. Characters with the most depth propel the story forward but shallowness exists too and can’t be ignored.
What authors have influenced your writing and why?
Clive Barker for his imagination. Hubert Selby Jr. for his raw power. Kurt Vonnegut for his ability to make serious statements while being completely off-the-wall at the same time.
Setting can be used to great effect in novels. How does setting play a role in your stories?
Setting is crucial. Most of my stories are set in New York because I know it so well, and it’s a setting that genuinely interests people, even though it’s been used in fiction perhaps more than any other location. It’s a great city that lives and breathes and so there’s always room for another NYC story. In Buried, the story rotates from the city locale to rural Vermont. These two drastically different settings give the story needed contrast.
What other techniques do you like to use in your writing?
I think experimentation and creativity are keys to standing out. But I don’t like self indulgence. I’m known to play with tenses and points of view, and my stories aren’t always linear. But they are always coherent and fast paced.
I enjoy that, too. Now let’s talk specifically about Buried a Man I Buried There. What’s your one sentence pitch for your book?
When a devoted family man loses everything he loves, who is he?
It’s an interesting title. How did you choose it? Has it been the title from the very beginning?
My alternate title was Picnics in the Snow, which I loved, but I was afraid it sounded too much like a love story or romance novel. There is a very strong romance element to the piece, but it’s more of a dark suspense novel with a literary bent. The picnics are a huge part of the book and I was very attached to that title, but I was also afraid I would lose my audience with it.
Is the book traditionally or self-published? Why did you choose one over the other?
I spent more than a decade trying to break into publishing. I’ve had two agents, published in the small press and built up a healthy, grassroots following. But I never landed a deal from a big NY publisher. Buried received a lot of attention when I shopped it around a few years back. It sat for a while on my hard drive until I decided it was time to send it out into the world. I’ve self-published two other novels, a dark fantasy novel, Symphony of Blood, and a mob thriller, Skin Games. This book is a pretty strong departure from those books, but I believe it has the most depth and substance.
Where do you write?
I dream of one day having a “real office.” Something “writerly” with a globe, immense bookshelves, and a walnut desk. What I really have is a 5′ by 7′ man cave in the corner of my basement next to the hot water heater. It’s smaller than most prison cells, and it feels like one at times. But it’s home! And I’ve produced some good work while holed up there.
As long as you can write there, it doesn’t matter. A woman once told me she’d start writing once her husband built her a new house with an office. She’s still not writing. Thanks for stopping by today, Adam. It’s been a real pleasure to learn more about you and your work.
About Adam Pepper – At times disturbing and grim, others raunchy and comical, Adam Pepper’s work is known for a unique blend of horror, suspense and speculative fiction. Memoria, Adam’s debut novel, reached No. 1 on the Dark Delicacies Best Seller list and received rave reviews from Cemetery Dance and Chronicle. “Super Fetus,” his outrageous Bizarro novella was called “In-your-face, allegorical social commentary” by esteemed reviewer, Paul Goat Allen. His quick-hitting short work has appeared in genre magazines including The Best of Horrorfind, Vol. 2 and Space and Time. Adam’s non-fiction credits span from New Woman Magazine to The Journal News. His recent publications include the mob thriller, Skin Games and the supernatural detective novel, Symphony of Blood.
Links to Buried a Man I Hated There
Amazon UK : http://amzn.to/ZUYTF6
Follow on twitter: @AdamRPepper
Learn more about Adam at his website: www.AdamPepper.com.