Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Author Brian Adams on his award winning book, KABOOM!

WHEN DID YOU FIRST KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A WRITER AND WHY? The first book I ever had I ate, so my parents gave me paper and crayons and encouraged me to write a new one. That’s a little tough to do when you don’t know your alphabet, but hey, look where it got me.
AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU ASPIRE TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP? Is this a trick question? A writer! Duh! And, of course, to be winner of a Literary Classics Book Award.
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR AWARD WINNING TITLE? I strove for a title that conveyed the image of a mountain blasting apart (KABOOM!) as well as an acronym for the environmental activist group in the novel (Kids Against Blowing Off Our Mountains). Pretty witty, huh?
“Dad,” I interrupted. “I will be careful. I promise. About boys and about mountaintops. But I am going to do what I have to do.”
I love that my female protagonist is not be deterred from doing her best to come of age responsibly and to become active in the fight against the environmentally destructive method of coal extraction called mountain top removal.
WHICH CHARACTER FROM YOUR AWARD WINNING TITLE DO YOU BELIEVE IS MOST LIKE YOU AND WHY? My protagonists are two 15 year old girls from West Virginia and I’m a gray haired old dude from Massachusetts, but I’ll go out on a limb here and embrace my inner adolescent female self and identify with my heroine Cyndie. She’s trying to do the right thing and speak truth to power in the fight against coal extraction and climate change. Activism rocks!
WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU HOPE READERS WILL GLEAN FROM YOUR AWARD WINNING BOOK? My book is about two spirited and spunky teenage girls living in the heart of coal country West Virginia who discover that their beloved mountain is to be blown sky high by the coal company. I’m hoping the message is that environmental activism is essential to save the world and that it can also be exciting, fun and romantic. Blowing off the tops of mountains to get coal is evil. We can save the world and find true love. Kids can make a difference. The time to act to protect our environment is now!
WHAT OTHER BOOKS HAVE YOU PUBLISHED? Love in the Time of Climate Change
TELL US SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A WRITER: I had a pretty polished draft of KABOOM! that I sent to three 15 year old girls to read and boy did they let me have it. In the margins of the manuscript they wrote things like “pathetic”, “pointless”, “what are you thinking?”, “people don’t talk this way” and “NO!!!!!!” After I recovered from my near fatal nervous breakdown I realized that in almost every instance they were right (or is it write?) on! I think my book is much better for their input. Thank goodness for truthful teen voices.
WHICH AUTHOR HAS MOST GREATLY INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING STYLE? I just re-read Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger for the 900th time and I am enthralled by his ability to capture teen angst in such a remarkable way. His anti-hero Holden Caulfield is such a fallible endearing character. The style of writing is something I just marvel at.
WHAT BOOK HAS HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE? Other than mine? Hmmmm…..How about The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. Talk about a book with a strong environmental message. I just love the line “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” So true!
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ACCOMPLISHMENT? Is this another trick question? Receiving the Literary Classics book award. Double duh!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DO YOU HAVE ANY WRITING RITUALS? Before writing: A quick prayer to the goddess of creativity that what comes out of my brain today is a good bit more than just mindless drivel. Then three quick games of solitaire on the computer and praying to the card god that I will win at least one of them. And then WRITE ON!
HOW DID YOU FIND AN AGENT / GET PUBLISHED? Fortune smiled as I found a small publisher in Vermont (Green Writers Press) with the same goal as mine – publish good literature that makes a difference. Their motto is “Giving voice to writers and artists who will make the world a better place.” Check them out. Greenwriterspress.com. They are AWESOME!
WHAT DID YOU DO TO CELEBRATE THE PUBLISH DATE OF YOUR AWARD WINNING BOOK? Bought a much more comfortable chair to write on. It replaced a broken down piece of crap that was about a thousand years old and had a crook in the back that stabbed me deep into my spinal column. Ouch!
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF BECOMING PUBLISHED AND ANY TIPS YOU MIGHT OFFER FOR OTHER ASPIRING AUTHORS? Tips for aspiring authors on getting published? Just the usual crap. Hang in there. Don’t be discouraged. Keep on sending in your manuscript. If they reject you it is NOT (I repeat NOT!) because your work isn’t the most brilliant in the history of the universe (it is!) it’s just because the fools who turned you down are misguided, ignorant morons who KNOW NOTHING and deserve to rot in hell!
CAN YOU OFFER ANY ADVICE FOR WRITERS ON HOW BEST TO PROMOTE THEIR BOOK? Go anywhere, do anything. Book store readings, library events, signings, book groups, reviews, awards, school classes – don’t be bashful. Seize any and every opportunity to self-promote. People want to hear what you have to say! I called every library in West Virginia (yup – every single damn one of them!) to encourage them to get my book. And some of them actually did.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS? Read my damn book. Buy local whenever possible! Your local independent book store (ask them to order it if they don’t have it!) is the best place on earth to buy a book! If you absolutely have to go to Amazon.  Oh yeah, turn off your computer right now and go out and save the world.  
DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW BOOKS IN THE WORKS? What kind of silly question is that? Of course I do. Writing is an addiction. And once you’ve been published you’re even more hooked for life. And now that you’ve given me this award I’ve gone completely over the edge. Must write. Must write. Must write. Ahhhhh!!!!!!!!!
Off Line (the working Title) is a romantic comedy about a young woman who has an on line relationship disorder and is a total netaholic. She moves in with her gay grandfathers and tries to wean herself off the net by joining a rag-tag groups of off-line misfits. I think it’s pretty funny and will hopefully encourage folks to think twice before devoting their entire lives to surfing the net and texting.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

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