(NOTE: If you haven’t yet heard about the contest I’m running through September 24th, go here to see the entry details, as well as the 50+ different prizes, and please think about entering. After all, there’s no limit on number of entries and there are many ways to enter. If you’ve already entered, remember that leaving a comment about this interview earns you yet another entry!)
I’ve only become acquainted with Adam recently, but it’s clear he’s a very funny guy with a lot of energy–perfect for middle grade readers! Also, I came to discover that he used to home teach my niece AND he lives right across the street from the apartment building where my husband and I used to live (and manage) in West Los Angeles. How’s that for small world stuff? While he used to have a day job in the movie industry, his new book, EVERTASTER, has been so successful that he’s working full time promoting it and writing its sequel.
Me: Please describe one of the most formative experiences from your childhood, one of those that put you on this path to creativity and writing.
Adam: I think it had to be due to going to bed early. I used to lie awake, dreaming of the books I’d read. It was a wonderful time to think, and going to my imagination was always a favorite place to be.
(I still do that, only now I do it with someone next to me snoring; at least he snores softly.)
Me: At what point did you decide to get involved with movies and why?
Adam: It was either that or engineering, and I had this feeling that if I became an engineer, I’d have to follow the laws of physics. As much as I love those laws, the laws of story were a stronger draw. I was in my sophomore year at BYU, and I saw a spinning 3D sphere on the computer screen and I thought, “Wait, you’re telling me I can make dinosaurs for a living?” Turns out I could! In fact, I built most of the dinos in this Nintendo commercial:
Me: Which are more fun–monsters, robots, or zombies?
Adam: Monsters. They have skin that wrinkles and muscles that flex, while robots are hard surfaces that are much easier to build. Ultimately, monsters are more of a challenge. And Zombies? Well, they’re really just humans with fewer limbs. Not quite as fun as monsters, but still better than sharpening toothpicks for a living.
Me: Are you still working on movies and, if so, what’s your current project and who’s in it?
Adam: I am currently working full time on writing an EVERTASTER novella and touring with EVERTASTER. Who knows? I may work on another film soon, but I’m having so much fun being an author, we’ll see. The most recent film I was working on was “Pacific Rim,” directed by Guillermo del Toro. Who is in it? Mosters. Giant robots. Man, that was a hard job to leave.
Me: What does your wife think of your detour into writing?
Adam: She thinks I better get home in time for dinner. This touring is an adventure! She’s been wonderfully supportive. We discussed this kind of scenario before we ever got married. And now it’s actually happening, so we consider ourselves lucky.
(Smart pre-nuptial verbal agreement!)
Me: Were you a picky eater as a child like your main character, and what were your least favorite foods?
Adam: I was not, actually. I ate everything. I even got paid 10 bucks to eat a moth in the 9th grade. But I did a lot of research and observation of picky kids to understand Guster so I could tell his story.
(First of all, I think you should consider trying out for “Survivor.” Secondly, my son, Jason, would have made an excellent research subject.)
Me: Could you describe your writing process? I mean, given your background with film, do you storyboard or follow some kind of outline method?
Adam: I do think in a traditional 3 act structure, but sometimes I’m not so sure I end up following it. I usually take months to brainstorm a project and take notes on it then when the log jam breaks, it all comes flowing out and I write an outline and begin work on the first chapter. After that, I write furiously at 2,000 words/day until I’m finished. Sometimes, when I’m trying to nail down a particular description for a character, I do my own “visual development” like we do in the film world. In my case, often a simple sketch suffices. I sketched out most of the characters in little thumbnails for EVERTASTER. It’s similar to how we did the cover art, as well.
Me: What are you currently working on?
Adam: Currently, I’m writing EVERTASTER – THE BUTTERSMITHS’ GOLD, a delightful and short novella about a couple of Viking ancestors many years ago who must defend their clan at all costs.
Me: Finally, have you become a true Angelino and fallen into the sea yet?
Adam: There was a magnificent earthquake the other night. After those we usually just go back to bed. I do fall into the sea at times, but mostly willfully. I’ve taken up spearfishing. It’s a great way to put food on the table in case people lose interest in buying mystery and adventure books.
(Since that is not likely to ever be the case, I bet the spearfishing will remain a hobby.)
Come on by my Facebook page and check out some of the cool concept art that led to the book cover. It was done by Dreamworks artist Goro Fujita. He did concept art for “Megamind” and “Madagascar.”
(Ahhh, that’s why your cover seemed kind of familiar.)
Check out Adam’s awesome trailer for EVERTASTER, made with the help of some of his movie buddies: