I am a writer currently living & working in Brno, Czech Republic. I write short stories and movie criticism, and I'm currently working on a children's book.
I've been writing since the age of five. As a little boy, I was into dinosaurs, castles, digging holes and riding my bike. I also wrote endlessly, all the way through to my late teens.
I always thought I'd be a writer, but life and circumstance got in the way. For about a decade, I didn't write a single piece of original fiction, other than a silly, rude comedy horror one afternoon in a Prague pub called "The Demon Chimp of Prague".
When I moved to the Czech Republic in 2009, I gradually forced myself to write again, starting with restaurant and movie reviews. After suffering testicular cancer in 2011, I started writing fiction again. It was a long process, but my children's novel, "A Strange & Terrible Wonder", is almost complete.
A few thoughts on my Smashwords publications -
The Piss Artist
I debated whether to publish this piece. I wrote it somewhere between 1994-1996, when two bereavements shook my beliefs and completely altered my perception of the world. It was also the time I started going out & drinking, and was coming to grips with the idea that I was a tiny little human on a rock in an endless universe, trying not to fall off.
When I read it again after about a decade, I found it a bit petulant and spiteful in places, obviously the work of a teenager working through a lot of anger.
Having said that, I wish I could write as fearlessly as I did back then, and still buzz of certain parts of it, particularly the running scene to "Ode to Joy".
I was completely obsessed with Beethoven's 9th Symphony at the time, and that scene was my response to a similar scene in the film "Immortal Beloved"
It was also heavily influenced by Charles Jackson's "The Lost Weekend" - the original draft opened with the quote: "The barometer of his emotional nature was set for a spell of riot." It's a line I still love, but felt silly quoting a writer quoting another writer.
Ripping Yarns & Roaring Myths -
Written a year or so after "The Piss Artist", "Ripping Yarns" is, if anything, even darker and more fatalistic than the earlier short story. Both end with the same line, as the weary, immortal protagonist/antagonist begrudgingly accepts his fate.
"Ripping Yarns" is far more comical, with a spoof adventure deliberately playing upon the stiff-upper-lipped relationship between the main character and his sidekick. I was reading a lot of Sherlock Holmes and Fu Manchu at the time, and the dynamic is very Holmes-Watson, Nayland Smith-Petrie, as well as Phileas Fogg and Passepartout.
"Ripping Yarns" is an elaborate mess, and despite the moments of nastiness, I appreciate the audacity of it.
Pan Troglodyte Diablo, or, The Demon Chimp of Prague -
Written in a single sitting in a Prague pub, I still keep coming back to Demon Chimp.
I took a copy of Bohumil Hrabal's "Too Loud a Solitude" with me when I went traveling with my partner around Eastern Europe in 2005, and it instantly became my favourite book.
Less than 100 pages long, Hrabal doesn't waste a single line. Every paragraph is packed with some wonderful imagery or brilliant thought, and that was my inspiration.
I'd spent a lot of time in Prague over the previous three or four years, mainly drinking in any pubs that were open. I'd been offered some pretty weird things to buy, including, I swear, a monkey and some uranium.
I started off with the idea of a man buying a monkey in a pub. Later, he also buys some radioactive material. From that idea, I just tried to pack in as many jokes as possible.
It is my only outright comedy to date, and reading it back, I can't believe the energy and detail - it is so densely packed with ideas and jokes. I tried it out on a few friends, and people who read it genuinely seem to get a buzz from it.
Without giving too much away for those who haven't read it, people usually enjoy the parts about the Delivery Men and the Scuba Diver most. And, love it or hate it, almost everyone comments on the supports for the hero's hammock at the final confrontation!
The Jester & The Bottle Witch -
When I was recovering from cancer, I had a dream about a knight entering a castle, and making his way up several flights of primary coloured, increasingly elaborate flights of stairs.
I worked for two years as a classroom helper as a teenager, and always wanted to write a children's book.
During my recovery, I started writing this book. I felt almost saintly in my attitude to life and people, a glowing sense of magnanimity and charity, and wanted to use that to write something that would make people happy.
I chose "The Jester & The Bottle Witch" as a sample chapter for Smashwords because of all the chapters, it stands alone as a story by itself.
The story was also written as a response to your Lords of the Rings, your Harry Potters and your Twilights, sagas strung out across several doorstep books.
I wanted to use familiar archetypes in a simple tale everyone would instantly recognize, but do something different with it. My characters don't have names; it is the King, The Knight, The Witch, the Jester.
I wanted it to be fresh and modern, without resorting to the glib postmodernism of "Shrek", for example.
I also didn't want to patronize my audience. From working with kids, I knew they don't need talking down to, so didn't let up with the darkness or the vocabulary.
If a child likes reading and comes to a word they don't know the meaning of, they'll find out what it means.
Having studied Children's Literature, I also knew that the cornerstones of the genre can be extremely dark, so didn't let up on the grisly details. Kids love that shit!
So I'm very proud of this chapter. And, I'll think you'll agree, I've got a kick-ass witch...
A Hush of Snow -
I live in the Czech Republic, but come from Suffolk, an English county of lonely lanes, isolated churches and desolate beaches.
I always wanted to write a ghost story set against this backdrop, preferably during broad daylight. Recently, I stumbled upon the works of M.R James, and the brilliant BBC adaptations of his stories, and realised he'd beat me to it by almost a century.
"A Hush of Snow" was my attempt to transpose the atmosphere of his tales to my current location. I also wanted to prove to myself I could write something interesting without spending a year on it. Of all the stories I've published on Smashwords, it is the one I'm least emotionally attached to, but I think it hangs together pretty well.
Where to find Lee Adams online
Three Articles: The Dark Knight Rises, Bronson & The Prestige
by Lee Adams
Approx. 3,980 words.
Published on December 30, 2012.
Christopher Nolan is one of the most profitable and influential directors of the last decade, with films such as the Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception. But is Nolan an inherently boring director, or, a "man who dreams by Powerpoint"?
Kubrick vs King - The Shining (1980) vs The Shining (1997)
by Lee Adams
Approx. 1,630 words.
Published on November 24, 2012.
Stephen King disliked Stanley Kubrick's interpretation of his novel The Shining so much he produced his own six hour made for TV version.
This article compares King's efforts to restore his original vision with Kubrick's supernatural masterpiece.
Lee Adams’s tag cloud
Smashwords book reviews by Lee Adams
on Feb. 17, 2013
I think "Falling" does a grand job of building tension and creating a sense of vertigo. Loses a star for me for a few cliched phrases (pounding like a hammer) and odd word choices, but otherwise a neat little story.
- A Medical Exam
on Feb. 18, 2013
Tight, economical and chilling. While I felt the characters never really came to life, the dialogue was clinical and precise, and the precision of the dialogue generated a tension all of its own.
I didn't quite understand the wider purpose of the treatment, but the final twist gave a pleasurable sinking feeling of a dystopian society where everyone is hypnotised. I think this piece could be spun out to examine its characters and its themes more closely.
on Feb. 19, 2013
I was impressed by the strong voice of the character in "Pieces". The concise style of the prose really brought her to life. The story loses a Star for me because of the huge dense blocks of text - on one hand, it reads like a transcription, but dividing it up into smaller, easier to digest paragraphs would make it a much more enjoyable read. Still impressive work, though.
on March 31, 2013
The two female characters come across very strongly in this piece, although there is little physical description of them. Their personalities resonate in the dialogue, which is terse and realistic.