Interview with Adrian James

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was at primary school, I had to write a story about the sea. I stole half of it from a children's book and got a great grade. I haven't stolen anything for "Recovered" though, I promise!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Apart from mundane things like doing the laundry, loading the dishwasher and doing my day job, I spend a lot of time running round after my kids, taking them to football, cricket etc. Apart from that, I play in a band, "The Deadbeats" so we're often practising and gigging. Otherwise I like watching films, listening to music, hanging out with my better half.
What is your writing process?
I never expected to write a novel, but for "Recovered" I'd had the idea forming in my head for two or three years. In order to get it out of my head, I finally gave in and sketched out a two or three page synopsis. Then I just threw it all down over most evenings in a two or three month period, aided by red wine and some chilled music like Leonard Cohen, Spiritualised, Bert Jansch etc. After that it was edit, edit and edit again as I wanted the text to be as taut and sharp as possible. Three or four trusted friends read a draft and made some suggestions and then I edited a few more times. Overall I reckon I edited the whole book about 20 times.
How do you approach cover design?
That was easy. I've got a very talented and artistic partner who did it. I gave her some initial thoughts - music, guitars, colours etc and she did the rest as a piece of original art. And I love it!!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
In Northern England. I still live there. I think there's an honesty and directness, combined with a sense of fun in the people here that I hope is reflected in the writing. Also the people who read the drafts, and those who have reviewed the published book have generally remarked that it has captured some of the essence of Northern England, which I'm really pleased about.
When did you first start writing?
Seriously, when I wrote this novel. Although I had written a long piece of work with my 80,000 word PhD thesis. But that was obviously a very different beast. I never expected to write a novel, but I had this idea going round and round in my head and I had to get it out.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I've played in pub/bar bands for years, firstly playing original material, then cover songs. I grew interested in the dynamic between the musicians, both musically and personally, and how these intertwine. So in the book I decided to combine that dynamic with a wider longstanding friendship, with all the joys and tensions that brings. I wanted to use rotating first person story-telling to allow different personal perspectives on the journey they were making, and how they reacted in different ways to the major opportunity that throws a bomb into the middle of it. I can't say too much more!!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I fancied having control over my product. I had a clear idea of what I wanted the book to be, and with the help of friends and family, managed to achieve what I was looking for. I didn't want a publisher to try and change it into something else. Now I can stand and fall by my own efforts.
Who are your favorite authors?
Nick Hornby - particularly Fever Pitch and High Fidelity. I'm sure both these books have seeped into "Recovered"
Irvine Welsh - love his characters, unique writing style and energy. Trainspotting is probably my favourite book.
Roddy Doyle - similar to Irvine Welsh, particularly the Barrytown books like Commitments
George Orwell - I re-read Animal Farm and 1984 again recently. I love his simple and direct writing style, and his visionary qualities. Check out how much of modern society his books predict.
Published 2015-09-30.
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Books by This Author

Recovered
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 66,780. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Jem, Scott and Christy are three lifelong friends, in their early thirties, who make up "Cinnamon Twist", a struggling original band based in Northern England. Desperate for cash, they agree to some gigs playing covers to earn some quick money. This leads to a life-changing offer that proves impossible to turn down, testing their friendship and beliefs fundamentally.