Interview with Chris L. Adams

Published 2018-08-21.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was raised on an isolated, 80 acre horse farm in southern West Virginia that is surrounded almost entirely by a river, with the only place it's connected to 'dry land' being an old railroad tunnel. It also ran with cliffs, wooded trails, wild life, old fallen down home sites and abandoned cars rampant with copperheads - in short, practically every kind of danger a kid can grow up around except a city street. We didn't have cable, and my folks wouldn't pay for satellite, so I played in the woods, rode horses, climbed trees, waded and shot guns till dark, then I'd read. I read everything I could get my hands on, from classics to westerns to romances. When I discovered the old pulp authors, I left the other genres behind. Like many before me, I'd succumbed to the allure of science fiction, fantasy and horror. So it was the sheer lack of entertainment that drove me to a lifetime of reading, and it is a lifetime of reading that has led me to begin writing.
When did you first start writing?
The earliest thing I really recall writing was when I was in 9th or 10th grade. I wrote a short story for a creative writing class and won first place in Mercer County (West Virginia). They published the story ('Forbidden Fruit' IIRC, a macabre little piece) in Mercer Musings for the year (around 1984-86). About that same time I began work on a comic book, a sort of Star Wars meets Sgt Rock saga about a pilot and his sexy copilot who are in space on a routine mission and get sucked into a worm hole, ending up light years from home on a planet where they discover the source of an alien race that has been attacking Earth for decades. The story was fun, they met lots of different creatures and got into a ton of scrapes, falling in love during the adventures. In the end I think I had over 70 pages that I'd sketched, inked, colored and wrote the panels and dialogue for. It was neat to see how my artwork improved during the course of that project. I never got to finish it, however - my house burned down while I was in college and I lost all the work.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
After writing and submitting three novels based on the Mars of Edgar Rice Burroughs, I felt that, rather than sit idle and wait for them to publish, that I should work on various other ideas I had. In Indie publishing I saw an opportunity to skip the red tape and get some stories in front of people sooner. I'm very glad I did so. I've met some wonderful people, fellow authors, etc, and discovered websites I otherwise would not know about.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
What thrills me the most about writing is that it is a craft, and as such I derive the same sense of accomplishment as any craftsman might feel when completing a work. It's the word-craft that appeals to me. I love that there are many ways to say something, but that I have a quest to discover the way that works best for my story.
What are you working on next?
Having completed two Conan the Barbarian pastiches (one of which is a serious undertaking, while the other is a larky piece of flash fiction written more for humor than mayhem), I went back to expanding the universe of the Tomahawk series I began. I have published one story in this series called "The Blonde Goddess of Tikka-Tikka" which is a short, introduction to the series for which more titles are planned.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors include Edgar Rice Burroughs, Clark Ashton Smith, H. P. Lovecraft, A. Merritt, Edmond Hamilton, Dennis L. McKiernan, R. A. Salvatore.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
For recreation I love watching a good show on Netflix, playing guitar, collecting various things, reading, hanging with the wife and kids. Of late I've begun metal detecting and writing more poetry. I am really digging the detecting. I've also begun oil painting for fun. Anyone curious to see these may browse to my Deviant site and check them out: https://zlzf33.deviantart.com/gallery/64383721/My-oil-paintings. Those paintings of a fantasy theme I also post on my website at: https://www.chrisladamsbizarretales.com/fantasy-art.
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Books by This Author

The Hunter and the Sorcerer
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 43,960. Language: English. Published: March 24, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
A prehistoric tale of the Pleistocene...the adventures of Bru, a Hunter of the Seven Rivers Tribe, as he goes up against saber-tooth tigers, cave bears and an alien race intent on clobbering his world...
Conan and Old Crem (A Tale of Conan of Cimmeria)
Price: Free! Words: 1,100. Language: English. Published: May 16, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
(3.00 from 2 reviews)
In the days of his youth none were safe from the ravages of Conan the Raider...
Atlas of the Serpent Men (A Tale of Conan of Cimmeria)
Price: Free! Words: 13,110. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Adventure » Action
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
Leaving the comforts of his kingdom, Conan, King of Aquilonia, embarks on a quest that has virtually no chance of success. With only a single retainer, he must find a relic of the ancient race of serpent men. It's of little moment to him that his own life might be the price of its capture. This is a pulp story in the Weird Tales tradition.
The Cosmos of Despair
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 77,920. Language: English. Published: March 26, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(5.00 from 1 review)
Having fled the horrors of The Valley of Despair, Erik again finds himself a prisoner of the hated Denebians. With all known planets now enslaved by the gray-backs, he and a band of desperate captives plan a mutiny, hoping to free the entire cosmos. Of course, the possibility exists that their tortured bodies will be fed into the incinerators to fuel the ship. A story in the Weird Tales tradition.
The Blonde Goddess of Tikka-Tikka
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 16,990. Language: English. Published: October 6, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
He had the heart of a Viking – and the spirit of an Arapaho warrior... Ansen Grost is led down supernatural paths by the tomahawk he inherits from an Arapaho medicine man. He learns the axe is a token of power far older than 'the people'. But can it save him from extra-dimensional deities with hungers of cosmic proportions? A pulp story in the Weird Tales tradition.
The Treasure of Akram El-Amin
Price: Free! Words: 8,990. Language: English. Published: May 23, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Herein lieis the tale of Iskandar, a valiant Arabian boy sent on a quest by his father to purloin from his father's enemy his most valued possession. A tale that could only transpire in a magical time and place, this Arabian fantasy follows the brave and perceptive lad as he slips among the enemy, encounters genii and crosses blades with warriors of the Nubian Desert's most powerful sheikh.
On a Winter's Eve
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,690. Language: English. Published: May 13, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Horror » Occult
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
No one knew where they came from - a parallel world, another dimension, the Abyss? They had preyed on the inhabitants of a remote area for decades, sometimes wiping out entire families, their numbers seeming augmented each time they returned, which was always during the coldest winter storms. But when they came this time - they picked the wrong cabin...
The Valley of Despair
Price: Free! Words: 24,610. Language: English. Published: May 13, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
(4.33 from 3 reviews)
Flying off course due to a faulty compass and running low on fuel, German pilot Erik von Mendelsohn is forced to set his plane down deep in the African jungle. Pursued by strange, otherworldly beasts, he stumbles on a prehistoric city where he is captured by its cruel inhabitants - who aren't of Earth. The only bright spot in his life becomes the slave girl who teaches him their strange tongue.