Adam, tell us when you decided to become a writer. In other words, what made you actually sit down and write something?
When I was a child, I began writing wildly imaginative pirate and fantasy stories. I rarely finished them, and I never had a plan. My first handwritten story was a fantastical tale about Captain Kidd’s spyglass. In high school, I also wrote and finished an unpublished novel called Down with the Ship. It’s such an Agatha Christie copycat that I laugh whenever I peruse it, but emulation is how a lot of authors get to be where they are today. I loved writing and couldn’t stop.
Every writer is eventually asked this question, but where do your ideas come from?
Life. TV. News. Movies. Other books. Being an author demands being a sensitive observer of the usual but especially the unusual. Ideas are everywhere, but I must stay on my toes to see them and get them down on paper before they are gone forever. I love to watch people and study how they react and talk. I’m always intrigued by an unusual hobby, mannerism, or habit. I’m especially interested in how each person’s past helps define who he or she is today. Sometimes while reading news articles, I find an unusual story and file it away for later. Life is stranger than fiction. Each time I watch true crime shows, I get story ideas for future suspense novels.
Why do you write what you do?
Authors write what they like to read. When I was a kid, I devoured Hardy Boys books—yes, even my sister’s collection of Nancy Drew. I read Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks, Ray Bradbury, and Madeleine L’Engle. Eventually, I gravitated to suspense fiction by authors like Frank Peretti, Terri Blackstock, and Mary Higgins Clark. I grew weary of whodunits and preferred suspense novels. I like novels that grab me around the throat, keep the pages turning, and never let go until the final period. Suspense novels filled with plenty of action and conflict captivate me like no other books I read, though I also have a fondness for good literature, fantasy, history, biography, true crime, and science fiction.
What is the hardest thing about the creative process of writing?
I rarely have difficulty coming up with story ideas and even an engaging premise, but getting from the beginning to the ending is a circuitous path that can sometimes come to dead ends. The hardest part of novel writing, in my opinion, is choosing the right path that comes out at the right ending. There are so many moving pieces and critical decisions along the way that the writer can become paralyzed, overcome by too many choices.
If you’re a Christian, what are the challenges you believe Christian writers face now and in the future?
The Christian publishing world has changed so much over the last decade. So many Christian authors are now writing clean stories but avoiding overt Christian content to broaden readership and sales. Whether to write overt Christian content is a question each author has to wrestle through. I, for one, believe in writing a story with overt faith elements. Christian authors are also burdened with more marketing of their own books now than ever before. This effort takes time away from writing and can slow the process; therefore, balancing writing and marketing (and keeping a book project moving) can be a challenge.
If you would, please tell us what was the hardest thing about writing your last book? How long does it typically take you to finish your books?
The ending was tough to write. While I’m typically an organized plotter, I took off the training wheels on this one and let the story glide where it and the characters wanted to go. The journey became both fun but scary. I had the premise and some plot developments in place, but how the story concluded took more work than I expected.
I typically take at least a couple of years for the actual writing of the book. That doesn’t count the time needed to shop the novel around through my agent and then wait on a publisher before and after the contract; the publishing wheel turns much slower than most readers realize. I wish I could write quicker than that, but that’s the reality for me, since this isn’t my full-time gig.
Name your three biggest frustrations about the writing business.
- The amount of time each book requires from start to finish. Included in this is the long wait time from publishers.
- The continually changing rules in writing and publishing. Just when you think you know what publishers are looking for, your agent tells you something else.
- Book marketing. One cannot guarantee sales. I wish a book release was like the movie Field of Dreams. “Build it, and they will come.” If only it were that easy. There is almost an equal amount of work in just promoting the book.
On the flip side, what excites you the most about the creative process?
I get most excited about the creative process when a plot development I never saw coming unexpectedly presents itself, taking the story in a new but stronger direction. This epiphany has happened to me several times.
What are you reading now, and who are a few of your favorite authors and why?
I’m currently reading and enjoying The Third Target by Joel C. Rosenberg. I especially enjoy a good thriller, whether Christian or secular. Some of my favorite authors are Steven James, Terri Blackstock, Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, and Brandilyn Collins. I like how they weave suspenseful story threads together and craft their scenes in ways that keep the plot moving forward. Their books are great examples of what works. I learn so much simply by reading their novels.
Adam, can you give us the buy link for your book?
The buy link at Amazon is https://www.amazon.com/dp/1645261867.
What are your social media links so people can follow you?
Adam Blumer fixes other people’s books to pay the bills. He writes his own to explore creepy lighthouses and crime scenes. He is the author of three Christian suspense novels: Fatal Illusions (Meaningful Suspense Press), its sequel, The Tenth Plague (Kirkdale Press), and Kill Order (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas).
A print journalism major in college, he works full-time from home as a book editor after serving in editorial roles for more than twenty years. He lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with his wife, Kim, and his daughters, Laura and Julia. When he’s not working on his next thriller, he’s hiking in the woods, playing Minecraft with his daughters, or learning new chords on his guitar. He is committed to writing clean suspense that is free of profanity, vulgarity, and sexual content. He is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), the Christian Editor Network, and The Christian PEN. He works with literary agent Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.