When I discovered Adam Maxwell has a brand new adult novel, The Dali Deception, that was released on 20th June 2016, but that he is also a children’s author I was intrigued. So I invited him on to the blog to tell me all about the challenges of writing both adult and children’s fiction.
The Dali Deception is available in e-book for purchase here, but Adam is kindly giving away an e-book to one of Linda’s Book Bag readers at the bottom of this blog post.
The Dali Deception
Five criminals. Two forgeries. And one masterpiece of a heist.
Violet Winters—a professional thief born of a good, honest thief-and-con-artist stock— has been offered the heist of a lifetime. Steal a priceless Salvador Dali from the security-obsessed chairman of the Kilchester Bank and replace it with a forgery.
The fact that the “painting” is a signed, blank canvas doesn’t matter. It’s the challenge that gives Violet that familiar, addicting rush of adrenaline. Her quarry rests in a converted underground Cold War bunker. One way in, one way out. No margin for error.
But the reason Violet fled Kilchester is waiting right where she left him—an ex-lover with a murderous method for dumping a girlfriend. If her heist is to be a success, there will have to be a reckoning, or everything could go spinning out of control.
Her team of talented misfits assembled, Violet sets out to re-stake her claim on her reputation, exorcise some demons, and claim the prize. That is, if her masterpiece of a plan isn’t derailed by a pissed-off crime boss—or betrayal from within her own ranks.
“Adam Maxwell is the indie writing scene’s sharpest wit, and the Dali Deception is his slickest, funniest – and surrealist – caper yet.” – Damien Walter, Columnist for The Guardian.
Rising to the Challenge
A Guest Post from Adam Maxwell
“Do any of you know any writers for kids aged 5+ that aren’t complete and utter crap?”
This was the Facebook post that started my foray into writing kids books.
“And I don’t mean Roald Dahl and the classics. I want new stuff. Stuff that kicks arse. I want the attitude of Buffy The Vampire Slayer but for five year olds. And no princesses and definitely no bloody fairies.”
The response was swift and damning.
“No,” they said. “You’re supposed to be a writer. Why don’t you do it yourself?”
And so I did.
Of course it wasn’t easy. Writing for kids requires a whole different mindset to writing for adults and after much research I discovered it requires something even more important and, you must remember this next point, it’s VERY important… You can’t swear. At all.
I know! I was as shocked as you.
But I’ve jumped forward a bit. I’ll rewind. You see, I’d written a lot for adults. Flash fiction, short stories, the odd novella. And at that moment I was in the final stretch of writing what would turn into my first novel for adults (coincidentally the very same I am currently hoping to convince you to buy).
My then 5 year old daughter was a voracious reader and was rapidly moving into chapter books and I wanted to write something that would inspire her but also wouldn’t turn her into an international jewel-thief.
And so The Lost Bookshop was born. And there was a hidden room in there. And when the children went inside they were transported into the pages of the book; to the circus, to the wild west, into a Grimm tale. No princesses and definitely no bloody fairies just kick-butt girls with heaps of attitude and a massive dose of adventure.
I found that the two things began to inform one another. Both series had female characters front and centre and in charge. Both series had a healthy dose of laughs. But only one series features a dwarf shooting someone’s face off.
Since starting the two series I’ve been a stickler for outlining and I suspect that’s helped to keep focus when it was needed. Whatever book I’m working on right at any given moment will have an outline I’m working from but any ideas for scenes or stories for the others will just go into a folder on my laptop ready to be examined when I go and visit those characters again. Keeping them separate is usually just a matter of discipline. That and having a distinct cover style for each genre I’m writing in.
So I’d definitely recommend it. Even with a full time job and a family it’s totally worth genre hopping. And not just because of the reaction I get from my daughter when we’re reading a book written by her Dad with her as the main character. Although I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t a big part.
The book I’m currently working on is the fourth in The Lost Bookshop series and then I’m going to do a sequel for The Dali Deception. After that maybe I’ll write an Urban Fantasy novel I’ve already outlined but whatever I decide on I can tell you two things…
There won’t be any princesses and there definitely, positively, will not be any bloody fairies.
About Adam Maxwell
Adam Maxwell has written for a plethora of publications including Dave Eggers’ McSweeney’s. His first book, a collection of short stories and flash fiction for adults Dial M For Monkey was published in 2006. Most recently he has been working on a series of stories and novellas about a narcoleptic detective called The Defective Detective and has branched out into children’s fiction with The Lost Bookshop.
Adam spends a great deal of his time in the attic on his own and is cultivating a fear of crowds. He has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from Northumbria University, and lives in the wilds of Northumberland. If you wave to him he is unlikely to wave back.
If you are a fan of his work he would most likely congratulate you for your impeccable taste and secondly he would suggest that you visit the website where you’ll find that new stories appear on a regular basis as well as a short story podcast and loads of other things that, as a reader or writer, you might be interested in. He is far more likely to wave at you through the internet.
Enter to win an e-book copy of The Dali Deception by clicking here. Open internationally until UK midnight on Monday 4th July 2016.