Author Interview: Ben Adams

Ben AdamsBen Adams is the author of 6 Months to Get a Life. Thank you for joining us, Ben. Can you tell us a little about your new book? 

Thanks for inviting me on to your blog.

Six Months to Get a Life is the story of a man trying to come to terms with his divorce. The book follows Graham Hope as he strives to get over his ex, to maintain his relationship with his children, to build new friendships and to work out a way of having sex again at some point in his life.

 

How did the idea for the book originate?

I recently went through a marriage break-up myself. I started writing Six Months to Get a Life as a way of capturing my own thoughts. If you like, it was therapy for me.

 

So is it about you then? I thought it was fiction?

It is fiction. About two days into the writing process, I realised that the book shouldn’t be about me. It shouldn’t be about my ex or my children either. What right did I have to write about them? And who would want to read it if I did? If it had been about me, people would have slit their wrists by the end of Chapter 3.

So instead of writing a memoir, I created a fictional tale. I invented a new ex, new friends, new children, new events and new debacles. Did the marriage guidance scene happen to me? No. Did I meet my ex in a sexually transmitted diseases clinic? Er, no. Have I ever twerked in a nightclub? Maybe, but that’s another story. Have I got a big ego and a small penis? No comment.

 

How much planning did you do before beginning to write? 

None whatsoever to start with. Literally I sat down one afternoon and began to write. Every so often I would look back at what I had written and maybe look ahead a bit too,, but basically I went where the writing took me. Once the first draft was finished, I did then do some planning to improve the flow of the story. But during my writing journey, I discovered that I’m not a planner.

 

6 monthsDid you edit as you go or do you prefer to wait until you’ve got a first draft. 

When I’m writing regularly, I tend to leave the editing until the end. The story tends to take over and I am anxious to get the next chapter down on paper before the ideas flit away. But if circumstances are preventing me from writing regularly, I often have to re-read the last few chapters to remind myself of the intricacies of the plot. When I re-read, I can’t stop myself from editing, which then means that the story doesn’t progress as quickly as it otherwise would. Writing regularly and editing at the end, and ultimately getting a professional edit, definitely works best for me.

 

Do you have any writing rituals? 

Other than banishing the children to a distant part of the house, I am pretty relaxed. I am not really a coffee freak and I don’t eat while I’m writing. I tried drinking wine while I wrote once, but that didn’t really work. Mind you, it was only 7 O’clock in the morning…

 

What’s your favourite word? 

It’s a close run thing between bunkum and yes.

 

What makes you laugh? 

Great put-down lines and people falling off things.

 

Out of all the books you’ve read, which three have made the most impact? 

The Secret Diaries of Adrian Mole. Sue Townsend inadvertently taught me how to read.

The Da Vinci Code. Dan Brown taught me how much I hate pretentious writing.

High Fidelity. Nick Hornby taught me that real, everyday life is the ideal setting for a great tale.

 

Which three things would you need with you if you had to go and live on a desert island? 

My radio, my laptop and a helicopter.

 

Who would you invite over for a fantasy dinner party? 

Professor Dumbledore, George Best, Kylie Minogue and if there’s enough Beef Wellington, my mum.

 

Five tips for new writers? 

 

  1. Don’t spend all your time reading tips from authors who, just because they have written one book, suddenly think they know it all
  2. Write, write some more, and then write again. The more you write, the better you will get.
  3. If you don’t believe in your writing, then no one else will either. Your first job is to write something that you are proud of.
  4. Find your own style. Copying someone else’s will just make you a pale imitation.
  5. I can only think of four.

 

Which fictional character would you like to go and have a beer with?

God.

 

Ben AdamsAbout Ben: Like a lot of people, Ben went to school, then college and eventually grew up and got a responsible job, a house and a family. And then his mid-life crisis kicked in. Realising that life was in danger of becoming all too serious, Ben started writing. Not in the way that Forest Gump started running, but at least he started. Following his short-lived career as a children’s author, Ben now concentrates on writing stories for grown-ups.  He writes for people who have lived, loved, worked, strived and suffered – people like himself. People like you. Ben lives in southwest London with his two boys, his dog and his constant stream of girlfriends.  He dreams a lot too. Follow Ben’s journey further at http://blog.benadamsauthor.com.

Six Months to Get a Life was published by Clink Street Publishing in January 2015. It’s available in paperback and as an e-book. Click on the link to view on Amazon UK.

About Six Months to Get a Life: Graham Hope had it all – a wife, two perfect children, a detached house in the suburbs and a huge TV. Until today. He now has an ex-wife, lives in his parents’ spare room and gets the kids and the dog at weekends. He might be lost and lonely, but Graham is not a victim. Six months from today he will be forty-three. He vows to sort this mess out by his birthday. He gives himself six months to get a life. Will Graham play a meaningful role in his boys’ lives? Will his mates take him under their wing? Will he move out of his childhood home? More importantly, will he ever have sex again? For Graham, failure is not an option.

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Laura
I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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