Well, that one is kind of hard, as TJ Adams has only existed for six weeks at the most and only came about when my first (and very accidental) erotic short story came about.
Under my name…I have had short crime, western and horror published in both the U.S. and England for a few years now.
Tell us about your latest book.
The latest (and first) story published in the erotic genre is a short story titled An Innocent Act. I’ve always struggled at times with wanting to walk a fine line between—let’s say—crime and romance. It’s just the way I see the world as a writer.
I don’t outline much when starting into a new story and with this one, was feeling out ideas for where the story (planned to be a crime novella) would go.
As the young man telling the story begins to meet his neighbors, I started to think, what if he gets the hots for this older gal?
The story went downhill from there, but was well written (for me) and I subbed it to a mid-lever publisher of the genre. They were quick to turn me down (too short), but insisted that I keep trying with this story. So, I did and found a home with Solstice Publishing on the second try.
An Innocent Act is the story of a young man living away from home for the first time and falling for an older gal just across the way. Over a Saturday morning breakfast in town, he finds out just how far Francine Carter is willing to go.
What do you have coming out in the future?
Under the TJ Adams name, I have an erotic / crime novella going through editing at the moment, Pandora’s Box. I had been working on the story as straight-up crime, when a small publisher folded…returning my submitted work. I didn’t have a name for the young woman in the story, nor did I have a title. Pandora was the perfect stripper/stage name for the gal, so I cannibalized the title and the rest is well… I’ve seen the cover for this one and I’m excited to see it coming out.
Is your book a stand-alone or a series?
Both are stand-alone stories. I’ve written in series in other genres, but am not sure that I could do it with erotica?
Why romance and what makes your particular brand of romance special?
Like I’ve said, the first story (An Innocent Act) wasn’t planned and just sort of came out. The second, longer story, (Pandora’s Box) was intended as crime. Being able to include a few steamier scenes brought the story to life, like it really should have been.
Is romance the only genre that you write in or do you write in other genres? If so what other genres do you write in?
As TJ Adams…yes. I think it will keep from confusing anyone that already reads my work. I’ve been published in crime, western and horror under my name.
Life as it goes on around me.
Do you ever base your characters on real people in your life?
Yes and no. Not 100 %, but maybe something about someone I’ve known.
What authors inspire your writing?
Tough one as I don’t read a lot of mainstream fiction and nothing in the romance genre. Stephen King and Dean Koontz are two that I enjoy when I can find the time. Most of the last several years have seen me reading great stories from indie writers such as Aidan Thorn (gritty crime) and Chris Derrick (western) ((both are from England)) and a host of others.
It was another British crime writer, Chris Leek, who inspired me to be OK with an element of romance in my writing after reading his East of Heaven, West of Texas. The story is crime with a touch of romance running through it.
How have your real life experiences influenced your writing?
I think most writers are perceptive and always watching the world going on around them, so yes, I’d have to say that real life experiences make their way into my stories.
What was your road to publishing like? Tell us about it.
I’ve been writing for years, but never submitted anything until 2012. The Mayan’s said that the world would end, OK?
I subbed a crime novella in early 2012 and never heard back from the publisher. Hell, I’m still waiting for that rejection?
A friend suggested that I try Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and I put up four (two of which I’ve taken down since). I’ll admit that I’m not the greatest editor and I just stuck to anthologies, small magazines and internet ‘zines from then on. I’ve always had a couple of novella’s and maybe a novel length story making the rounds though.
When Solstice Publishing signed An Innocent Act, they were also willing to read other stories under both my name and TJ Adams. So for the time, I have three short stories and three novellas being published by Solstice.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
An Innocent Act is a line in the story.
Do you read romance or do you prefer other genres?
I prefer history really, although I don’t seem to have the time for it anymore? Indie crime seems to be what I read these days. I am reading Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz at the moment.
What is your absolute favorite book or books and why is it special to you?
My favorite book or books would be The Dark Tower Series from Stephen King. I’ve always enjoyed the western genre and King takes it to a whole new level.
Have you joined any writer’s groups?
I only know of two within a hundred miles of where I live. I was introduced to some of the folks at the more local group some years ago and they just seemed too stuffy for me?
What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
The hardest part of writing for me, is finding the time to do it? As I write this, I’m waiting for one of my grandsons to arrive at any minute.
What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?
The easiest part of writing for me is coming up with the story. I enjoy running the characters around to see what they will do.
Who or what are your inspirations/influences?
A host of indie writers on the scene…Aidan Thorn, Chris Derrick and Chris Leek (England), Timothy Desmond, Matt Matila, Bill Baber and David Jaggers here in the US.
What is your preferred writing environment?
I can write anywhere, as long as I have my laptop and prefer to write distracted.
How would you describe your writing style?
By the seat of my pants…is that an answer? Although An Innocent Act is a kind of sweet romance thing as is Cinnamon Girl (out shortly), I like dark almost surreal crime stuff.
Do you have a careful plan when plotting your stories or do you just go with the flow?
It depends? I’ve painstakingly plotted out some stories, while just going along for the ride on others. An Innocent Act is one of the later.
With many publishing routes available today, which felt the most reliable to you when it came to the many choices?
Today, we have Amazon and Smashwords and a host of other platforms. I even looked into Wattpad for a short story some time back, but maybe due to my age, I just try to stick with the traditional route.
When did you know you truly wanted to give writing a shot?
I enjoyed writing as far back as elementary school. I didn’t mind the assignment and would get a good grade. Now getting up in front of the class and reading it?
Do you have any advice for other writers and what is it?
Just do it. Wait, that’s Nike, right?
Read everything and write what you want. Somewhere out there is an editor willing to read your work…you just have to find them?
If you could ask your readers anything, what would it be?
Leave a review. A review for an indie writer is like winning the lottery. Most of us don’t make enough money to speak of and that little bit of feedback clues us in on whether we are firing on all cylinders or not. If you like a story, say so. It only takes a minute of your time. If the story sucks, say that also.
What do you get out of writing?
I really can’t answer that one? I don’t know why I write, it’s just a hobby that I have pursued for a good many of my years.
Why do you write if you can’t make a living out of it?
Again, I don’t know how to answer that one. I’ve always been an avid reader, even back in elementary school. Being just weeks away from 50, I’ve read a hell of a lot of stories in my lifetime. Writing just seems to be an extension of reading, I guess. Like most indie writers, I don’t entertain much thought of hundred thousand dollar advances. It would be great, but I don’t see it happening for me, anyway.
If you published under a pen name, why did you use a pen name and is there anything special about the pen name you chose?
I hope to make things less confusing this way. If someone stumbles across me on Amazon or my website, they will know from the story title what genre to expect.
I would hate for someone to purchase a title expecting a crime story or western and get an opening scene of graphic sex?
Why did you want to be a writer?
I don’t think that I originally intended to be a writer. I just did it for my own enjoyment, just to see if I could. After enough time (years), it sort of became a habit. Once the first story was published, I wanted another.
Wild Card Question.
As an author, what is the one question that you wish people would ask you, but no one ever has and what would your answer be to that question?
This question has been asked, but it’s a favorite of mine. “How in the Hell, do you come up with this stuff?”
My answer: A youth of excessive drug use and a lifetime of whiskey as an adult. There’s a big world out there. There are a million stories there waiting to be told.