Bestselling author of Only the Truth and In Her Image Adam Croft talks me through his work and how he constantly tries to hone his craft as he prepares to launch a new novel which is sure to be just as riveting as the previous.
Tell me about how you came to define your writing style. What drew you towards thriller and mystery writing?
I’m not sure I have defined my writing style. Not deliberately, anyway. The general rule is to just write, and to write however comes naturally to you. That’ll be your voice.
Mine tends to be quite casual, much of it in the vernacular. Readers seem to enjoy it — it makes the books easier to read and allows them to lose themselves in the story instead of grappling with unnecessarily convoluted prose. They’re the sorts of books and stories I prefer myself, so they’re what I write.
What is your background and how did you get in to writing professionally? How do you draw on your past when writing fiction?
I had a number of jobs before I started writing. I’ve been an actor, delivery driver, small business owner and probably a few more occupations that I’ve deliberately erased from my memory. I don’t recall drawing on any of them when writing, though. Not extensively.
Generally speaking I think I’m actually quite a boring person with quite a boring life, so I make it my mission to invent characters that are far more colourful!
Please tell me about your books. Why do you believe they have become so popular?
I think they’re popular because people can relate to the characters. They’re all flawed, some of them incredibly so.
I think the age of the infinitely likeable protagonist has probably been over for a little while — certainly on this side of the pond. In the US they’re still after the moral hero in their books, which is perhaps why my books are more popular in the UK, Australia and Canada than they are in the States.
People’s reading tastes across the world change at different times. I just keep writing what I like writing (which is generally the same as I like reading) and my readers seem to enjoy it.
Where do you find your inspiration? Are there any particular places or incidents you draw on when you find yourself with writer’s block?
I don’t really believe in inspiration, and I certainly don’t believe in writer’s block — not as an ailment in itself, anyway.
Writer’s block is a catch-all term that can be used to explain any number of problems, usually one of: not having planned properly; not having a good enough story or characters; or not having enough inner motivation to get the work done.
In terms of what inspires my books, it’s the planning process. It’s having studied the craft and knowing what sorts of things readers like. It’s understanding my characters and plots and knowing where they need to go next. With regards to what inspires me to write in the first place, a succession of bills landing on my doormat tends to help.
If you could collaborate with anyone, living or dead, on a writing project, who would it be and why?
I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of collaboration when it comes to writing fiction, but maybe that’s just because I’ve not really tried it. I think rather than trying to piggy-back off a more well-known writer’s name I’d actually like to work with a writer who didn’t have a big name. Perhaps a brand new writer who has an innate talent for telling story and creating compelling characters. That’d mean a lot more to me, I think.
Do you have any projects coming up that you are particularly excited about?
Yes, my third psychological thriller In Her Image is out on 1 May 2017. It follows hot on the heels of Only the Truth and Her Last Tomorrow and is, I’m told, even better than they were. Her Last Tomorrow was a huge success and completely changed my career, and Only the Truth topped the Amazon storewide charts all over the world, so I’ve got very high hopes for this one.
Are there any new books or writers that you are looking forward to coming up?
I’m actually really bad at keeping up with what other writers are doing. I know it sounds dreadful, but I mostly spend my time holed up working on new books and improving my craft. I’m really not very good at networking, going to events or any of that. I’d like to be better at it, but my readers and my books always have to come first.
Thanks ever so much to Adam for taking the time, you can find out more about him and his work HERE.