I'm author and editor Holly M. Kothe. Thanks for stopping by my writing and review blog.
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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Oddville Interview: Jim Adams--You Know, Just Your Typical Highbrow Hardboiled Noir Author...

 Between my promotion to senior editor at Oddville Press and tending to my freelance business, The Espresso Editor, I've been sorely neglecting my literary responsibility to share the best writing I find here on the Coffee blog.

I'm so glad to connect with a writer who is published in the latest issue of Oddville. He's always been a favorite of mine, and when I saw his poetry and photography that resulted from his latest trip to Paris, I knew I had to pick that fertile brain of his.

But don't let his talents at clever, romantic poetry and beautiful photography fool you. This writer has a dark, devious, cultish side that has always appealed to me, and would make Palahniuk and Tarantino raise their mugs in approval.  

May I introduce up and coming hardboiled author, Jim Adams!

First, I'd like to thank Holly for thinking of me and giving her readers a window into my most banal life. I hope she does not regret her offer of giving me a platform for my thoughts. I have known this lady (virtually) for quite a while now, and I can say without reservation that I cherish her friendship and insight. It is an honor that she, at least, thinks I am worthy of note.

Tell us here at A Little Literary, a Lotta Coffee (ok, really it’s just me) a bit about Jim Adams. 

I'm just your average crazy mixed kid. Nothing special. If you were a precocious little British kid with an overly curious and keenly observant mind, (you know, a lil' Sherlock Holmes in the making) you'd see me on the street and say "Mummy, Mummy, look! It's another fat, middle-aged American man, with middling job prospects, heading into the slow decline of old age and possible senility. Isn't that sad, Mummy?" And he'd be right. At least from the dull veneer I project. But the lil' twerp would never guess what lurks beneath my mop of graying hair. Oh, no. If he did, he'd run screaming to his "Mummy" and have night terrors for a month. Poor lil' punter.

My mother sought out methodologies to help me correct most of my dyslexia and ADD. Still, the only book of substance I ever read before thirteen was Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, and it took me reading every day for six months with my mom helping me to plow through that oh-so-weighty tome.

That all changed on a trip to Mexico, where I was stuck in my relative’s house in Guadalajara. TV was all in Spanish, and I was bored. I had brought a few of my grandfather's Louis Lamour westerns. I'm not even sure why, but I thank God I did. I sat down and started to read, really persevere through pages. I began to understand the words was like seeing colors or hearing music for the very first time. In the remaining two weeks, my mother and I raided the local English book shop, and I went through 18 novels. I've never stopped since.

From which corner of the world do you do your dark writing deeds? 

Well, I'm from Utah, a fair-sized burb called Orem. I live in most densely populated Mormon area per capita in the world. And yes, I am Mormon, which some might find surprising considering the dark and often twisted nature of my writing's subject matter.

What do you enjoying doing when you’re not writing? 

Movies, art, good times with friends and family, oh, and traveling. As much traveling as I can afford. I sing a bit, and can be prevailed upon to karaoke, if I'm feeling spirited. I dance some, if my knees and back let me at given moment. I'm also partial to fine ladies, though I can't say that they're exactly partial to me. (sigh)

How do you take your coffee? 

I don't. I'm a Mormon.

Wha—???  *closes mouth with hand*. . . Are you single? 

Yes. Apparently no female was ever dumb enough to take me in permanently.

To say I was an advocate of getting your poem and picture in this issue of Oddville is a huge understatement. I absolutely loved “Paris,” and your picture of the Eiffel Tower at night is gorgeous. 

Photo by Jim Adams

Well, look at me blush...

How was Paris? 

There was drama with my traveling companions. It was uncomfortable. That night I took the photo, I was alone. There had been a huge blow-up, and was I fuming. I'm not going to go into any more particulars, but suffice to say, if I had not been literally the responsible party in the group, I would have left one of them stranded in Paris to fend for herself. So, I went out alone on the Paris night, met and talked to people I will probably never see again. I went up the Tower, and saw the sunset over La Defense, ate a pastry, the went down to sit alone, with lovers and families on a warm summer Sunday night, just off Seine, as Eiffel's majesty lit up in a twinkling display that just begged to be photography from all assembled. 

The rest of my trip was full of tense and trying moments with my companions, alternating with wondrous adventures of solitary investigations, mostly nocturnal, in places named La Rochelle, Carcassonne, Nime, Florence, Rome, Amalfi, Venice, and Cambridge. It was a learning experience in many ways, with all the attending growing pains of being a human making his way upon his own path. 

What about the city inspired you?

There are secrets buried in Paris that will lay hidden until the world is consumed by the sun. Everywhere there are telltales of something before, some triumph or terror, now dormant. And Parisians, how they love their city... They get a bad rep for being snooty assholes, and trust me, some of them are, but the far greater percentage are kind and friendly, generous and helpful. Near the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, one of the most beautiful religious structures in the world, I was seeking a way to drive up to it, and having trouble finding my way in. A young man closing up his cafe waved me down, and in thickly accented English asked if I need directions, which I did. He told me a street that said one way, which I thought I could enter, was fine to take after the shops had closed. Then out of nowhere he offers me a free eclair and a little cup of juice, which I gladly took, with an astonished merci. He smiles, points down the street with his cigarette, and wishes me bonne nuit (goodnight.) I went to the Basilica, and sat and sang reggae songs with pot smoking youngsters, and ate my eclair and juice, courtesy of one damn fine Parisian.

Does your current work-in-progress have a title? 

I have three, Sugar Cookies, Red Hot Poker, and Little Girl Lethal. All of which are part of the Annals Of Lost Peaks.

Sugar Cookies is collection of Sugar-centric stories which act as sort of a prelude to Little Girl Lethal, told in time disjointed shorts and novellas that interconnect, but not necessarily in a linear fashion.

Tell us about the genre you write.

I call it Highbrow Hardboiled Noir, but technically it would probably be Transgressive-Speculative Fiction, with heavy elements of altverse, sci-fi, urban fantasy, western, assassin/martial theory, with philosophical underpinning inevitably bleedings into the matrix, and a whole passel of other crap that's floating around in my noodle.

The artwork you’ve shared with us for the Sugar epic is breathtaking:
I have Keith A. Johnston to thank for that one. He was very patient as we banged out all the details on the image I wanted. I can be an exacting bastard. On the left is a possible cover for Little Girl Lethal. I am thinking of maybe doing multiple covers, by different artists, like some issues of comics or graphic novels do. I also like the idea of having more media options for the production of attending merchandise and swag.

Is Sugar based on your real-life perception of women? Or is she more of a fantasy product of your imagination?

Yes and no. Generally, I believe females to be the gentler, kinder, and most compassionate of the genders, but there is a reason and credence for the old axiom "Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned." When a female takes it in her mind to go off the rails, Good God Almighty protect us. She [Sugar]is perfection, yet damaged almost beyond repair.

Share a little bit more about some of the other main characters.

You've met Sugar Lightspeed, a tiny lil' goddess of sex and destruction, like a suitcase nuke whose radiation will give you a climactic high, and tingly afterglow, before she blows your ass into plasma. Yeah, that's her. One last thing about her. She's eidetic. Remembers everything, Forever. Make it hard for her to suppress certain things, but easy to learn new difficult skills and knowledge.

The man simply called X, Sugar's adopted father, an enigmatic assassin, forever cloaked in shadows, known as The Ronin. He is a man who never knew love until he saw the cold despair in the eyes of a child sex slave staring back at him, reflecting the emptiness of his own soul.

Slick Jimmy, First Son of Lost Peaks, famous, talented, wealthy beyond imagination, Protector of Spike Island, the last Representative Member of House Eternal in Lost Peaks, a man of titanic power and influence, but who struggles against an ever growing tide of avarice, corruption, and depravity consuming the City he calls home.

Scarlet. the mad assassin known as The Fury, hates everyone, but especially hates X, and, by extension, Sugar. She has never been able to defeat X, and over the years, his abilities have expanded, as he discovered more of his own power, where her madness and lack of focus have hindered her progress, but she continues to seek out new knowledge, often relying on dangerous tech to enhance her capabilities.

There are more killers, villains, friends, good souls, and seedy Lost Ones than you can shake at stick at, and feel like your getting palsy, but these will do for now.

Name a favorite modern author.

Name just one? Oh, come now. That's like asking which one is your favorite child, or food, or place to travel.

Here's short list of influences: 

Robert Frost, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, William Faulkner,Robert Ludlum, Roald Dahl, Ian Flemming, Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Jim Butcher, Simon R. Green, J.K. Rowling…

Do you ever drink and write?
All the time. I keep very hydrated.

What do you see yourself doing with this epic tale once it is completed? 
Putting out there to see if anybody bites at my savory offering, and take a good long, intermittent nap between traveling from hither and thither.

Do you intend to expand it into a series?
Uh, yep.

Find Jim's poem, "Paris" and his photography in Issue II of The Oddville Press. We are free to download, and always on the lookout for submissions.

1 comment:

  1. A wonderfully entertaining interview. Well done.


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