Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, welcome to Part One of Confessions of a Reviewers interview with the enigma that is, Adam Millard.
Actually, if you have any kids reading this, it may be a good time to put them out of the room and never let them see it again. It may get a bit rude. It won’t be offensive, but it will be rude.
So here is the interview I have always wanted to do and never thought I would. Turns out this Adam Millard bloke is really nice and not the big scary man I thought he would be. I think that was more me being intimidated at his greatness more than anything. But alas I ramble.
In tonight’s seqment, you will learn all about Mr Millard’s life in general and his writing.
Tomorrow’s Part Two will be concentrating on the Larry Trilogy and more general fun stuff followed by The Ten Confessions!
Tuesday night will be our review of Larry, with reviews of the last two books in the trilogy being published over the coming weeks.
Nothing left to say at this point other than go grab some nibbles and a drink and sit back, and most of all……enjoy!
CoaR – So, in case there is anyone in the universe who doesn’t know you exist, tell everyone a bit about yourself. Who is Adam Millard and what is he all about?
AM – I’m sure there are several people who have not heard of me. I am an author, editor, and publisher from Wolverhampton. I like tattoos and Italian food, and have had sex twice and have the children to prove it.
CoaR – I know you have many roles in your busy life but do you have a boring pay the bills day job?
AM – I’m fortunate enough to be able to do this for a living, which is great, as I don’t think I’d be able to peel my pyjamas off after all these years. They’re like a second skin, only that skin is paisley.
CoaR – Style guru or misfit – which are you?
AM – I’m an anomaly. Like those murky M&Ms you sometimes get.
CoaR – How do you never get freezing cold at cons wearing nothing but a vest… sorry, waistcoat?
AM – This is one of the most important questions I’ve ever been asked about writing. I have warm blood. 98.7ºC, which is .1ºC higher than other humans, meaning I can wear waistcoats and not end up like Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining.
CoaR – We like to ask the questions everyone else wants to, but daren’t!
CoaR – Why writing? Why decide on it as a career?
AM – I’d like to say something profound here, like, “I always knew I was going to be a writer,” or, “It runs in my family, like rickets,” but I can’t. I wrote a lot of crappy space operas as a kid, typed them out on a battered Olympia typewriter and then illustrated them. I would have been twelve, or thirteen, and only I saw those stories, which was probably for the best.
It wasn’t until 2004, when my first novel was published by a now defunct publisher, that I started to dream of writing for a living. This was always my second choice, but there’s not much call for chimney sweeps these days.
CoaR – Take us through your process for a story. How do you start it and follow it through to the final product?
AM – I’m a pantser, not a planner. I get an idea, and I begin to make basic notes, and then I start. This method often results in long periods of inconsolable crying (it runs in my family, like rickets) but I could never plot out an entire novel, chapter by chapter, before beginning. Writing a novel like that would bore me. I like to be surprised as much as my readers.
CoaR – I find that absolutely astounding that your stories flow from no planning. What’s your secret to doing that? Obviously without giving it away or everyone would copy it! Do you switch everything else off and just go for it or get some sort of divine inspiration?
AM – There is no real formula for doing it that way. As a writer, I never switch off, so while I’m doing the washing up or walking the dog, I’m always thinking about ways to write myself out of plot holes or come up with ways to get from A to B. When I sit down at my computer, I already know what needs to be done. So, in that way I’m roughly planning the scenes that need to be written, but that doesn’t mean they don’t change when I get around to writing them. More often than not, they go off on tangents. Take my current work, for instance, which is a humorous fantasy novel featuring Greek Gods and London gangsters. I sat down to write this morning, and I was going to have Poseidon do one thing, only when I came to it, it made more sense to do it another way, a way which enabled more humour. It’s all tweaking and playing with the manuscript until it’s at its best and most effective. Sometimes, the best way to do that is let it become organic and do its thing.
CoaR – I must ask about your covers. Who does those for you? Do you have a definite idea of what you want and have much input into them?
AM – I have been blessed with great artwork on most of my covers. Jim Agpalza takes care of all my bizarro work (no one can draw dicks and Human Santapedes like Jim), and so if I have something funny and weird coming out, he’s the first guy I approach. Usually I just give a brief description of the story, and Jim does the rest. Chris Taggart, who was also best man at my wedding, illustrated my early zombie work, and that was pretty much the same, giving him just a brief synopsis and letting him get on with it. I’m not someone who says, “Hey, draw me a zombie, but it has to be wearing chinos and a green vest, and it has one arm off and the other arm is made of cheddar.”
CoaR – This sounds like book 4 for Larry? Pigface vs The Cheddar Armed Space Zombie?
AM – Could be onto something there. Vs the Space Zombrie might be better. You know, there are people out there who don’t enjoy puns? I say embrace the pun. The pun is the highest form of wit, after toilet humour and sarcasm, all of which you will find in my next book, Pigface Vs the Space Zombrie™.
CoaR – The Nothing to Fear videos… how did they come about?
AM – Nothing to Fear came out of boredom. I had a short comedy script I wanted to film, and I knew it would require special effects, so I bought a green screen and some lights and a decent camera, and a Donald Trump wig, and a packet of Wotsits, and the rest, as they say, is history. I have a lot of ideas for future episodes, featuring puppets and prosthetics and general silliness. The planning, the filming, the post-production, it’s just something I enjoy doing alongside the writing. Plus, I get to superglue cheesy snacks to my face, and who doesn’t want to do that?
CoaR – Talking about filming, how did your part as a dead person who loses his belt come about in the Citizen AID video?
AM – It’s no secret that I fancy myself an actor, and that actor is Dwayne Johnson, but I also do a bit of acting. In the Citizen AID video, which instructs people on how to cope in a terrorist attack, I play a guy who gets blown up before the opening credits even start, and I have to say it was my toughest role yet. They took my belt to use as a tourniquet, which is the right thing to do, under the circumstances, but that whole thing was improvised on the day, which is why, if you watch the video, you will see, I’m wearing Christmas pants in the middle of June.
CoaR – How do you keep track of your ideas? Do you carry a notebook with you everywhere or write stuff on the back of your hand?
AM – I’m seldom away from my computer, and I always have a notepad document open. Without context, it is the ramblings of a man destined for incarceration.
CoaR – Can you tell us if any of the characters in your books are based on people you have come across in your life or maybe even yourself?
AM – Jack Bridge from Soul of Dust was loosely based on me, although I’m not a wizard nor handsome, so when I say loosely, what I mean is we both enjoy whisky.
CoaR – Tell us about Crowded Quarantine. How did you get involved in this?
AM – Crowded Quarantine Publications was formed in 2010, and the idea was to solicit a few great stories and put out a couple of anthologies. I had put together several books by this point, and knew I could do a good job of it. Here we are seven years and thirty books later, and I’m still learning. The market is constantly changing, and as a company we’re having to adapt accordingly. We have seen a lot of small presses fold after a year or two (often as a result of overreaching, trying to release too many books in a calendar year) and we learn from their mistakes, as well as our own.
CoaR – I have the limited-edition hardback of Rich Hawkins’ The Last series and it is a thing of true beauty. Does it cost a lot more for the publisher to put this sort of thing together? Do you have to approach it any differently?
AM – Yeah, that book was expensive to put together. Not the printing, but the shipping. It would have been cheaper for me to jump on a flight and hand-deliver it.
CoaR – Writing or publishing or all that comes with the editing business, which do you prefer?
AM – All of it. Creating. As long as I am producing something, whether it is a short story, a novel, an editing job for a client, a short film, or a book cover design, I’m happy. It is all part of the job, and it is a job I spend up to eighteen hours a day doing.
Well I am very sorry to say that is the end of Part One of the interview with Adam.
We hope you have enjoyed it enough to come back tomorrow night for more shenanigans and cringe as Adam talks about pubic hair and confesses all, ten times over!
Thanks again for visiting Confessions of a Reviewer!
CONFESSIONS REVIEWS ADAM MILLARD
Adam Millard is the author of twenty novels, ten novellas, and more than a hundred short stories, which can be found in various collections and anthologies. Probably best known for his post-apocalyptic fiction, Adam also writes fantasy/horror for children. He created the character Peter Crombie, Teenage Zombie just so he had something decent to read to his son at bedtime. Adam also writes Bizarro fiction for several publishers, who enjoy his tales of flesh-eating clown-beetles and rabies-infected derrieres so much that they keep printing them. His “Dead” series has recently been the filling in a Stephen King/Bram Stoker sandwich on Amazon’s bestsellers chart. When he’s not writing about the nightmarish creatures battling for supremacy in his head, Adam writes for This Is Horror, whose columnists include Simon Bestwick and Simon Marshall-Jones.
And for more about Adam, visit his site or find him on social media: