Friday, November 4, 2016

Ben Adams ~ an interview and his novel ~ The Enigmatologist

Ben Adams


Ben Adams is a San Francisco Bay Area writer. His work has appeared in Everyday Weirdness, an online literary magazine. He is currently enrolled in Stanford’s Novel Writing Program. The Enigmatologist is the first book in a trilogy.


Q: Are you a morning person, or a midnight candle burner?
A: I’m one of those rare people who’s consistent throughout the day. It really doesn’t matter to me what time of day it is, I’m the same regardless. I can stay up all-night and still have the same energy level I had when I woke in the morning. All I need to do is eat. And I eat a lot.

Q: If you could morph into any creature what would it be and why?
A: Without a doubt a rainbow farting unicorn that pooping magical casino chips. If you’re going to turn into a creature, why not shot for the most awesomely ridiculous creature you can think of.

Q: When you think of a garden, do you picture vegetables of flowers?
A: Vegetables. I lived in Berkeley, CA for seven years and had three 3’x6’ beds in my yard. I grew about 50% of the food that I ate. Working in a garden is an incredibly meditative experience. I can shut down my writer’s brain and focus on keeping the aphids off the collards. Now I live on the third floor of a building in Oakland. I have a few potted plants—peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers—but nothing on the scale of what I had before. Although, now I have a small olive tree that I’m Bonsai-ing. It’s really interesting to look at a plant and plan its growth over the next several years, imagining which way the shoots with go.


Q: Do you always know how a story will end when you begin writing it?
A: Yes. Usually by the time I’m a third of the way through the first draft, I know how it will end. The hard part for me is the middle, getting to the end. I have to be really careful that I don’t rush the development, so the ending will seem inevitable and logical.

Q: Generally speaking, is your work based on real life experience? If it’s not would you want it to be?
A: In a round about way, yes. When I started writing The Enigmatologist I had just gone through a pretty serious life change. I was a professional musician for a long time, and decided to take a break (read as quit). While I was writing, I decided to inject the protagonist with a lot of the same things that I was experiencing emotionally. Getting it out on paper really helped me deal with that life transition. It also helped that a lot of people really like the book, making the decision seem justified.

Q: How did you come to write your genre of choice?
A: This is a really interesting question, because I don’t think in terms of genre. I think in terms of story. This allows me to jump genres, or combine multiple genres. I think the term genre is archaic. It’s terminology used by booksellers and publishers, a way to categorize books in order to sell them to readers. But the truth is, literature today is not bound by genre. A book can be a sci-fi/Western/mystery/romance. It can be whatever the author wishes. And with the internet, it can find an audience. The Enigmatologist is a cross-genre novel. It starts off mystery and ends in the realm of science fiction. This was an intentional choice. The book is constructed in such a way that by the time the genre shifts, the reader full accepts it as natural.


Q: What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?
A: I’m currently working on the sequel to The Enigmatologist. I thought that this would be easy, dealing with the same characters. But it’s proven to be quite challenging. The difficulty comes from writing a book for both people who’ve read the first one, and for people who haven’t. How much backstory do I include? How can I catch the new readers up without bogging them down in old information? I have a few strategies that I hope will make this easier. Of course, it would be a lot easier if everyone just book the first book.

Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?
A: Yes, I do. Here are the links. ~ 

Author Links:

Buy Links:
BARNES & NOBLE:;jsessionid=A8C0E06BA8BE43D7ABFAC84AC5CB5FC2.prodny_store02-atgap02?ean=2940152842630

TITLE: The Enigmatologist
RELEASE DATE: April 30, 2016
AUTHOR: Ben Adams
ISBN: 978-0692670606
IMPRINT: Devil’s Tower

KEYWORDS: Humor, sci-fi, Elvis, conspiracy theories, crossword puzzles, American Southwest

CATEGORIES: Humorous Science Fiction/Mystery

A detective unearths a secret that entwines conspiracies involving shape-shifting aliens, Elvis Presley, and Mary Todd Lincoln in, THE ENIGMATOLOGIST, a comedic sci-fi/mystery novel.

Twenty-something, John Abernathy is disillusioned. His job as a private investigator is unfulfilling, and he can’t find work in his chosen field, Enigmatology, the study and design of puzzles. He is about to quit when the National Enquirer calls. A woman in Las Vegas, New Mexico sent them a photo of someone who’s supposed to have died 35 years ago—Elvis Aaron Presley. And they need John to investigate it.

When the Elvis impersonator, Al Leadbelly, is murdered, John investigates, finding Air Force colonel, Alvin Hollister—convinced Leadbelly has information regarding Elvis's death—at the crime scene conducting his own investigation. John discovers great-great-great grandfather's journal—unearthing a conspiracy entwining Elvis, shape-shifting aliens, and Mary Todd Lincoln. When John finds Leadbelly, alive and wearing a sequined jumpsuit, John must help him escape before Colonel Hollister finds him, and discover if Leadbelly is really Elvis, an obsessed fan, or something more.

I’m happy you could join me on Books and Banter.  I hope you had fun.

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