The Enigmatologist – Interview with Author Ben Adams

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Today we are chatting with Ben Adams the author of The Enigmatologist

Tell us something unexpected about yourself!

When I was in high school I made the terrible mistake of letting a very attractive girl give me dreadlocks. Not only was this not a good look for a skinny kid from Kansas, they wound up smelling really bad, and every day in US History my friend sat behind me would tease me about the smell. I should have shaved my head, but I’d invested so much time in growing my hair long, that I made another bad choice and brushed them out. I spent about two hours of hair ripping agony, all because I wanted to spend time with a cute girl. I’d like to say that was the last time I did something ill advised for girl, but then that would be really unexpected.


What novels affected you the most growing up?

Dune by Frank Herbert. I was blown away by the complexity of the universe he created, the religion, the politics. It was so vast and complete. I re-read it a few years ago (maybe 20 years after reading it the first time) and had the same awestruck reaction. But I guess that’s what masterpieces do to you.


Where did the idea for your current book come from?

I was having a discussion about how, in the 80’s, the National Enquirer’s focus was on urban legends, as apposed to celebrity gossip, and how reading headlines about the Loch Ness monster or Elvis being alive fueled my imagination. Then my writer’s brain took over, and I asked myself the question, who authenticates these photos. The truth is no one, that the The Enquirer just published whatever they wanted in the name of entertainment. But the seed had been planted.


Do you think there’s any way you could ever run out of ideas for books?

Sometimes I do, then something crazy happens in the world, and I know I’ll never run out of ideas. All I have to do is stick my head out the window.


What is your routine for writing and has this method changed over the span of your career?

I usually write in the afternoon. My morning is spent focusing on everything but writing, lately marketing the book. I’ve found that around 1pm, I’m usually in a place where I can focus on something creative.


How important is marketing and social media for you?

This is an interesting time for authors. Major publishing houses are passing on great works of fiction because their marketability is questionable. This is causing authors to seek other avenues toward publication. Enter the internet. Because of self-publishing, “hybrid” publishing, digital-first publishing, and whatever other labels you want to slap onto it, authors are able to publish unique and highly original works. Because of this a whole readership culture has arisen. And the way to reach them is through social media marketing.


What advice would you have for other writers?

Be patient and write every day. This might seem like simple advice, but the only way to get better, as a writer, is through constant, diligent practice.


What are you reading now?

I’m currently reading two books, Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff, and a collection of short stories by Gary Lutz called I Looked Alive. Both are interesting studies in style and form. And Groff’s book is great because it’s layer, revealing the truth about these characters to the reader, truths that the characters’ themselves never learn.


What’s your next step?

Right now, I’m working on the follow-up book to The Enigmatologist. This one is taking a while, but I’m hopeful it’ll be done by this time next year.


The Enigmatologist by Ben Adams is available here 

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