This week, we stay within the SciFi/Cyberpunk realm with a new friend that I made over social media in the past few months.
An Interview with SciFi/Cyberpunk Author Adam Train
RJS: With what character in any of your works do you most identify and why?
AT: As generic and cliché as it sounds, there is a little bit of myself in every character I write. But as far as who I identify with the most? I guess it would be High-Side from my cyber-punk novella of the same name. He is a bit of an outcast and sits at odds with the world and social construct he finds himself in - granted for reasons slightly different to my own. Nevertheless, the sentiment at the core of his feelings are the same as my own. Having travelled overseas at a young age and spending a fair percentage of my 20s abroad, it became increasingly apparent to me that all societies, cultures and their subsequent beliefs are man-made. This was a deeply profound realisation for me, and since returning home (Australia) from these stints in foreign lands, I’ve never felt like I belong and constantly finding myself “bucking against” the social expectations and norms, much like High-Side does.
RJS: Describe your writing process
AT: Using the well-known writing analogy of gardeners and architects - I think I can safely say I fall into the gardener camp, at least for the most part. During the initial conception of pieces, I tend to wear the architects hat for a few days before I sit down to write; building a simple skeleton for the story and plot. But once I actually begin writing, the fleshing out takes on a life of its own
and I’m well and truly gardening by that stage. For me, the most exciting and enjoyable part of writing a story is the first half, before I know with any certainty where the tale is going. As soon as I get to a stage where I know exactly how the piece will unfold, writing it becomes a bit like a chore; having to just get it out of my head and onto the page. I love the free flowing nature
when starting a new story and I love the blank page, for me it’s the most exciting and the most creative period of any piece.
I do most of my writing in the morning from my home office surrounded by books and film posters, and sitting below my much-prized shelf of travel mementos. I try to write a minimum of 1000 words a day, but if I’m in the zone I’ll keep going until I’m spent. My writing companions are Google (for fact checking any and all sci-fi or historical/fantasy references,) along with a beefy thesaurus and a huge selection of music spanning every genre, artist and era.
RJS: How has your writing style changed since you first started the craft?
AT: I started writing screenplays for feature-length and short films when I was 16, and it was only in January of 2013 that I wrote my first ever novelistic prose piece, (Prisoner of Hakai). I found writing in such a format incredibly freeing and satisfying from a storytelling perspective. No longer was I bound within the defined limits of the visual and audible, and no longer were things “dead on the page,” like backstory and anything that couldn’t be said or seen.
As far as my style is concerned, I’m deeply in-love (obsessed) with the writers and prose from the early 1800s up until the
mid-1940s. Call it pulpy, purple, extravagant or flowery if you want, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I struggle terribly when trying to read contemporary works that are written in modern prose, they just don’t reach out and grab me, and most of the time I can’t even make it through the first chapter. Personally, I don’t care if I have to wrestle with sentences or look up a word in the dictionary, I welcome that challenge as a reader.
In a world with endless entertainment and narrative choice, when I choose to read, I want it to be an experience I can’t
get anywhere else. I don’t want to read a story that is written as though I’m listening to a conversation in an elevator or at the pub. I want something that utilizes the full beauty and potential of the English language. I think as modern writers competing against all those other forms of narrative entertainment, the biggest ace up our sleeve is language and the ability we have
to use it unlike any other storytelling medium. I try to do that with my writing. I understand one can walk a fine line between ripe and over-ripe, and I know that I’ll alienate a percentage of readers with such a style, but even considering that, I want reading one of my tales to be like reading a Poe, Lovecraft, Howard or Dickens story. It’s a huge bench mark to set, I have no doubts about that, but why not set your goals and your standards as high as you possibly can?
RJS: What inspired you to become an author?
AT: Storytelling. It’s far too painful to keep the stories in my head, then it is to write them, or “exorcise” them if you will. Writing is the best way (for me) to tell the stories I want/need to tell. Film and Videogames would be a close second and third. But written narrative is the ultimate as far as freedom is concerned. Words are cheap, unlike special effects and rendered-pixels. With a
written narrative there is no time constraints or budget constraints. You don’t need camera men, actors, programmers or illustrators (for the most part). All the senses and emotions are at your disposal and if you can imagine it, you can write it, and if you can feel it you can convey it.
RJS: What are you working on now?
AT: As of now I’m working on Volume Three of my Transcendent Tales eBook series. I’ve got a total of five volumes planed, each volume being a collection of seven short stories, novellas and serialized novels that run through the volumes. People don’t seem to be too happy with the “novel parts” (a throwback to the Pulp era, and something I wanted to do because I wanted than one cover for the work.) Their distaste with the serialization is understandable; times have changed. Never the less those complete tales in Volume One and Two have been received surprisingly well and I shall stay the course for the remaining three
volumes, with plans to release the serialized novels in the their complete form when all is said and done.
Upcoming works from Transcendent Tales – Volume Three