Interview with D.J. Adamson, author of 'Admit to Mayhem'

Today's guest interview is with D.J. Adamson, author of the mystery/amateur sleuth novel, Admit to Mayhem. D.J. takes us at the beginning of her journey writing her book and also tells us what surprised her about getting her book published.
Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

First, let me thank The Writer’s Life for having me and having an interest in my work. 

A chicken-or-the-egg question. Which came first? The story or the protagonist? My answer is neither. I wanted to write a genre novel that had something to say as well provide an entertaining story. I wanted to delve into areas that keep all of us from moving forward: fear, regret, resentment.  I didn’t want to copy all of the other addiction-story plots out on the market.  Instead, I wanted to speak about Admit to Mayhem, Lillian Dove is forced to look at hers.
how all of us have addictions, compulsions, good and bad habits that make up who we are. In

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

A: There is no easy journey in telling the truth, and while writing, I stay truth-based with Lillian. I did not come from a childhood of alcohol addiction or have I had a problem with drinking. I’ve always known more than one drink can cause me to say something I’d regret. But in today’s world, problems like this are no longer a secret. There are a great many programs out there: Quit Smoking, Drinking, Eating, Sex. Besides, I had to finally Admit I was a writer, in order to seriously consider publishing my work..

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I created my own small publishing company, Horatio Press. I create it for no other reason than, you are expected to have one. The publishing environment is changing with services like Kindle and Createspace. Yet, I believe there are still goals to reach after the age of fifty, and I didn’t want to wait for a market to publish my story, I wanted to write. The cozy mystery market is the one publishers are interested in buying today, but Admit to Mayhem is darker than a cozy. In fact, I label my work as Midwest Noir. It is different from LA Noir in that in the Midwest characters don’t stumble off the curb, they fall off porches.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Luckily, I knew a great deal about publishing and marketing before putting up my first novel. I guess what surprised me the most was how welcoming the market was for my book. Reviewers, whether the writer is self-published or traditional, want to review good books. Readers want interesting characters and stories—and read without checking to see if the book comes from one of the Big Five. Many bookstores, especially my favorite, the small and unfranchised, are very supportive.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

A writer needs to decide whether they want to brand themselves as a type or risk moving beyond a type. I like writing in the mystery genre, but I enjoy other genres, too, such as science fiction, paranormal. The first book in my three-part serial Deviation is coming out in April. OutrĂ© is young person’s perspective on an event that occurs in Pinkerton, Iowa. This book has science fiction elements. It is not YA, but leads to the second in the serial, which changes in point of view.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

Facebook sounds old-hat, but it is still where I hang out the most. I wouldn’t be able to stay in touch with close family and friends without it. There just isn’t enough time in the day and the distance is always too far. However, Goodreads and Twitter would be close seconds.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

In Admit to Mayhem, Lillian Dove needs to admit that her life is unmanageable, whether drinking or sober. It’s learning how to make choices and facing misleading expectations that enable her to deal with her contrary, convalescent mother and face those who threaten her.
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

For me, over fifty wasn’t the end. It was the beginning. I still teach writing at Los Angeles colleges. I teach in order to learn more about my craft. I write to learn more about myself. And what readers give back to me, from having read my books, is beyond treasure.

Thank you for having me.

About the Author:

D. J. Adamson is an award-winning author. Her family roots grow deep in the Midwest and it is here she sets much of her work. She juggles her time between her own desk and teaching writing to others at two Los Angeles area colleges. Along with her husband and two Welsh Terriers, she makes her home in Southern California.

Her latest book is the mystery, amateur sleuth, Admit to Mayhem.

For More Information
About the Book:

With a contrary attitude and an addiction for independence, Lillian Dove admits she has not been a success in life. In fact, she considers failing as one of her addictions. Yet, when she comes across a suspicious house fire with a history of arson and murder, she instinctively attempts to help someone trapped. Lillian becomes the only possible eyewitness to criminal arson, and her life begins to spiral out of control.

Lillian Dove is an endearing “everywoman” struggling with life issues, emotional complexities and a habit of doing just the opposite of what she’s told to do. These qualities in a heroine give the reader an ability to vicariously struggle along with the protagonist in this intriguing Midwest Noir mystery.

For More Information

  • Admit to Mayhem is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.


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