Interview with Adam Dreece,
- author of The Yellow Hood Series – a bestselling Young Adult series of steam-punk meets fairies and two other YA novels in the post-apocalyptic-fantasy genre.
Welcome to my blog, Adam. Your varied background offers numerous possibilities for turning to writing. I’m interested to hear what you have to say on the subject.
1) You are creating three series. Did you have outlines or ideas for more than the first book when you started to write? Did you decide on your overall story arc for the series in the beginning?
When I first started writing what would become Along Came a Wolf (The Yellow Hoods, #1), I didn’t think I was writing a book. I wanted to capture a story I’d told my daughter at bedtime. It transformed, added complexity, and I had this inspiration. I could see where the world and the lead characters could go. I wasn’t certain how the form would be until I the middle of Book 2 – Breadcrumb Trail.
I didn’t have a concrete plan, but knew the beats and where I wanted to land the story. It became clear how I could make the series into a trilogy of series: The Yellow Hoods Series (Tee, Elly, Richy as early teens), Mark of the Yellow Hoods Series (about 3-5 years later), and then Legacy of The Yellow Hoods Series (w/Tee, Elly, Richy as adult leaders).
Signed copies available at TheYellowHoods.com/Store
Book 5 in the Yellow Hoods Series is done and ready to release on April 9th (April 7th in eBook) and I’m looking forward to bringing Mark of the Yellow Hoods to life in 2019/2020.
2) What is the average age of your characters? Of your readers?
I have the classic teen-trio of Tee, Elly and Richy and a significant supporting cast. The Cochon brothers, Egelina-Marie, and Christina Creangle are in their 20s / 30s. Marcus Pieman, Nikolas Klaus, and Eleanor DeBoeuf Senior plus others are in their 50s.
Consequently, my audience is split. About 50% of my audience are ages 9 to 15, and about 45% of my audience is 28+. It’s amazing to hear whom my readers see as being the true principal characters.
3) Why did you choose to write books? When did the shift from techie to author happen in your head?
At twelve, I started to do two things: 1. Write stories, 2. Write Programs. To me, they were two different ways of bringing ideas to life. Later I bailed out of engineering and went into software. I earned an honours degree from the University of Waterloo in computer science and philosophy. My technological career spanned Microsoft, Silicon Valley, and more.
All the while, I couldn’t give up writing. Like an addict trying and failing to stay clean, I’d binge on every now and then and share the short stories with family and friends. But life demanded that I focus on my career and family until 2009.
Health issues derailed my life in 2009. As I tried to rebuild, I turned to writing to get my emotions out and my head clear. For three years, writing an autobiography was my focus and I realized that I could write a book. The initial feedback was very strong, and I almost put that book out as the first step in my indie career.
Conversations with my wife showed me I wanted to replace my income as a software architect with an author income, and that I thought it would take 5-8 years. Moreover, I didn’t want to be the broken guy who fixed himself. I wanted to be known for my imagination. I shelved the autobiography and started writing Along Came a Wolf. I’ve been the stay-at-home dad and writer since 2005.
4) And why write for the Young Adult Market?
Many authors write for a specific market, but I don’t. Instead, I think of who I want to enjoy my stories and write for them. I also want a younger version of me who, at a highly impressionable age, was able to enjoy the stories from one perspective, and I want the adult me to enjoy them from another. As a software architect, I constantly had to write or present ideas that addressed multiple audiences, so it feels natural doing it in my stories.
5) You talk about your Dyslexia and how you have work-arounds to deal with it. Tell us a bit abut that.
I didn’t know I was dyslexic until I was about 19 years old. As time went on, I recognised both the advantages and downside of my dyslexia. Find out how I handle dyslexia as a writer in this video: http://tinyurl.com/j53vtuq
Fighting writer's block? Check out Adam’s video: Getting Unstuck
The Day the Sky Fell - at a reduced price.
Fast and fun questions. Please answer yes or no. Have you ever:
(A few words of explanation are allowed).
1. Jumped out of a plane? No, that’s just a nasty rumor.2. Been in a bar fight? Ah, how did you know this was part of the same story as jumping out of the plane? I deny everything. EVERYTHING.3. Gotten lost in a strange city? Well, I have to say that it didn’t stay strange for long. We became good friends, London and I. Now why King Street changes its name and then reverts back, I’ll never know, but it was a most interesting lesson for a 12 year old boy on his own with a paper map. Now, Zagreb, Croatia was a different story altogether, but I’ll keep that for another day.4. Shared your ice cream cone, lick for lick, with your pet? With my immune system? Heavens no. I might have killed the poor pup.5. Spent time skate-boarding (with or without your children?) As a teenager, I decided I was going to try and learn skate-boarding. Then, as a slightly older and more injured teenager who realized he had a highly-visually based sense of balance, I gave up that dream.
Adam, thanks for taking the time to provide revealing answers for the questions. We’ll be watching for the release of Book 5 in The Yellow Hood Series – The Day the Sky Fell, due out in April 2017.