When it became apparent that Knight Errant and Sorcerer to the Queen were no longer valid career choices, Adam worked his way through 37 other jobs before arriving at writer. Along the way, he looked after seals and bears at London Zoo, taught small children how to stay on a horse, wrote competition scripts for radio stations and told tall tales to anyone who would listen. He now lives outside London, with the sort of book and music collection guaranteed to ensure the neighbours never stay long for coffee.
1.- What made you choose self-publishing?
In complete honesty I think it chose me! I spent two years submitting Angel Falling to agents in the US and UK with almost zero traction. I even had one agent say that they didn’t represent ‘religious fiction’ - vampires!? Really? Anyway, the time just felt right to go down the indie path and I backed myself to have written an entertaining read so I just decided to give it a shot. Writers were always told in the past that if you went down the self-pub route then you were basically writing your novel and series off to traditional publication but that’s clearly not the case these days. I feel really privileged to be active in an era where there is a very vibrant and talented indie community producing stellar content.
2.- What inspired the idea behind the world of Angel Falling?
I have always been fascinated by the mythography of both Angels and vampires and given how much intellectual and theological pursuit has gone into their study I know I am not alone. My core inspiration is the Book of Enoch - not directly as a source but more as a spark for the imagination. This religious text which dates back to circa 300 BC is still canon to some Christian sects today and tells of the fall of Angels that took human wives and taught early man their secrets and technologies and created a race called the Nephilim. I liked the idea of fallen angels who weren’t necessarily ‘evil’ (contentious point this I know) and that’s where things began. I remember reading that Conan creator Robert E. Howard often imagined the Cimmerian was standing behind him with a huge axe telling him to get on with writing his stories (and doing a good job at it - or else!) and that’s kind of what happened in my imagination with Azshael. I don’t see or talk to Angels but I suppose in my mind’s eye, this world and these characters are a living thing.
3.- Your book is an interesting blend of genres. How did it happen?
When I first told anyone who would listen that I was writing a novel in a world of Angels and vampires, I got a lot of heavy shade thrown my way - cliche city! Yet I persevered as my vision was to do something different with both the races. I knew I wanted to write a dark fantasy tale that would be thrilling and riveting but there have been enough novels about Angels and Demons warring for souls in our universe so I wanted to do something new that was a twist on the classic tropes. I have described Angel Falling as being as if writers like Joe Abercrombie or Scott Lynch had collaborated with Raymond Chandler or Elmore Leonard. It’s a noir thriller in a fantastic setting of Machiavellian Angels and Bushido Vampires - you don’t see that every day!
4.- This is your debut novel. How did it feel the process of writing it?
One of the great things about speculative fiction is that as a writer you’re like an explorer in Terra Incognita as your mind reveals the world you are writing about. It’s a real adventure into your imagination which is one of the things I love about writing this genre. That process is still ongoing - I am still discovering new things, as I write the follow-ups to this first novel which is the foundation stone for the series. I am quite a disciplined writer so I try and aim for a minimum word count every day of between 500-1000 words - some days you get good words and some days your words suck but you keep the good stuff and rewrite the bad. I try and detail the novel section by section in advance with bullet points - sort of like a travel itinerary which develops as you go along. I find it’s vital to have this map so you know roughly where you are going!
5.- From all the self-publishing processes, which parts would you say are the most challenging? Why?
The most challenging part really is getting the word out and building a following if you don’t have huge financial resources to pay for marketing and advertising. It’s really hard work, time consuming and not for the faint-hearted as books don’t sell themselves. You really need to treat it as if it’s a business and be networking, looking for opportunities and making the most of them. I am often inspired though, about how other writers seem to gain traction and momentum from promotions, reviews and of course good people like yourself giving us scribblers a helping hand. I am reminded of the film Field of Dreams- “If you build it, they will come.” That’s what I am hoping for as I get more in this series and other writing projects out of my head and on the page and then out into the world.
6.- What does A.D. Landor like to do in his free time?
I am a voracious reader. I am also a big tabletop role player and I run games for Call of Cthulhu, Delta Green, Traveller, and RuneQuest Glorantha. I am a huge movie fan and also love music so lots to do in my spare time.
7.- What can we expect from A.D. Landor in the future?
The next Azshael book ‘Angel Rising’ comes out at the end of June so I will be working hard to promote that whilst also working on Azsh Book 3. I have a bunch of fantasy projects - an Eliabethan fantasy about a magical playwright that is about a book and a half done, a Lovecraftian horror set in the modern day and a fantasy series set around a landlocked sea which is more than it looks! So many words to mine - I think I need to lie down!