About Hamish Adourian:
I was born in Dundee, some of my earliest memories being of the windswept, rainy beaches off the east coast of Scotland. I grew up mainly in the ‘oil town’ of Grangemouth on the Firth of Forth, with brief spells in London and Oxford, and a couple of years in Florence, Italy. I moved down to London with my family in my mid-teens and have lived here ever since, though I of course regularly travel back to Scotland and enjoy exploring the different regions of Italy.
I studied computer science and physics (yes, a science!) at Royal Holloway, University of London, in the small Surrey town of Egham. Whilst there, I wrote the first draft of Jennifer Brown and the Dagger. After graduating, I began work in the financial technology (‘fintech’) industry, centred around the City of London.
In my ever-shrinking spare time, I also enjoy tango dancing, swimming, and reading (of course!), as well as being active in local politics.
What inspires you to write?
I enjoy telling stories, and there’s nothing better than seeing the ideas in your mind come alive through the words that you put down on paper (or computer screen these days!). Inspiration sometimes comes in a flash, and other times develops gradually, like a plant growing under the shade in a garden, totally unnoticed until the shoot rises above the grass. In my case, I had the idea for the Jennifer Brown story when I had the flu and had been watching some children’s films and cartoons on daytime TV.
Tell us about your writing process.
Lots and lots of plotting. I will take as long as needed to fully flesh out all the details of exactly what is going to happen in the story. Usually, I know the beginning and I know the ending–it’s the middle bit that needs work. It’s a fun process though, as I can draw on all kinds of inspiration from unexpected places and incorporate them into the story. It’s a bit like weaving threads of different colours together so that they end up forming a single, beautiful and meaningful tapestry. I’m very fussy about making sure the story makes logical sense, and there are no loose ends. Yes, the story needs to be logical even if it has magic or fantasy aspects–there need to be clear rules that govern these things to ensure you have a believable world.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t necessarily listen or talk to them, but of course I imagine what they are doing and saying. I picture each scene in my mind’s eye like a movie and then write down what’s happening–that’s probably the best way of describing it.
What advice would you give other writers?
My main piece of advice would be to read as widely as you can. Not only might that give you the next flash of inspiration, but it will also help you become a better writer in terms of knowing how to use the language well, see what’s gone before, and know how to avoid stereotypes and clichés. I’d also bear in mind that there is no such thing in the world as an original story–all stories ultimately have already been told in one form or another (think Hero’s Journey, for example). What can be unique or different is your own take on a story, with your own mix of character and setting (time and place). Don’t worry if you come across a book whose plot somehow feels similar to your own, but instead focus on the unique expression that you can give with your characters and setting.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I first tried submitting my work to agents, but found the process took far too long. It’s inevitable even the most original novel with great potential is going to be looked over at some point, and it’s a matter of persistence if you want to be successful through the traditional publishing route. Rather than keep looking for an agent, I decided to self-publish, promote myself and my books, and then perhaps seek a more traditional route once I am more established.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s all about the ebooks, right? I think it’s inevitable that the vast majority of reading will take place on some form of electronic screen, whether a smartphone, tablet, or specialised reading device like the Amazon Kindle (or some other device yet to be invented). However, I don’t think the traditional printed book will disappear completely. Instead, it might become more of a personalised or specialist item, to be given as a gift or kept as a decoration or souvenir. Ironically, printed books might well end up looking more like they once used to back in the pre-Gutenberg era, when they were exquisite creations done by hand. The proliferation of print-on-demand might mean that a reader can order a book with a custom cover (different materials?) and dedication, and have it delivered to them.
What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Children’s, Fantasy
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.