A couple of years ago, my life went through a bit of an upheaval. I went from being part of the typical nuclear family unit to living on my own and having to reinvent family relationships, routines and dreams.Put the violins away. I had to think positively otherwise I might have resorted to watching soap operas all night while slurping lager from a can. Wait. Rewind. What was I doing last night?
Anyway, to cut a long story short (something that isn't in my nature as an author), I coped. I got through my change in life circumstances, as did those close to me.
The single most important thing that helped me through my challenging time was a decision I took one wet Sunday afternoon in March. I decided to pursue my dream.
No, not the dream that involves Madonna and Kylie Minogue but the one that I have had since Kylie was in her dungarees as a teenager in Neighbours. Sorry, I really must get off the subject of soap operas.
My dream was to write a novel.
That wet Sunday afternoon in March, I got my laptop out, plugged it in, made a cup of tea and sat down to write. I drank my tea, got up and made a sandwich, sat back down and ate it. I thought some more, did some head-scratching and maybe a bit of chin-stroking too. Eventually it was supper time.
What to write? I love crime fiction but I don’t know the first thing about police procedures, forensic science or how the criminal mind works. So that genre went out of the window. I'm not a big fan of horror or sci-fi. And I don’t even know what dystopian fiction and steampunk are, so that’s them ruled out too.
‘What do I know about’, I asked myself while tapping on the table.
Eventually, in a eureka moment to rival the day that Einstein bruised his apple, the idea came to me. I know about relationships, or at least how to mess them up. I know about family. I also believe I know how to make people laugh (and cry). Why not stick all of that into a pot and stir it up? And that’s when Six Months to Get a Life, my debut novel, was conceived.
The act of conception was slightly different from other acts of conception you might be familiar with, but after a lot of sole-searching, a fair bit of fiddling around and a few false starts (actually maybe there is more in common than I first thought) the moment was just as sweet.
I wrote the book over the course of the Spring and Summer of 2014. It was good therapy for me. Inventing Graham Hope and his friends and writing about his escapades made me smile. I loved writing the dialogue. Being a writer is fantastic. Unlike real life, you get ages to think up the perfect put-down lines.
Six Months to Get a Life did quite well, so last summer I took the plunge and left my salaried job to became a full-time author.
My debut novel opened a number of doors for me. Indirectly it led to my story being featured in a documentary on loneliness shown on BBC1 last week. Also last week, I got the opportunity to sit on BBC Breakfast's funny-shaped red sofa and plug my writing.
Fortunately (alright, there might have been a little bit of planning involved), this great publicity has coincided with the release of Six Lies, my second novel.
Six Lies is another mid-life crisis romp. It involves a wife running off with a librarian, a dead mother confessing a secret and a band that's stuck in the 1980s.
If you choose to dive into Six Lies, my hope is that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
As to the future, I am directing my thoughts to a school-based caper, provisionally entitled The Staffroom.
Happy New Year.
Genre: Humour, Romance,
Release Date: 23/11/15
Publisher: SilverWood Books
How would you feel if, one day, you discover that everything you thought you knew about your family was a fabrication? Your mother wasn’t your mother, your father was a liar and your whole upbringing was a sham.
Confronted with this exact situation, Dave Fazackerley doesn’t feel great. It doesn’t help that he has just buried the woman he thought of as his mother. Or that his wife, his one true soulmate, recently jumped into bed with a librarian. Even his band, his only escape from reality, is going through a rough patch.
How will Dave respond? Will he discover the truth about his family? Will his band ever play a gig again? More importantly, can Dave entice his wife back from the arms of the book-dork or will he take a chance on a new love?
ABOUT BEN ADAMS
Like a lot of people, Ben went to school, then college and eventually grew up and got a responsible job, a house and a family. And then his mid-life crisis kicked in.
Realising that life was in danger of becoming all too serious, Ben started writing. Not in the way that Forrest Gump started running, but at least he started. He wrote on steamed up mirrors in the bathroom to make his children smile. Eventually he graduated to making up stories to entertain his kids at bedtime.
For some reason, his boys didn't seem interested in his tales of every-day life, relationships, family, trauma, farce and the occasional bit of debauchery. They preferred JK someone or other.
Following his short-lived career as a children's author, Ben now concentrates on writing stories for grown-ups. He writes for people who have lived, loved, worked, strived and suffered - people like him. People like you.
Ben lives in southwest London with his two boys and Albus, his dog.