Adam Steven Page has been fond of film and literature for as long as he can remember, what better to do than write his own novel. In early 2015 he penned his debut ‘A Victim of the Times’. Despite being born and raised and still living in the UK, Adam has written in an American style and dialect. Considering the story is set in a fictional American city and has an American protagonist and characters, it felt like the right thing to do. He believes that a book is only as strong as its protagonist, and in his debut novel, he has what he considers to be a well rounded yet flawed lead character. Adam prefers to write first person narratives and particularly likes writing in this way as it allows a character to be explored on every level.
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Interview with Adam Steven Page
Matthew Toffolo: What is the general theme and tone of your novels?
1. Adam Steven Page: Violence and aggression is a large theme of the novel, but it was important to me that it was explored in a manner which wasn’t glorified.
As a whole, A Victim of the times looks into how easily we can be influenced by two things. One: the times we live in –media, current events and technologies.
Two: how we are influenced by our surroundings and the environment we lived and/or are raised in. However it goes deeper than the simple nature vs. nurture debate.
The story has a very dark tone to it but at its core its realistic, the world isn’t a large space devoid of light but it isn’t full of sunshine and rainbows either and it’s important to have that balance. When you take into account what Orchard City is like (a decaying cesspit filled with hate with an enormous crime problem) I feel the darkness is warranted and not overdone.
MT: Why should people buy your novels?
1. ASP: Many will agree that a great book can hang solely on the strength of its protagonist; after all it is what drives the story. Having a character who is both relatable and multilayered was very important to me and in my future works that will always be the case. We as human beings are far from one dimensional, so why would we read about somebody who is different.
With the crime thriller genre, serial killers are commonplace, (this novel being no exception) but a lot of these novels rely solely on the cat and mouse element, the unorthodox detective trying to catch a killer. Although this is highly enjoyable and in fact one of the reasons I love the genre so much, I felt a fresh perspective was needed is order to tell my story.
A serial killer thriller from the perspective of someone who is almost detached from what’s going on, a man with his own struggle.
So whether you are a lover of the genre or not you should buy it for this reason, it’s a fresh story told from a different perspective. It’s fast paced, unrelenting and will keep you on your toes throughout. Think ‘Summer of Sam’ meets ‘Falling down’.
MT: How would you describe your novels in just two words?
ASP: Relatable, intense
MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?
ASP: Kick boxer, I must have watched that film hundreds of time when I was growing up, it was always on TV and I love a revenge film.
MT: Was being a novel writer something you’ve always dreamed of doing?
ASP: I have always had a love for film and literature and I guess in many ways I always knew I wanted to write, that there was a story within me just urging to get out, however I feel I have come into writing fairly late and that’s down to a few things really. One of the great things about starting late is that I have found my voice fairly quickly. I know what I want to write and I want to create stories that both meet and challenge our expectations of a range of genres. I have always dreamed of writing something and thankfully what I have written so far is being well received.
MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel? Have you read a novel more than once?
ASP: American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis, I have read this particular novel numerous times and a lot of the time if I enjoy a book I will read it more than once, especially if I go on holiday, there’s something about having some sort of familiarity with home when you’re in another country.
MT: What motivates you to write?
ASP: Motivation comes from anywhere for me, it can be a film or documentary, or something as simple as standing in line at the supermarket. Music however does play a big part and often a certain song or piece of music can inspire a stream of different ideas and scenarios.
MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?
ASP: What artist would I love to have dinner with; well a friend and I went to a Damien Hirst exhibition at the Tate modern a few years back, which I found to be incredibly interesting.
A lot of his pieces resonated with me on various levels and it was one of the few exhibitions I had been to where I felt I had a real experience. If we were to have dinner I would pick his brains about his work and particularly the ins and outs of his process and way of thinking.
Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to http://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.