Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on Fantasy Author Adam Stemple. When asked how he wanted us to introduce him, this was his response:
My name is Adam Stemple and I am a writer, poet, musician, and web designer. I primarily write fantasy, but I’ve also sold a few historical and literary stories.
Adam, where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester –though they should totally check here first!)
You can find my work in your local independent book store! They’ll probably even order it for you if they’re not currently shelving it!
How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?
adamstemple.com, patreon.com/adamstemple, @adamstemple4 on twitter, instagram.com/adamstemplebooks
For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from The Last Tsar’s Dragons?
I primarily write fantasy. Dark and urban when I write on my own, YA and middle grade when I write with Jane Yolen (my mother!). My latest book is the rare collaboration with JY that isn’t for kids. The Last Tsar’s Dragons is a novella put out by the wonderful Tachyon Books. We took the Russian Revolution, and added dragons.
What was the inspiration for The Last Tsar’s Dragons? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?
The Last Tsar’s Dragons started life as a short story in The Dragon Book, a collection of short stories edited by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois. It’s a fun collection with the likes of Dianna Wynne Jones and Gregory Maguire adding stories to the mix. We felt like we had more to tell, and pitched it to Tachyon as a novella. Expanding a short story is an interesting task. We added another viewpoint character and a small framing device while fleshing out the characters that were already in the story. I felt that by lengthening it, we were really able to explore some thematic elements—the corruptive nature of power, for one—that there just wasn’t room for in the shorter form.
What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?
The character I loved and hated were the same: Rasputin. Just a fascinating, wicked man who you hated, but loved to write.
What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?
Anyone who tells you how to write is just trying to sell you something. If they tell you what works for them and suggest you try it, then they’re worth listening to.
How important has the New England setting been to your writing?
My only award-winning book, Pay the Piper (Tor), which won the 2006 Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book, was set in Western Massachusetts. Coincidence? I think not.
Adam, thanks so much for taking the time out of your very busy writing schedule to answer our questions!