Interview with Adam Gaffen
Updated: Feb 22
Happy Tuesday! The featured author today is Adam Gaffen. If you have the pleasure of knowing Adam, you’ll know he’s a really down to earth guy. If you don’t have the pleasure of knowing him, you should rectify that asap! Adam and I met on my quest to host more author interviews. He stood out to me because he was the only author to ask me a question. In my opinion, that says a lot about who he is. He is the guy who always makes others feel heard and seen. That’s probably why he’s so great at weaving stories. Another thing I’ve learned about Adam is that he is a family man at heart. He would make anyone swoon with the way he talks about his wife. You’ll see what I mean below. Adam is always willing to help and all new writers could learn a great deal from him! I hope you all enjoy this glimpse into Adam’s life. Be sure and check out his work below!
How did your writing career start?
I’ve always been interested in writing, back at least to high school. That said, there were three events which marked attempts to get my own writing going. First was my novella “Refuge,” which I wrote in 1994 and is my oldest publishable work. It’s a cross of paranormal and sci-fi (time traveling vampires, what could go wrong?), has been revised a number of times, and is out there even now. Then life intervened until I got frustrated with another author’s failure to write books fast enough for me and I took a swing at a fanfic. This, too, is still out there and has gone through many revisions. It’s also with the blessing of the universe’s creator, which is nice. That led immediately to me writing the first installments of what turned into The Cassidy Chronicles in 2013. Then, darn it all, life intervened again until the pandemic hit. Fortunately – and I use that word in a very limited and specific sense – I was unemployed at the time, so I turned back to the incomplete Chronicles, finished the first volume, and really haven’t stopped writing since!
When you’re not writing, what can you be found doing?
I am a home inspector, which takes some time when there’s movement in the real estate market, as well as a part-time Philosophy student at ASU. Between these things, marketing, interacting with fans, plus, you know, family life? Let’s just say there are never enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to do! We also love traveling, but we haven’t done that much the past two years, though we have a vacation planned for ’23, one of those Bucket List type trips.
What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Hardest part? Trying to keep it down to a single story! See, many of the stories I write are credited to Kendra Cassidy, one of the main characters from the Chronicles. She’s got so much to say, so much to tell, that I can’t keep her in my head any longer. She’s out in the world! She’s got her own newsletter, her own Facebook and Instagram accounts, email, you name it. And her first book is out February 1st.
What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
Scariest thing. Um. Walking away from the life I was leading and turning everything upside down. Does that count? It was a huge leap of faith, but it did change everything, and generally for the better. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.
Are your characters based off of anyone in your life?
Not particularly, with exceptions. Aiyana and Kendra have little elements of myself and my wife, little details (which I’ll leave for astute readers to figure out), but they are who they are. Many of the characters introduced in the first volume, though, are loosely based on people I knew at the time I was writing it – physical description, mostly, to go with the names. One character is strongly based on my wife (which gives her a kick every time “she” appears in a book). After the first volume, though, while I have been gifted names, I haven’t generally taken descriptions. Going forward there are going to be more, as being written into the novels is a perk at some levels through Patreon.
Do you have any quirks?
Oh, I’m sure I do, but I’m not aware of them. You know what I mean? It’s like asking a fish about the ocean. Um. Let’s see if I can think of any. I typically have multiple books I’m reading at any one time, scattered around the house. I’ve been known to read in the shower. I’ll go outside and shovel the snow in my slippers if it’s not actively snowing. I’m not quite obsessive about it, but as I do all the cooking at home, I follow CAYGO (Clean As You GO).
Where did the idea for your books come from?
Kendra would like the chance to answer this question. “Hi! See, these stories aren’t his. Let’s get that straight. He might write down the words, but my wife and I have lived these stories, and they are ours. This gives us, me, the right to share them, or not, as I see fit! I totally get the whole “have to have a time-local author put them out or risk breaking the timeline” thing; Cass has explained it to me enough. But if I could, I would be on your broadcasts telling my side of things!”
If you had to pick a song to describe yourself, which would you pick?
This is maybe the toughest question you’ve asked! Narrow it down to a single song? REALLY? I grew up in the 80’s and have them playing in the background most of the time, at least when I’m not working on a particular playlist for a novel. Um. That said, you could start with Freak Like Me by Halestorm, add in Get up and Go by Pete Seeger, and season it with a dash of Dressed for Success by Roxette. Then keep on putting in dashes of this and that.
Do you believe that there are rules to being an author?
Rules? Absolutely! First rule: write. Second rule: don’t worry about making it perfect the first draft, that’s what editing is for. Third rule: don’t tell a story you don’t enjoy. Fourth rule: if it doesn’t make you laugh/cry/feel, it’s not good enough for your readers. Fifth rule: there is no fifth rule! Sixth rule: when in doubt, see the first rule.
What is something that you can’t go a day without?
My wife. We’re both on our second marriages, and we learned from our firsts what we didn’t want in a relationship. Moreover, we have chosen NOT to repeat those mistakes we made, which has led to a life together which is fulfilling and joyous and empowering and mutually supportive and… Oh, and my cacao/coffee blend. Gotta have that in the morning.
What’s your favorite book?
Favorite book is a tough one. There are probably two dozen which jostle around the top spot at any given time. Some of them are there because they’re classics, some because they impacted me, some just because. In no particular order, then:
a. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
b. Emergence, David R. Palmer
c. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Robert Heinlein
d. The MYTH books, Robert Aspirin
e. Raise the Titanic!, Clive Cussler
f. Foundation, Isaac Asimov
g. Fool, Christopher Moore
h. Lamb, Christopher Moore
i. Job: A Comedy of Justice, Robert Heinlein
j. Lucifer’s Hammer, David Niven & Jerry Pournelle
Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
Some tips are in my rules. Most notable is WRITE! Don’t stop writing! It’s much, much harder to re-start writing than it is to keep slogging, even if you only manage two words and a comma on a given day. Don’t worry about making the writing perfect when you put it on the screen, because you won’t. Forget it. You can’t edit words you don’t write, and if you worry about perfection, you’ll never write anything. Write what you like. Don’t be afraid to ask other authors for advice and help. Don’t be afraid of marketing. Find good professionals to do what you can’t; I’ve been fortunate to find Emily’s World of Design for my covers, Lexi Lyric for my book trailers, and a number of amazing narrators for the various books (Jane Weatherstone, Veronica Wylie, Rebecca Rose, Linda Butler, Lucy M. Waterhouse). You won’t be good at everything, so don’t try! It’s better to excel at one or two things (writing, hint, hint!) than be adequate at several! And above all, remember what Kendra said when she was trying to woo the Titan Colony away from the Solarian Union to join her nascent Terran Federation: If I don’t ask, you can’t say yes.
Author Bio: Bio: Adam Gaffen lives in southern Colorado. A transplanted Mainer, he enjoys seeing Fisher’s Peak out his office window and the disappearing snow (it’s magic! It snows and, in a day, or two it’s melted and gone!). He and his wife are owned by five dogs and five cats of various ages, breeds, and dispositions. You can find him most days in front of his computer, listening to the tales Kendra is telling him, but when he’s at this focal point in time and space you can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. His website is https://www.cassidychronicles.com and he would love you to become a Patron! He has three books coming out so far this year: Memories of Aiyana on February 1st (Kendra’s book, fine, he did the editing); Into the Black on April 18th (a collection of stories from the Cassidyverse); and Ghosts of Tantor, a new branch of the Cassidyverse, late spring. All are available through Amazon and Audible!