Roach Adams, is a short fiction, contemporary writer. He publishes written work and art on a few sites amongst the online world, with one being his blog Animals of Progress. Currently he resides in Toronto, Canada with his wife of 8 years and bulldog Vern. Follow him on Twitter @travelinghumans.
GB: Roach, thank you for taking the time for this Q&A. Logically, my first question is usually: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What's some background information worthy of noting for the readers? Any notable publications you’d like to self-plug?
RA: Thank you for having me Glen, the pleasure is all mine.
A little about myself eh, well I’am just your average cat really. I’am married, I live on the outskirts of Toronto, I have a day job as a high voltage power lineman and I do my best to write every second I get. Pretty straight forward, I guess.
This last April (Tusk Till Gone, short story) won audience pick at the first annual competition tied into a wonderful growing arts program by Divinity Rose. That was very exciting for me, also I had early last year another cool highlight happen for me. I published a piece in one of my favourite magazines, Adbusters Magazine, that was real trip. It’s a nice feeling when hard work is rewarded.
GB: It is my understanding that you're currently working on your debut: a story collection of short fiction. Can you tell us a little bit about the project? What are your aims and goals? When might we expect to see a finished product?
RA: Yes sir, that is correct I am feverishly working on my debut short story collection. Oh hotdog Glen, this is going to be one gnarly short story collection and I’m absolutely ecstatic about it. The book will not only showcase some truly mind bending tales, but be a tribute to everyday life in our modern times.
I want to bring the literary short story collection out of what ever god forsaken dark hole the mainstream has stuffed her into. I feel it’s about high time we shook these people up. All around us we seem to be losing our very humanity without even batting an eye. My goal through these twelve short stories is to induce thought and maybe cast a tiny reflection of the current world around us. Each tale will be presenting a unique perspective on our modern way of life, sprinkle in a dash of beauty, a touch of darkness and serve it up just a little sideways.
Summer 2016 is my target date, as for a title… I’ll know it when it comes.
GB: Many of your current pieces include an aspect of universal human behavior. Where do you find inspiration for these revelations? Is it difficult to then transpose the concept into a piece of narrative?
RA: That is a great question Glen, and I’am glad you touched on this. We both know the difficulty of the challenge, that’s what makes the end story and once completed piece so fulfilling. I try and work hard at making the reader feel like they can relate to the story and the meaning behind it. I find my many inspirations throughout everyday life, the beauty of nature and the on going support of family and friends. New experiences are what drive me to reflect and think, and people are what compel me to write. I do often find it a challenge to produce a piece that conveys a combination of imagination, real thought and meaning, repeatedly it takes many wide eyed nights of tossing and turning before I even spew out a first draft.
GB: What is your writing process like? Do you have any strange idiosyncrasies or superstitions?
RA: I spend a lot of time in the realm of imagination, blankly peering out my office window. I have not developed any real superstitions or idiosyncrasies, but a tall glass of spiced rum, with some ice tends settle me into a long night of slinging letters quite nicely.
GB: In this age of digital media and a 10-second attention span, how do you identify what is a truly a great work of art? Are there any characteristics you look for in story-telling (whether its literature, film, music, etc)?
RA: What I look for in art or literature is originality and creativity. I love the truly bizarre fused with the power of emotion. Those few characteristics are what I often gravitate towards in any piece of art. I also lust after the feeling of being snatched into a great story and left trembling from the euphoric aftershocks it provokes after it is read. Hop-Frog is great story and an old favourite of mine by Edgar Allen Poe, that does just that.
GB: Technology has clearly made significant changes in how humans interact with media in the last decade. How do you think this affects the artists? What are some things that will keep art from dying?
RA: I think personally artists have adapted rather nicely to the digital age. It certainly gives the modern artist more channels to expand their minds and widen their perspectives. This digital age allows them to view a whole different side of the human element and the overall world in which we live that earlier artist could only speculate or imagine.
What will be arts saving grace? Graffiti, I think graffiti is no doubt going to prevent the death of art.
GB: Your ability to keep a positive lens on life is apparent in your work and overall communicative skills. What are some of the strategies you employ to keep this mindset? Is there any advice you’d like to give to those who might need some help in keeping that illuminated for themselves?
RA: Thank you for your kind words Glen, I do my best to keep a grand outlook on life and try to cast out that same energy. I found that prying myself away from the television and simply stopping to smell the roses has made a profound impact on my life. If I could offer any advice Glen, to those struggling with happiness I would say this… You only get as far as the couch if you don’t move.
GB: The successful future of humanity relies on how we teach our children to contribute to a global society. Being positive is a good start but what else is needed? With that in mind, what is one piece of advice you can offer to the upcoming generations?
RA: If I could offer any words of wisdom to the future generations of the human race, it would be not to trade their common sense for all the shining things.