Hello! Welcome to my blog, Adam, and thank you for answering my nosy, I mean discerning, questions! First, please tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of stories you like to write. Would you say there is an underlying theme behind your stories?
- What part of the world do you call home? Can you tell us a little about where you grew up and where you live now?
I have lived and worked in what is called “developing economies” in Africa and Asia for over 50 years, and as a result I had to move home every two or three years as my work contract changed. I met a lovely widow in Vietnam in 1997 which is where I live now with some of our seven adult children and most importantly grandchildren.
School and university was in England and Ireland, but I was made redundant from my job in London in 1964 and managed to land a good job in Lagos, Nigeria of all places. I ended up spending 12 years in Nigeria until corruption got so bad I moved from the proverbial frying pan into the fire “Libya”. Things go better in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Botswana with short inputs into Egypt and Uganda.
Don’t laugh but then I accepted a contract in the Swat valley in Pakistan, before the famous Malala was even born, but after two years moved to Sri Lanka, and then Vietnam where I live and write now. From Vietnam I’ve gone on short term assignments to Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.
- How long have you been writing? Did you write as a child or is it something you developed a passion for later in life?
I probably first wrote because I had to – official reports, studies, surveys and so on – the boring stuff!
My first love was story telling rather than writing, and then I used to read the history of some of the countries in which I worked. It was the “unknown” and the “blank spaces” in that history that prompted me to start enquiring and then writing. With romance novels I wrote my first manuscript in the first person, but as the passion got hotter I really had to change!
My father worked in Singapore when I was a boy and in my early teens, and living there I became a Boy Scout, so story telling around the campfire was my first introduction to telling tales, and ghost stories.
I retired four years ago, and apart from gardening, have written ten crime and historical novels, and now over 30 contemporary romance novellas, which is really the subject that we are featuring today.
- What gave you the courage to submit your first story to a publisher?
My first book was an historical novel, which I wrote in 1996 when I lived in the corner of a coconut estate in the north of Sri Lanka but which I sat on having been almost tempted by a vanity publisher in London!
It was in 2014 that I came across Smashwords and publishing a book with them was not difficult. Amazon I found later is actually easier. Over the years I have managed to get four publishers to take some of my manuscripts – Blushing Books, Phaze Books, Global Publishing Group and eXtasy Books, as I had hoped that my eBook sales would improve with their backing!
- How would you characterize your stories? As romance, erotica, or something entirely different?
I like writing romance, but I have to add in the sexy bits to make the story more complete and convincing, so as a result I include explicit sex in my novellas. I don’t call that erotica. I don’t use swear words or violence in my stories. I am sorry but gooseberry bushes and storks with bundles in their beaks doesn’t work with me – besides that misses out all the romance, courting and passion!
- What draws you to this genre? Have you written in other genres?
I’ve always been concerned that historical novels write about the rulers, but seldom about their families. I’ve found many portraits and sketches, even frescoes, about beautiful ladies but often their names are missing – so I add in their wives and family life, which is largely from my imagination.
Writing historical romance was an immediate lead into contemporary romance, but I had to use areas of the world that I knew, as I had lived and worked there. This also applied to the characters and heroines that I invented, so that as a result many are of Asian origin.
- City Boy/Girl or Country Mouse—and why?
Ponies and dogs were an integral part of my life as a boy, and my work has always been with animals and farmers. So I usually set my stories in rural areas as I know them better. Cinemas were a complete novelty to me, and I did not see TV until 1953, which then I was a very small black and white grainy screen. World Service Radio was much better and different.
- Are you a punster or a plotter? Do you outline extensively or write your story as you go along?
I usually put together the overall plot in my mind, and often I get up in the middle of the night to do that! I usually prepare a spread sheet of the plot and the characters, and then start writing. Frequently the characters take over and form and even change the plot as I write, and for one story I had to change a tall thin blonde into a sturdy well built lady, with mousy hair, but with an attractive dominant character.
- Research: love it or hate it?
I really enjoy research, but it does take up a disproportional amount of time.
- Editing: love it or hate it?
I appreciate the work and responsibility of an Editor and even their advice of story content and character description. I’ve only had one occasion to cloud my judgment when an Editor queried a statement of fact! I am sorry but this made my blood boil, after all I am the author, and I had clearly established the facts before I wrote. I tend to think that her “advice” was a matter of political opinion, which was quite topical at that time.
- How much do you think that a good blurb and good cover art figure into the success of a story?
Great covers are invaluable. The three novels in this Box Set are the result of a friend telling me that my cover for one looked a bit “home-made”. The artist who made the three replacements has been telling me that the covers are my brand and should present the story!
Blurb is entirely a different matter. Without a doubt there are Key Words that should be inserted in the blurb, and I wish I knew what they are.
LOVE IN THE AIR
It was very early morning when the flight arrived in Taipei, and Charlie walked with Sue-Ling to the Arrivals Hall.
“Wait a minute,” she said and disappeared into a shop.
“Here,” she said a few minutes later, “something from Taiwan so that you remember me!” and she laughed.
He handed him a small locally made toy farmer.
As she was standing close to him he kissed her forehead, and she blushed, but made no effort to go away.
“Bathroom,” said Charlie, and Sue-ling took his bag and said, “I’ll wait for you,” which was kind of her.
She watched him walk away, and made a mental note.
Tall, she decided, probably six feet, brown wavy hair, slim build, intelligent and with a lovely smile. She guessed he’d be late thirties.
She knew he wasn’t married as he’d told her during the flight, as she’d told him she was nearly thirty and single, but she had also said there was an old boyfriend waiting for her at home.
Charlie, for his part, thought about this charming and attractive lady he’d met on the flight. She was quite tall compared to other Taiwanese ladies, kept her black hair shoulder length, wore thin gold ring earrings, and was still very slim. But with winter clothes covering her he could not tell anymore. Still she did have a lovely smile with sparkling dark brown eyes.
Sue-ling was waiting for Charlie, and she gave him her bag as she in turn went to the ladies washroom.
“Wrong way round,” thought Charlie, “I should have asked her first!” And he admonished himself, and when she came back she was a bit deep in her own thoughts. They walked on together.
“You have to go that way, but I’m going over there,” Sue-ling indicated the overhead signs, “Oh yes, here’s my mobile phone number so if you give me a ring sometime, and then I’ll have your number,” and she handed him a small card.
“Good-bye Sue-ling,” said Charlie, “thanks for your time and help on the flight.
Sue-ling smiled and on tip toe kissed Charlie on his right cheek, and she walked away.
Charlie followed the signs leading to the Departure Hall, but was still thinking about her.
He dialed her number in his mobile phone, and it rang;
“Is that the attractive lady I met on the flight from Vancouver?” he asked into the phone.
“No, sorry, I can’t see her around here,” she replied, “but I’ll give you a call if I do.”
LOVE IN THE RAIN
Nobody loves like an Irishman!
By a sheer stroke of bad luck Henry gets caught in a tropical storm whilst he’s swimming in the sea. He sensibly gets out of the water and finds shelter in a beach house, and a few moments later is joined by an equally sodden rain drenched lady.
Felicity is cold and wet and she has nothing dry to wear so she asks Henry to hold her so that they can both benefit from their body warmth until the rain subsides.
The story is set in South East Asia, and culminates in modern day Singapore, but the note above is only the start of a very long story…
LOVE IN THE BOONDOCKS
Kim has just been divorced by an uncaring husband who was more interested in her money than herself. She finds work as a Primary School teacher in several remote villages, where she meets Dave who is working with farmer families in some of the same villages. She finds him attractive and “sets her cap” at him.
Fortunately she speaks English so she manages to meet Dave in several locations before meeting him one evening in his small cottage, on the pretext of getting a lift to a village.
You, the reader, will have to find out what happens next…
LOVE IN THE AIR
Two passengers find some common ground on a flight from Vancouver to Taipei.
Charlie meets Sue-ling on trans-Pacific flight to Taipei after flight delays due to bad weather, and then further delays mean a long stop-over in the transit area at the airport.
Charlie decides to stay at the Airport Hotel where he can get a shower and rest a bit, and is helped by Sue-ling who joins him as she too is delayed by the weather.
Their in-flight conversation becomes more than friendly, as they have to wait for their flight connections, and a mix-up in the hotel bathroom exposes more than just her skin as their relationship develops.
There is now a Box Set for these three Asian Love Stories
Adam Mann has written over thirty romance stories. In many cases the heroine comes from Asia, but this is partly because that is where he has been working in remote areas for over thirty years. Adam admires the resolve and determination of these ladies from Asia even in challenging and problematic circumstances.
Most of his stories are partially derived from his personal experience, and also based in locations that he knows as he’s lived and worked there.
He freely admits that his imagination makes up a good proportion of each of the stories. He’s often found that romance is not always where a hard working boy meets good looking girl and they live happily ever after. Most of his characters are a bit more battered in their lives before they meet, so their circumstances and incentives are much more clearly defined.
Most of Adam’s stories are about twenty thousand words, so not very long, and cheap to buy at Ninety Nine cents and easy to read.
Adam Mann is the pen name for romance books written by Mike Lord.
Please read and enjoy this story.