Summer Reading Club
space craft special edition 2017

Michael Adams

I love words and I’m lucky enough to be able to play with them for a living. I’ve written a dozen books, worked for a lot of magazines and newspapers, and done a fair bit of stuff for television, as a writer, producer and presenter.

My recent series, The Seven Signs, is about seven teenagers who have to save the world from a sinister game-playing villain who calls himself The Signmaker. The story involved a lot of riddles and symbols, which was a lot of fun to devise.

I also write for magazines, websites and television and have been a host on the The Movie Show and The Movie Club.

I live in Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains of NSW, with my wife, 12-year-old daughter, two dogs, two cats and four frogs. That’s me!

Getting to Know Michael Adams

Game On: How did you get into writing?

I love the question ‘What if?’ because that’s where all great stories start. As a kid, I’d ask it all the time. One of my first stories—which I also illustrated—answered the question: ‘What if flying sharks attacked warships?’ I was about five years old at the time and I thought my little book was awesome. Ever since then I’ve loved writing. English was my best subject at school and I was happiest when making up some crazy story to freak out my teachers. One I remember really well was about aliens who came to earth and laid their eggs in people’s eye sockets. Gross, I know. From there I made my own fanzine about movies, got into writing for magazines and websites, and then moved into writing books and television scripts.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes! For a long as I can remember. But this also found expression in making video games when I was a teenager. This was in the early days of home computers and I would code the games myself and sell them on tape via newspaper classifieds. Ten games for $10 – bargain! They were pretty good games, too, if I say so myself! I reckon if I’d stuck at I might’ve ended up Bill Gates. Instead, I got into fiction and non-fiction writing, which isn’t nearly as well paid. 🙁

What are some of your favourite games to play?

As a kid of the 1980s I was obsessed with video games and would spend all of my time in the local arcade or in front of my own console at home. Some of my favourites were the biggest early games – Space Invaders, Pac Man, Galaxian, Tron, Moonlander, Dig Dug, Galaga and Defender. I was unbeatable at Gyruss. I can still remember all the tunes in my head. I love the simplicity and repetition of those games. Since then I’ve loved app games that’ve replicated the simple experience, such as Angry Birds and Plants Vs Zombies. Wii Bowling is pretty great, too.

Do you have a favourite sport, sporting event or sporting hero?

I’m not that into sport these days. As a kid I loved soccer, rugby league and cricket. I’ve recently been researching a book that involves cricket and it’s got me interested again. So this summer I’m going to watch some games with my daughter. Howzat!

What kinds of activities do you like to do to supercharge your summers?

My favourite time of year is a hot summer day when you actually don’t feel like being supercharged so much as super-shaded or super-cooled. Having an electric fan purring nearby always makes me feel very relaxed. Then it’s time for a cool drink and a big fat book to get lost in. When it’s summer I’m always drawn to genre fiction – an engrossing crime mystery or perhaps a horror-tinged thriller. It’s also hard to beat having a great TV series or movie to watch on a hot summer night.

Can you recommend some good GAME ON reads for our SRC Club Members?

I always loved Choose Your Own Adventure books and I’m glad to see they’re still available. For me they were a great fusion of fiction and gaming, allowing the reader to decide the outcome and then go back repeatedly to see how other scenarios played out. They were a lot of fun to read but also instructive for aspiring writers because they showed how different decisions characters make lead to wildly different outcomes.

A Creative Tip

Simple: just write.

If you only talk about it then you’re not a writer… you’re a talker. Don’t be afraid to start. To begin with, no-one else has to see it. And make sure you keep at it. Writing is like any other pursuit: you get better with repeated and regular practice. It’s like trying to build muscles. You wouldn’t do ten push-ups, ten sit-ups and ten bicep-curls and expect to see a rippling physique in the mirror. But do that every day for a month and you’ll start to see results. If you write every day you’ll want to write more. Even a few hundred words a day will give you a book in a year. There’s no substitute for practice. Also be sure to go back and rewrite – because you can always make it better!

Hot Off the Press

Michael Adams’ newest books are now available. Have you had a chance to read this series yet?

Book Title: The Seven Signs series (7 books)

Publisher: Scholastic

Recommended Reading Age: 9-11

Book Description:

After seven teenagers from all over the world win the DARE Awards sponsored by an Internet trillionaire, they think their lives are going to be filled with fun, fame and riches. But when a mysterious villain called The Signmaker starts sending them cryptic messages that predict deadly attacks, the DARE Winners have to use all their talents to stop a series of disasters that could mean the end of the world!

Sneak Peak

Read a few preview chapters now!

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