Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Writer's Block Interviews: Adam Tritt

1) Tell us a bit about yourself and where you live and work.

I live in Palm Bay, Florida, under a very big tree with a dingo dog and an alligator. I am a retired teacher and a non-retired massage therapist and have always been a writer. I usually work next to a pond.

2) Describe your journey to becoming an author.

It wasn’t much of a journey. I decided, after reading Asimov and Bradbury and Clark (I never got past the C’s in the alphabet) that I could never be a writer because I could never write as well as they did. But I persisted, regardless, with poetry. One day, on a long ride home, late at night, I heard a poem on the radio. My wife said something and I asked her to hold on a minute. That I really wanted to hear this poem. That I wished I could write like that. She laughed and asked me if I didn’t recognize it. I hadn’t. “That’s yours. You wrote that. Don’t you recognize it?” That was when I realized I could do this.

The rest is all grunt work, patience, perseverance and taking to actually write.

3) Do you gravitate toward any particular genre in writing?

No. I have written quite a bit of poetry and published in magazines and journals as well as a book of my own, non-fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, and children’s books. But children’s books geared not just for children seems to be a focus right now. Probably because I’m feeling mischievous.

4) Tell us about Bud the Spud. What inspired you to write on it?

A gorgeous day when my kids would not go out and play because they were watching kids play on a Disney Channel show about playgrounds. I had the cable TV disconnected that Monday.

5) Describe your path to publication. Has this experience met/exceeded your expectations?

I had no expectations. Each book-publishing experience has come to me from a different source so it is hard to have expectations. The first was requested by the publisher. The second came as a surprise as well. Bud was a book I had shopped around a bit, but had no luck with. Then it just landed in the right hands well after I had gone on to other projects. A publisher who specialized in health-related books and wanted to get into children’s books thought it was the perfect bridge. I would never have thought of them.

6) How do you promote your work? What methods have worked best for you?

Video. We have done a video of the book that can be shared through social media. Web pages have also been helpful as well as the fact I have a long-running and well-read blog. The reviews have been tremendously positive so those show up on web searches. I also am open to readings and appearances. I love doing readings.

I love creativity as well. We have a contest for the wackiest way to read Bud. A gal is reading it on a surfboard. One in a tree. Another on a slide. One crazy fella is reading it while riding a bicycle. I am waiting for the skydiving picture.

We also created International GOT CAP Day. And will be creating Bud caps to go with it. Get Off The Couch And Play. This goes along with the health message and will be picked up and easily shared through social media.

7) Who are your favorite authors? What is on your reading list right now?

I’m sorry. As an author, I don’t have much time to read anymore. A book release take so much time and energy. But, I am currently reading Shakespear’s Planet by Clifford Simak. I am a huge huge fan of Golden Age science fiction and even contributed to the creation of a museum for science fiction writing and an important genre of world literature. I am also reading Going to Pieces without Falling Apart: A Buddhist Perspective on Wholeness by Mark Epstein. I am reading, in small bits, here and there, Hara Diagnosis: Reflections on the Sea by Kiiko Matsumoto and Stephen Birch. This book is to help me in my work dealing with PTSD and trauma through somatic therapy. Prior to these, I read Dragon Fate by J.D. Hallowell, a rare foray into fantasy. Before that, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan. I also read the adapted version, The Omnivore's Dilemma for Kids: The Secrets Behind What You Eat. I wanted to see how it had been, shall we say, dumbed down.

8) Describe a typical day in your life.

A typical day? Up at six. Take out the dog. Feed her. Go to the gym. Come home, go to the office. Deal with office issues, scheduling issues, promotional issues, issues about who deals with issues. See patients. Lunch. Same after lunch. If the mood strikes me, I say “I’m going home to write” or I close myself in an office and I write. Some days I call in and stay home to continue writing. Writing takes precedence over all other things and I grab the ideas while I have them fresh and hot and waiting to be put into words. Muses do not like to be kept waiting.

9) What projects do you have in the works?

Currently I am working on the retelling of the Welsh myth of Rhiannon and Pwyll done in prose and poetry. But, while told from the same perspective, that of the king, it shows how the lady in question, Rhiannon, really holds the power and runs the show. It is done in such a way as to show young girls they have power. The ability to say yes or no, to have their way and run the show no matter what boys say. It is being illustrated by Christine Kuhn, an art professor from East Kentucky University who does the most amazing myth and archetype based paintings. Deep and dark and mysterious.

I am also working on a story about what happens when a tooth fairy goes bad. The heroines of the story are Sef and Sadie, my daughter and granddaughter. Not quite a children’s book. Because this tooth fairy goes very very bad. Like I said, I’m feeling mischievous.

10) What advice would you offer to aspiring authors?

Write. Write and write. Develop who you are. Don’t worry about market trends. If your work is any good, either you will start a trend or the trend will come back around to you.

Get a good editor. One who understand your work and who you can trust. Feed him or her well. Understand you are your worst editor. If you don’t take that to the bank, you won’t be taking anything else there either.

About the Author

Adam Byrn Tritt, MEd, CH, LMT, is a poet, essayist, screenwriter, teacher, social activist, and humorist. In addition to Bud the Spud, Tritt is the author of The Phoenix and the Dragon: Poems of the Alchemical Trans­form­ation, a collection of his poetry, as well as several works of nonfiction.

Adam won the 2006 EPPIE Award for Poetry in an Anthology. In 1995 he was awarded an honorary doctorate for his work in religious tolerance and for the creation of TurningPoint, a nonprofit program providing alternative medicine to low-income individuals. He continues that passion today in the healthcare clinic he and his wife, Lee, dreamed of and created together—the Wellness Center.

He is equally at home speaking in lecture halls, giving public readings in bookstores, and visiting elementary school classrooms, where he can be found surrounded by children begging him to read Bud the Spud just one more time (while their parents and teachers beg him to stop). Adam lives and writes—often simultaneously—in Palm Bay, Florida, with his son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter; a dingo; and a ridiculously large alligator, all under a very big tree.

Contact Adam

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