Adam Sarafis, author of SOMETHING IS ROTTEN, Interview

Today we welcome Adam Sarafis, author of Something is Rotten to Booklover Book Reviews.

Something is Rotten by Adam SarafisThe first contemporary thriller from Echo Publishing, Something is Rotten is a page-turning & suspenseful morality tale.

When budding writer Brent Taylor dies a horrific death in the Auckland University Library, his friend, sex worker Jade Amaro, refuses to believe it is suicide. She seeks help from Sam Hallberg, a former government advisor on terrorism, now working as a mechanic. Meanwhile, Sam’s friend, brilliant business journalist Lynette Church, embarks on an investigation of dirty political dealings with major global implications, and with ties to the Iraq War. It soon becomes clear that something is indeed very rotten…

Something is Rotten is a compelling contemporary thriller with twists and turns that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Adam Sarafis was born in 1967 in Auckland, New Zealand. He gained his undergraduate degree at Auckland University before completing his post-graduate studies at the university of Copenhagen. He worked as a reporter for various newspapers in Europe and Australasia eventually becoming a freelance foreign correspondent for some the world’s largest agencies. Based in Auckland, Adam also spends considerable time in the Greek archipelagos and Skagen, Denmark. This is his first novel.

* Adam Sarafis is the creation of author Linda Olsson and screenwriter Thomas Sainsbury. He has now taken on a life of his own.

(Echo Publishing)

What inspired you to write Something is Rotten ?

This book – or rather the Matakana trilogy, because there are two more books to come – has been on my mind for a long time, but it was only recently that I decided to make a serious effort to finish it. I think what inspired me initially was my interest in society, particularly the increasing gap between the public perception of what our politicians are doing, and what they really do. The fact the modern politicians no longer see themselves as being trusted with a time limited mandate to represent their voters, but as career politicians.

Would you say Something is Rotten is plot or character driven?

I think it is fair to say that it is plot driven. But I am very interested in the characters, too. And thinking about it, there would be no plot without the characters. So perhaps this a chicken and egg question?

Tell us a little bit about your main character?

There are two main characters, really. There is Sam Hallberg, a 40-something former government expert on terrorism, now a disillusioned car mechanic. Sam’s backstory will only be fully revealed in the second book in the series, but will be hinted at in this one. Here, he will be reluctantly pulled back into the world of political corruption and crime. In his free time, and to fend of nightmares and memories, he reads Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

The other protagonist is Sam’s friend Lynette Church, a brilliant journalist and editor of the business pages of New Zealand’s largest daily paper. Lynette is also 40-something, single and a little overweight. She is ruthless and fearless when it comes to her professional life, but rather insecure in her private one. She has an elderly mother with whom she has a difficult relationship. She cares deeply about Sam, and she is the one who has kept in touch with him during the difficult years since he left his government job. Whether her feelings are more than friendship is not for me to say.

What type of reader do you think would most enjoy Something is Rotten ?

My Scandinavian publishers are marketing it as an intelligent political thriller in the vein of John Le Carrė’s and some of the Scandinavian thriller authors with a social conscience, like Henning Mankell.

Adam Sarafis

How does this title compare to others you have written?

There is more than one side to my previous writing. Just like there is more than one aspect to me. On the one hand, I have written some literary novels. But I am also a scriptwriter. But my bread and butter has been journalism. The Matakana Trilogy feels like the natural progression of everything I have previously done.

Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?

Drawing on my journalist experience I fully plotted a story set in an international political context. I then divided the plot points into two categories. The ones I felt that would draw more on my experiences as a fiction writer, and another category where my experiences as a scriptwriter and actor would be more relevant. At the end of the process I was able to amalgamate the two kinds of writing into a coherent whole.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

One side of me tends to fret a lot. And travel long distances, having half my life in New Zealand and the other half in Scandinavia. The other side of me has a hectic life pursuing directing and acting.

Do you have any other titles in the pipeline?

Yes, Matakana II and III. Plus a literary novel and a couple of plays and possibly another TV series.

Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring writers?

The only way you will ever have something written is by writing. So write, write, write. Once it’s written, a simple piece of advice is to read the text aloud. You will be surprised at what works and what doesn’t. Then find a way of giving yourself deadlines, if they are not imposed on you. Without deadlines you might never consider anything finished.

Something is Rotten is available from:
Booktopia | Amazon

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Book Giveaway

Something is Rotten by Adam SarafisTo celebrate the release of Something is Rotten, Echo Publishing have generously offer 2 paperback copies for giveaway:

  • Australian / New Zealand mailing addresses only
  • extra entries for spreading the word via Twitter and Facebook/Google+/Webpage
  • entries close midnight 27 May 2015
  • the winners will be randomly selected and must respond to my email requesting their mailing address within 5 days otherwise their prize will be forfeited and another winner selected