All my books are about my wife in one way or another: Author Interview with Stephen A. Adams

Hi there. My name is Stephen Adams.
I recently lost Sue, my wife of 40 years, to cancer. I miss her terribly.
While going through my albums, I found an envelope, inside of which was an old black and white photo of Sue when she was about 8 years old. I had never seen the picture before.
It reminded me that Sue used to talk about an old hut and hall where she and her friends would go to play in the school holidays.
A friend turned the photo into colour, I enlarged it to 10″x12″, and I put it in a nice frame.
I must have looked at it for days, until suddenly I was able to imagine a story about her.
That story became a book : Special Susie and the Mystery of the Wooden Hut.
While I was waiting for the illustrations to be done, I thought I’d catch up with a bit of reading. But I couldn’t find the books that I wanted to read. Anyway, after a little thought, an idea became : Special Susie and the Mystery of the Missing Books.
Totally delighted with these stories about my Sue as an eight year old, I thought it would be fun to add me as an eleven year old boy. (In real life I’m 3 years older than Sue).
So that idea became a third book : Special Susie and the Mystery of the Shy Boy.
n.b. I’ve been asked why the name ‘Special Susie’. Well, when Sue was at school, there were 6 or 7 other Susans in her class. The teacher gave them all nicknames, so she was never called by her correct name for years. She always looked sad at this. I used to give her a hug and say : “Don’t worry darling, you’ll always be My Special Susie”.
And that is what I called her for over 40 years. My beautiful special Susie.

  • Where are you from?
    Hi, my name is Stephen Adams, I live in the UK.
  • Why do you write? 
    I lost my wife to cancer 5 years ago. The absence and pain in my heart has driven me to write. It helps to fill the enormous hole in my life.
  • What do you write about? 
    I write romantic adventure novels, and also chapter books for children. All my books are about my wife in one way or another. Either romantic adventure novels about us, or chapter books about her as a girl.
  • Do you plan your writing?
    I don’t really plan anything when I write. I just picture myself in a certain situation, and take it from there. I guess it’s ‘real-time’ writing.
  • What are obstacles that come in the way of writing? 
    I guess we all fear the dreaded “writers’ block”. And most of us will get it at some stage. When it happens, I tend to take myself away for an hour or so. Choose something that has nothing to do with the writing. Then go back and re-read the last chapter or two. An idea will pop up. I find that works for me.
  • What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
    Apart from essentials, I write each day from 10am to 5pm, taking a break for lunch from 1-2pm. I try to ensure nothing gets in the way of that. I tend to write at least 500 words a day. If I am really into it, it can be 1,000. But on average, I would say 700. A chapter book tends to go to 15,000 words, a novel to 75,000. You can do the maths.
  • What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
    I think the best books are stories that do both ‘show’ and ‘tell’. By that I mean, describe the person, place or situation, then move the story along with it.
  • Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?
    As an encouragement to others, I would like to say that as funny as it may sound, the best way to be a great writer, is to be a great reader. Fill yourself with words, images, situations that will grow your mind and your imagination. And finally, if you have a thought or an idea for a story, push it up into your imagination and let it develop! Go and explore, let yourself fly!
  • What do you think makes a good story?
    I consider a novel to be in three main parts: the infrastructure; the characters; and the plot. We are told to ‘write about what you know about’. This is brilliant advice. The less time we have to discover and do research, the more time we have for developing characters and moving the plot along. And that is the most interesting and exciting bit.
  • Do you see writing as a career?
    For me, writing is not so much a career, but a very enjoyable way of being anyone, doing anything, and going anywhere.

You can get a copy of Stephen’s books here:

One of Stephen’s books