A glimpse under Adam Greenwood’s hood
Adam Greenwood’s writing brings new life and adventures to the old and well-loved characters of Sherwood forest! Having been a lifelong fan of the legendary Robin Hood, history and folklore, Adam now writes new stories based on Hood and other characters. If you’re a fan of Robin Hood and want to read up on more of his adventures, Adam Greenwood is the author for you!
Hello Adam! First of all, how did you get into writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing stories since very early in childhood. I recently came across a “book” I had written when I was around seven years old about a boy called Steven who had magic books that enabled him to fly to his “own private world” (or “privit wold” as I wrote it!). Okay, so that was the full extent of the story, but everyone has to start somewhere! I find it quite relaxing and a way to work through the jumble of thoughts and emotions that are usually bubbling around my head!
What made you want to start writing books?
Writing was something I’d been doing as a hobby for some time but I’d always had a vague idea that “proper authors” were a different species of some kind, with professional qualifications in… authorship? Then I made a couple of friends who happened to be authors and realised that they were regular people and, if they could be authors, there was no reason (in theory at least) that I couldn’t also be! I began with a short story to see if people thought it was of a reasonable standard, then wrote another in the same “world” with some of the same characters, gradually building up a fair collection. I then realised it would probably be possible to link them all into a single story. I worked out a timeline for them and wrote some additional material to link them and, lo and behold, I found I had a (fairly short) novel on my hands! Everything since then has been written as a novel from the start, although I don’t always write in sequence.
What are you currently working on?
Ooh now there’s a question! I have a running joke with another author friend that, upon my death, my “Fiction” folder from Dropbox will be published as “The Incomplete Works of Adam Greenwood”! Actively, ‘though, I am working on the third and final part of my Robin Hood “Legacy” Trilogy, the next installment of my Santa-themed “Claus Chronicles” and a children’s story (with colouring pictures) based on the classic story of Robin Hood and the Silver Arrow.
What can people do to support your work?
Buy my books! But in all seriousness, read my books and recommend them to friends, local reading clubs, schools (where appropriate) and suchlike!
Your work is heavily inspired by Robin Hood, what made him your muse?
I’ve always been fascinated by the legend and loved learning more about the folklore and history behind it. The great thing about Robin Hood is that the legends and theories are so diverse, he can basically be whatever you want/need him to be. The Robin of my ongoing series is a very different character from the Robin(s) of my first book but they are all consistent with at least one part of the tradition.
I understand you occasionally don the Robin Hood outfit. Why do you do this and does it help you with your writing?
I’ve always liked dressing up from when I was a small child and I had been helping out a couple of other author friends by dressing as characters from their books for their launches so, when I released my own, I decided to put together a Robin Hood costume to promote it. Gradually, people started asking me to come to events as Robin Hood, unrelated to my books, and I started to become known as “that bloke who does Robin Hood”. Gradually, over time, I’ve added to and improved my costume but it will be a life-long work in progress, I am sure! Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to be offered a full-time job as Robin Hood at a new tourist attraction in Nottingham so I am one of the few people who can say I now get to make a living from my hobby!
In relation to my writing, playing Robin has helped me to get under the skin of the character and has certainly changed how I present him. In my first book, Robin was a fairly minor and enigmatic character – more of a catalyst for the things that happened around him, but in my later books the (different) Robin Hood character has become far more human and interesting.
Do you yourself have a favourite author?
I have lots whose work I enjoy but I’d like to give a shout-out to my dear friend and fellow-scribbled Raven Dane who not only writes awesome horror, steam-punk, alternate-history and comedy novels but has been like a big sister to me and helped me throughout my writing career, especially at the beginning when I was taking those first baby-steps. Couldn’t have done it without her.
Who has been the biggest influence on your book and how has that person changed your work?
That would have to be my partner, Sarah. Since we’ve been together she’s changed my whole view of the world and that has been reflected in my writing which has taken on a far more complex emotional tone than my earlier work, to the point that I felt the need to go back to my first book and re-write large chunks of it to bring it closer to my current style.
What would you suggest for young people trying to get into the industry to do?
It sounds like a cliche but the best advice I can give is to write and finish something, even if it’s just a short story rather than a full novel at first. Too many people try to get interest from publishers, generate publicity or start crowd-funding pages when they just have “ideas” or a few sample pages. Finish a story, if only to prove to yourself that you can do it. Also, write for yourself – if you try too hard to fit within a certain genre or appeal to a particular demographic you’ll over-thinking and lose the heart from your work. Write something you’d enjoy reading then show it to people and get feedback on how they feel it should be catagorised and what audience it should be marketed towards.
These days, there are many free self-publishing platforms that can help you get your work out there such as Lulu and Amazon’s twin services Createspace (for physical books) and Kindle (for eBooks). Yes, we all dream of having a proper publishing contract but, in the meantime, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make your work available and start to build a following – this can even help you with getting a contract in future as you can prove there is a market for your books.
But above all, write! And write something you yourself would enjoy reading.
To follow and Adam and keep up to date with his work or to purchase his books go to his Amazon page.