Clint, thanks for joining us for this interview. We're looking forward to sharing more about your book with our readers.
Hey, Ed, my pleasure. Thanks so much for providing this opportunity to share and make some new friends.
What inspired you to put this well-crafted tale together?
I’m not sure I’d call it inspiration; I HAD to tell this story. Somehow, I felt as if my life depended on telling it. Now that it’s been told, I feel as if a weight’s been lifted from my shoulders. My life now, is literally, an open book.
How much of the story is based on real situations and people from your life?
I think it’s split 50/50. THE SEVENTH RITUAL contains two ongoing plots; the first, told in the voice of 34-year old Paul Jacobson, is quite close to being 100% truthful; the second, told through the voice of a two-year old Pauly (if he actually had a voice) is pure fiction. To be most accurate, I’d refer to the second plot as speculation (it could quite possibly be the truth, but there’s no evidence to support this). Fiction’s better; I love being able to turn real life into anything I want.
What's the significance of the book's title?
Again, both plots are synchronized. They both contain countdowns. Actually, there are three altogether (the protagonist is a marathon runner; the chapter headings in THE SEVENTH RITUAL read as mile markers in the New York City Marathon: The Starting Line, Mile 1, Mile 2, etc…a countdown to the end, The Finish Line).
The other has to do with the premise of the book: a psychic having told Paul that he must discover the cause of his unhappiness before the end of the year…or he will not live to see the next. The book begins in early-November (two days prior to the NYC Marathon). Paul needs to work (and run) as fast as he can.
The title, THE SEVENTH RITUAL, refers to the final Satanic ritual performed (is that the right word?) by Paul’s parents and their friend. The plot counts them down from 1 to 7. The Seventh Ritual is where the two plots intersect.
Throughout the story, Paul repeatedly laments that he's never had an intimate relationship with anyone. If he's so aware of the problem, what prevents him from taking the necessary steps to solve it?
Psychology 101, Ed. How can he possibly have a relationship when he trusts no one and equates any type of intimacy with death and doesn’t know why? Good question though.
A history of devil worship plays a significant role in Paul's life. What are your personal thoughts/feelings regarding the practice?
Now, this is a good one. In all honesty, I’d have to say that I can’t imagine ANYONE finding devil worship appealing, fulfilling or just. But, then again, the parents in the story (as well as their partner Bobby) seem to. As you know, I’ve spent much time crafting this book, yet the concept of devil worship/Satanic Ritual abuse is something I’ll NEVER be able to comprehend, not even close.
What was also interesting to discover while doing research is that this was a trend of the times (1959/60) in the San Francisco Bay Area. Can you believe it? This was validated when I ran into a neighbor of mine one day, a psychologist. I told her about what I’d learned, and her response was, “Clint, I have several patients that are victims of satanic abuse…but they’re all institutionalized, not one of them able to function in society.”
What kinds of responses has the book generated thus far?
Exactly what I’d expected. I don’t seek out responses anymore. But, if someone wants to talk about the content of this book or any other I’ve written, I’ll certainly give them my attention. “Shocking, honest and graphic” are the words that come up most often. I’d almost initially preferred that none of my friends read it, but several have. Some have been extraordinary, some have disappeared. It’s also been referred to as a “page-turner.” I like that one.
Please share more with us about your publisher, Credo Italia.
Sure. I’ve been writing novels for 16 years. Unfortunately, it’s only been during the last six that I decided to take FULL responsibility for my publishing career. In 2003, I earned a master’s degree in marketing to be able to market my books better. I highly recommend this to any writer, by the way. Also, in early-2005, I became an Italian citizen. I always used to say that I was disgusted with American publishers and lit. agents who, I feel, had dismissed me; that’s why I chose to leave the U.S. for good. Now, I’m grateful to them; they prompted me to make a big change in my life while making me realize that I deserved better…so I did, and continue to do it all, myself. Credo Italia is my own imprint, and I’m proud of it.
The Seventh Ritual is your debut foray into the adult fiction genre - you actually "cut your literary teeth" in the teen fiction field. Please share more with us about your endeavors as a teen fiction author.
It was a blast, that’s for sure. I wrote four teen novels: My Watch Doesn’t Tell Time, Don’t Be Afraid of Heaven, Fear Ain’t All That and Just Say Mikey, but the rewards of having been a teen novelist came from the teens themselves. I got to know some great ones. While I did school events and kept up with them via e-mails, they kept me young, and I did my best to encourage them to stay just as they were, fearless.
With relation to teen-novel publishing, it’s just as difficult as adult. But, I found one major difference, teens and parents in Europe are much, much less uptight (oops, does anyone still use that word?) As soon as my first book came out, Amazon.com categorized it as Visionary Teen fiction, and that label stuck for years. Within the teen novels, I’d mentioned the word ‘God’ from time to time, introduced some unusual notions about survival (via a rather eccentric character, Aunt Shirley), and regularly incorporated openly-gay characters into my plots. America, American schools/school districts, and especially parents, had a few problems with these elements; Europe, never.
What inspired you to make the transition from teen fiction to adult fiction?
Easy question. I must have seen it coming (the transition). While finishing up the manuscript to MY WATCH DOESN’T TELL TIME, I knew that I wouldn’t be continuing this (teen) series. I don’t want to give anything away, but I made it impossible for the story to continue.
In addition to that, the story inside me, THE SEVENTH RITUAL, really needed to come out (of me). There’s no way this could ever be marketed to teens, although I wouldn’t be surprised if they understood it better than some adults. Teens are incredibly wise. But TSR is too adult, graphic, disturbing and shocking for their eyes. And, not to make light, but they probably get enough of that from the Internet already.
In addition to being an author, you also conduct No Time for Fear workshops for the benefit of boosting teen's self esteem. Please share more with us about your efforts in that field.
These were 2-day events that used to take place in school classrooms; since I no longer write for teens, I’m not doing these anymore. Maybe someday. Again, to be able to help one teen, any teen live their life fearlessly, is a reward that will be with me forever; I’m grateful.
What's next for you?
Good question, Ed. If you can believe it, I’m switching genres yet again. Next: a non-fiction book for adults. It’s almost like an accumulation of everything I consider to be important that I’ve put into my five previous books. It’ll (hopefully) be more hands-on for the reader. No stories this time, just facts, useful tips, tools and strategies for living a better life, discovering (your) purpose, and once again, living fearlessly.
How can our readers learn more about you and your ongoing efforts?
Well, that’s almost the purpose for my next book…something tangible that’ll accompany public speaking. Not workshop-style, but still quite interactive, for larger audiences. I hope anyone who has maybe learned something from any of my books will attend. At the moment, these events will most likely take place in/around London (where I now live).
My website will continue to be a resource for your readers. I welcome them anytime. Stories About Facing Fear by lint Adams
I also welcome anyone to visit (AND comment on/interact with) my blog; it’s syndicated to several different sites but originates from CLINT ADAMS BOOKs blog
My website also has a newsletter-subscription option. I’d love to be able to get to know, and correspond with, your readers there. Please visit http://clintadams.com/newsletter.htm for more info.
Also, how can they contact you directly?
I think my favorite method these days is social media. Yours too? I’d imagine I’m not alone here. Anyone who has interest in friending/following me, I’ll surely do the same for you. The last page of my website (http://clintadams.com/contact.htm) is a contact/networking page that lists where you can find me on the sites I use (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, eCademy, goodreads, Reading Trails, FastPitch, flickr, Plaxo, MSN/Live, filedby and XING).
If you’re not into social media, I’ll always appreciate (and do my best to answer promptly) any e-mail you’d like to send: info@ClintAdams.com.
Any final thoughts you'd like to share?
First of all, thanks to you, Ed. Your questions really made me think. Anyone else, please feel free to write to me regarding anything that wasn’t covered today that you’d like to know about. Also, thanks to you, readers. Please continue to discover new authors, authors whose names you hadn't known before. There are some real gems out there. In addition to the writers themselves, seek out new voices (the ways in which they’ve chosen to tell their stories), and in the process, you'll probably find them refreshing and miss them when they're gone.
Happy Reading! Bye for now.
Thanks again, Clint, and best of continued success to you in all your endeavors!
Clint earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in drama from the University of California, Berkeley, studied creative writing at San Francisco State University and received his master's degree in marketing from San Francisco's Golden Gate University.