Local people: Adam Croft
25th October 2020
Best-selling author Adam Croft is a great fan of Rutland and a frequent visitor. The county has provided much inspiration for his fiction, especially his latest literary success, the acclaimed thriller ‘What Lies Beneath’
Words: Amander Meade
Adam, you have had phenomenal success. How did your career in writing begin?
Accidentally, really. I’d always wanted to be a writer, but I was well aware it was best kept as a pipe dream for a number of reasons: primarily, that it’s extraordinarily difficult to be successful, and, even when you are, there’s hardly any money in it. The average earnings for a published author (so already in the top 1%) are around £11,000 a year. Fortunately, other avenues are available, and I’ve been publishing my books independently since day one, which cuts out a lot of unnecessary people in the middle.
How did you feel when you realised you had written the best-selling book in the world during a period in 2017 with ‘Only The Truth’ – putting JK Rowling in second place?
I’m always acutely aware that all success in this industry is both permanent and completely temporary. It’s permanent in that no one can take those accolades and achievements away from you, but temporary in the sense that in a fortnight’s time it might not make a blind bit of difference. It’s such a volatile industry.
When Amazon ranked me (very briefly) as the most widely read author in the world in February 2017, I didn’t notice. I never look at charts and rankings, mainly because the vast majority of readers don’t, and I think looking at things from a reader’s perspective is vital to stop authors getting stuck in their own bubble. It put a smile on my face, but on that particular day I was sitting in the hospital waiting for the birth of my son, so I had other things on my mind. It’s strange how life can put things into perspective. When ‘What Lies Beneath’ came out this year, Walkers bookshop announced it was their biggest selling pre-order book in over 20 years, since guess what? ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’. I’m quite sure JK Rowling isn’t shedding any tears, but I’ll take all the little victories I can get.
How has your latest work set in Rutland been received?
Extraordinarily well. I didn’t sleep for about a month prior to the release. As soon as I announced the book, the buzz was unbelievable. I had local dignitaries and businesses getting in touch and offering their support, and even the Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police started pushing the book on social media. Because I spend such a huge portion of my life in Rutland and have such a great love for the place, I panicked that the book might not go down well, or that the locals might hate it, but by launch day it was already the biggest-selling book Walkers had seen, and by 10.30am they’d completely sold out and needed to be restocked twice again that day. Local retailers have been restocked every day since the launch, and we’ve genuinely burnt out the printing presses. We’ve completely run out of stock in the UK a couple of times and have had boxes and boxes turning up most days. The feedback I’ve had has been incredible, too. No one has (yet) said they don’t like the book, and the reviews it’s had have been amazing. That’s given me a great sense of relief and a huge amount of energy to take forward into the rest of the series.
The Americans love your books. Are you tempted by a life in sunny LA? Any plans for TV or film adaptations of your novels?
I’ve definitely no plans to move to America, I can say that for certain. It’s a fascinating country, but certainly not one I’d want to live in. Yes, a TV mini-series of ‘Her Last Tomorrow’ has been in development for a little while, and since ‘What Lies Beneath’ was released, my agent has had very strong interest from three different parties with regards to a TV adaptation. Watch this space…
‘What Lies Beneath’ by Adam Croft is available at Walkers of Stamford and Oakham, the Oundle Bookshop, Kibworth Books and other independent booksellers. Find out more about Adam and his writing at adamcroft.net.