Author Spotlight Adam G. Fleming
Tell our readers briefly about yourself.
Hey everybody I’m Adam G. Fleming. I live in Indiana; I am a traveler with 21 nations under my belt. I've lived in Congo, Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire and France too. I write novels and nonfiction; even within my stories I write about people who travel, encounter other cultures. Most of my work is lighthearted and saturated with humor. I have a wife, Megan, who helps me edit my work, and we have 4 kids.
What books do you have available? Can you give us a short description of them?
I have 5 novels in the Satchel Pong Chronicles, a steampunk fantasy series which is complete. It’s dystopian but not super dark. I also have co-authored 3 books in the Stetson Jeff Adventures series with Justin Fike and I’ll do more of those this year, this is sort of action/adventure comedy stuff. Besides that I have 4 other books on Amazon as well; my first novel, White Buffalo Gold. Vortex Street, which is travel poems and flash fiction from 2015 to 2018. And two nonfiction books: The Art of Motivational Listening, and How to Make a Positive Cultural Impact.
Do you stay in one genre when you write or do you find yourself veering toward others?
I’m all over the place. Literary fiction, genre fiction, action/adventure, poetry, and nonfiction.
Are you a panster, planner, or someone in between?
Pantser, although when I write nonfiction I sure wish I wasn’t.
What is your writing routine like?
I try to work on 3 or 4 projects per day, so I might take 1 hour in my studio working on an audio book, then spend an hour on a rough draft, another hour on something I’m editing, then I might have 2 or 3 hours of coaching my clients. Right now I’m doing the audio book for Stetson Jeff #1 (Beatdown in Bangkok), I’m drafting a nonfiction book on my Camino de Santiago experience called “Old Roads, New Friends” and I’m editing a massive 200,000 word literary fiction project. And then answering bloggers like this can take an hour or two a day also!
Tell me about your favorite character that you’ve created?
I really like Stetson Jeff, he’s a cross between Forrest Gump and Chuck Norris. In the Satchel Pong series I am quite happy with the character called St. Kipstofer who features in book 4, St. Kipstofer and the Miraculous Yarkarma, as well as some of his followers, Verlene who was a “noodel-seller”, and Qui-Oof, a bellhop.
Where do you get your ideas for world building?
From traveling and straight up improvising. I enjoyed doing a steampunk world because it creates a certain palette limitation, but then I started adding magic so anything was possible again.
Do you add romance to your writing? Is it steamy or clean?
I do add romance but it isn’t the focus and it’s not steamy. I think less is more.
What was your favorite scene to create?
I’m most satisfied with the scenes that close and open books that require the most work in editing. I really like the way I ended books 3, 4, and 5 in Satchel Pong, but primarily because as a pantser I had to work them hard in editing. But I think the most challenging thing is to end something well. I can come up with a million “What ifs” but getting the ending is the hardest and therefore the most satisfying. I know the question says “favorite” but what’s more important to me is creating a satisfying scene.
Where do you get character inspiration?
I’ve been coaching for 15 years. A lot of people think that coaches “teach” you something but that’s not true. Truly great coaches listen 80% of the time, looking for ways to ask questions about what’s really important. So I’ve spent 80% of my time for 15 years listening to other people talk about what’s important to them. I draw inspiration from the indomitable human spirit, from people who refuse to give up and go after their dreams. And I try to live that way too.
What genre do you prefer to read?
I don’t have a preference but I prefer classic and literary stuff, recently finished Madame Bovary by Flaubert. I enjoy writing fantasy or science fiction but I don’t care to read it that much. To give you a better idea of what I do, currently on my bedside table is “Job: A Comedy of Justice” by Robert A Heinlein (sci fi); Generations, by Strauss and Howe (American history, nonfiction); and The Unbroken Web (cultural fables, retold) by Richard Adams. And while I walk I’m listening to a gritty indie book called Blood Sapphire’s Revenge, a sort of Tom Clancy-ish spy/assassin/action novel by Dr. Bruce Farmer, that one of my friends’ companies is publishing (Epigraph). I don’t think that for an author it’s always about preference of what to read, but to push yourself to get broader. So I might not prefer everything I read equally, but I read for research, for erudition, and in some ways entertainment value is third.
Do you have any specific authors you follow and try to craft your work after?
I admire humorists, Vonnegut, Garrison Keillor, Twain, anybody doing absurd things. I don’t try to craft my work after them. I have my own style. That being said I think what’s admirable about Vonnegut is his ability to recognize that a story synopsis is sometimes all there is, so he will say stuff like “Kilgore Trout had an idea for a story that went thus and so” and that’s all he ever does with it. Brilliant. The point is made and the story doesn’t need to be written.
Do you have any recurring themes in your book?
Yes, Travel, cross cultural and multi-cultural stuff, humor and absurd things, people who are trying to figure out their purpose in life. The last one is a recurring theme even from my first novel, White Buffalo Gold, and it’s a key piece of the Satchel Pong Chronicles.
What does your editing process look like?
Just gotta grind it out. Don’t get satisfied too easily. Allow things to be on the back burner if they need to for a while. I don’t recommend writing multiple books at once when someone is working on their first book; but after that is done, working on several is good, because if you’re stuck on one project you can still work.
Do you have a preferred drink or snack that you eat/drink while writing?
Coffee I guess. I like hot chocolate in winter. Before the pandemic I used to write at a locally-owned coffee shop and I know the owner, so after Covid started we decided to buy our coffee there instead of from a supermarket or big chain retailer, and we make it at home. We don’t go there as often but probably still spend the same amount of money on java! A good snack for writing is something that takes a long time to eat but doesn’t pack on the calories, so occasionally I’ll get sunflower seeds or pistachios in the shell.
When is your favorite time of day to write and why?
All day. Back in 2008 and 2009 when I was working on my first project I would sometimes stay up pretty late but I’m a lot older now and I can’t do that like I used to. I like the house quiet, but I don’t mind writing in a coffee shop – it’s less about noise and more about potential interruptions from my kids.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
Some of the sweetest places I have been purely for vacation: Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia; Thailand (I was at conferences there 4 times, with some work to do, but it is so nice that it felt like vacay); Spain-Gibraltar-Morocco. And Ain Sokhna in Egypt on the Red Sea. Just 2 months ago I hiked from Porto, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, a 200 mile trip in 2 weeks. Incredible. The key thing is to have a local contact, someone who can tell you the best place to eat that isn’t in a tourism brochure. In Jerez de la Frontera my wife’s best friend from childhood hooked us up with a ridiculously good flamenco concert in this little room with no decor and one lightbulb and two hours of clapping, dancing and guitar. It’s sometimes less about the spot and more about the connections you have.
Marvel or DC? Do you have a favorite character?
Marvel. Probably Spiderman. Just makes you feel like a kid to watch a Spiderman movie. We can all relate to feeling insecure in high school, right?
What hobbies do you have?
I play Vintage (1860’s rules) Base Ball. I once played in a tournament at the Field of Dreams in Iowa which was a dream come true. I play chess, I read and travel. I watch my boys play soccer, next fall my middle two kids will be senior and freshman on their varsity team. I like sports and I can spend a whole day at an art museum, too. I stay in shape by walking, usually 4 miles a day.
Where can our readers find you?
All my books are on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Adam-G-Fleming/e/B00MJ4FDVQ/
www.instagram.com/adam_g_fleming I post on IG more than anything. Shoot me a hello.
Born on an organic strawberry farm in central Illinois run by a hippie Mennonite commune, Adam G. Fleming's life only got more interesting when his family moved to France for language learning and on to central Congo (then known as Zaire) when he was in middle school (1987). Adam's most recent travel includes hiking the Camino de Santiago from Porto, Portugal in the fall of 2021 and living with his wife and children in Egypt for 8 months from July of 2019 until the pandemic began.
From 2007 to 2021 Adam has put most of his professional energy into the art of leadership coaching. He has trained people in coaching skills in at least 20 nations.
Adam's multi-cultural worldview, wacky sense of humor, and love of travel, as well as his understanding of how to ask a great question, are reflected in his books, which include novels, poems and nonfiction books on leadership and culture.
He wrote his first novel, White Buffalo Gold, in 2012 and now has more than a dozen titles to his credit. Adam recently completed The Satchel Pong Chronicles, a five book steampunk fantasy series. Adam lives in Goshen, Indiana, with his wife Megan. They have four children.