Having recently read (and loved) “Soho” – Part One of the “Theo and Maria” series, ThePageisPrinted invited author Rob Adam into HQ for a chat.
Firstly, could you tell me a little about yourself? Who is Rob Adam?
have to apologise in advance, but I can’t lie.. I have to confess! After an evening of drinking copious amounts of red wine, midweek might I add, this is the bit that I have left until the very end to to the open, ambiguity of the question. Okay, so, where to begin..I’m a 39 year old gay man living in Yeovil, treading water in my current job role as a customer service agent until my true calling of “author extraordinaire” comes to light… I’m artistic and creative by nature, but have always been a realist.
Sound good enough.. No? Okay.. Let me dig a little deeper.. Without a doubt I’m a lover of the human race.. Everything on the spectrum from the damaged to the slightly bruised. The confident and borderline arrogant to the unjustifiably timid. The secretive to the wide open, the unexpected to the predictable, the raucously funny to the seemingly dull.
I love to cook. For anyone who reads my books, you’ll realise this quite quickly. I cook everything from Spanish Tapas, French bistro to Dim Sum.. You name it, I’ve cooked it. Ask any of my friends I love horrors, thrillers, independents, and foreign films, and let’s not forget the cry-your-heart-out, intentionally, emotional, sob-fests. Surely that’s enough
“Soho” is a hugely fun read exploring the lives of two characters living in contemporary London. What inspired you to write it?
I’m really glad you asked that, Luke. Growing up as a gay teenager in a small town in Somerset with so few positive depictions of homosexuality, I rapidly became jaded. The frequent visits to the local video store to find sharp, witty, gay themed stories would almost certainly end in a disappointing choice of two options… Option one.. Porn – or thinly disguised instructional safe sex videos, otherwise known as soft core porn. Or, option two – awkward, heart wrenching stories of coming out followed by self loathing, or excessive drug taking to cope with said self loathing.
After my fifth, foolishly optimistic trip to the shop, something inside me just clicked and I thought to myself… This just isn’t good enough. I don’t want someone feeling sorry for me for being gay. I actually feel very proud to belong to the community and so should every gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person! So, when I finally felt I had enough life experience under my belt to start writing the first of the books in the trilogy, I thought, what better place to start than our capital, Soho… and the rest, as they say, is history.
There are hints of both Sex and the City and Queer as Folk in the book, but it’s also very much your own – and there’s something very British and specific to the events in the book, especially the in-depth knowledge of Soho. Was this a conscious decision?
Definitely! I believe that we are very lucky to live in Britain. We have an incredibly varied multicultural community, vibrant and diverse sexualities, and let’s not forget, we have our well renowned ( and much loved ) British sarcasm, and I wanted to celebrate that to the fullest. As for the hinted influences from Sex and the City ( hail to Carrie and the gang ) and Queer as Folk ( who can forget that scene between Stuart and Nathan ) I couldn’t agree more! In reference to Sex and The City, I was elated to learn, as I’m sure we all were, that these incredibly independent, sassy and successful women, were brought to life in all their authenticity from Candice’s perfectly realised source material, by a group of extremely talented gay men! Much in the same way as our American counterparts, I believe that Maria and Theo’s dynamic is unique. They can take the proverbial piss out of each other one minute, only to come together in unending solidarity the next.
There’s a lot of sex in the book – but somehow it always seems rather fun and joyous, and never veers into being at all seedy. Was celebrating sex and sexuality something you were keen to do?
If you think there’s a lot of sex in Soho, just wait until you read book two, Luke! ( Cold showers recommended ). Seriously though, you are quite right. As someone who has always believed in the open discussion of sex and sexuality, I wanted it to be playful, erotic, and above all, realistic. I would confidently bet that if I was able to ask a cross section of the people reading this right now, they would have at some point or another, burst into fits of laughter whilst in the throws of passion due to one or the other saying something funny or risqué. I think it is the one thing that joins us all as human beings. No matter who we are, no matter what our bodies look like, and no matter how old we get, sex and sexuality is something that should always be celebrated and over all, enjoyed.
Whilst Theo initially appears to be the main character, it soon becomes clear that Maria is just as important. How hard was it to get yourself into the mindset of such a vibrant woman as Maria?
Of all the questions you have asked me, I am utterly thrilled that you recognise that there are two main characters who are equal in their presence! I will come back to the reason for my gratitude for this recognition later, but for now.. delving into Maria’s mindset. I apologise in advance for rambling for the next sentence, but the reason for the accuracy of Maria is because of two reasons. The first being the rich tapestry of women I am lucky enough to call my dear friends: Zoe, Abi, Kate, Louise, Ness, Hayley,Jenny, Annu, Anna, Donna, Ashley, Maxine, Gill, Janet… the list, literally is never ending. Each one of these incredible women have made me feel in awe, delighted, connected, impassioned, inspired, motivated and above all, lucky to know them. Over many, many nights of ‘girl talk’ and frank discussions, I have been welcomed into their collective bosom as one of their own. The second is more organic to me: I used to be a woman.. I’m kidding! Seriously though, the reason I have been able to write from a strong female perspective is that I have grown up identifying with the female psyche. I love the comradery and the connection that women have with each other. I love how they are indelibly linked through their mutual understanding and their capacity for love and communication, something I have always been in complete solidarity with.
“Soho” would make for a great tv show – do you have any actors in mind should it reach the silver screen?
I love this question! Of all the people who have read Soho, believe it or not, this is the most commonly asked, ( due to the majority proportion of the book being dialogue, therefore reading like a script, and thus feeling like a film or television programme ), although, usually people ask me for movie star castings as opposed to television stars
So, starting with, in my opinion, the easiest person to cast, Maria. I cannot put into words how incredibly proud, elated, orgasmically, through-the-roof-happy, I would be if I could have Mila Kunis to step into her shoes. When I watched her appearance on Alan Carr a few years ago, I was amazed at her adept ability at ‘ laugh out loud ‘ British humour. Beauty and brains equals Maria.
The next easiest would be Kez… Idris Elba, without a shadow of a doubt!! He is one smooth, charismatic, beautiful man that encapsulates everything that is a strong, London born and bred, black man.
Theo, oddly enough, is my hardest to place ( due to his heavy influence and character basing of, none other than me ). The jury is well and truly out on him..I have my own ideas, but, since he’s based in me, I wouldn’t like to reveal
Callum.. Oh, Callum, how I love you.. If I used an american counterpart, I would choose Kevin Hart for his height and his impeccable comedy timing, but I would equally love Jason Steed, another of our homegrown British talent, to assume the role. I’ll keep my lips sealed for the rest of the cast… you know.. In case it comes into fruition
Finally – what’s next for Rob Adam?
Where, oh where to begin!? Well, aside from the final two components to the Theo and Maria Trilogy that are also available on Amazon , I feel it’s necessary to mention the prequel to Soho, So Far.. which is the back story to the trilogy.. ( I urge you to read this before starting book three due to the twists and turns that have important relevance and reference to the series )
As for the unrelated, you could indulge in Cut It Out, a novelette that can only be described as a ‘ who fucked who? ‘ with a comedic and completely unexpected twist..
Work in progresses include a numerous dating, multiple storytelling angled novel based on a restaurant, not dissimilar to the hugely popular television series ‘ First Dates ‘.
But… Exclusively.. the book that my friends and family are desperate for me to finish, is a new project that is so far removed from my usual.. It crosses multiple genres and can only be described as a science fiction/ horror/ cat-and-mouse unbearably tense thriller..
Before I head off, I would like to thank Luke for taking the time to read my book and for giving it such a glowing review and I would also like to thank you all for listening to my endless, waffling diatribe, I do appreciate it.. please enjoy
Thanks for stopping by Rob! We’re looking forward to reading Part Two, and our review of “Soho” is now up here: