All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Author Q&A With…….Adam Crettenden

Today I am happy to have Adam Crettenden here for a chat. Adam is the author of two books and recently took the time to answer some of my questions on reading, writing, his career and life. Thanks Adam!

Q1. Hi Adam and welcome to my blog. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for me. To get us started….tell us a little about yourself.

Thank you Bree. I work full-time in the racing industry and have been a commentator for almost 25 years. I’ve done plenty of other things aside from my full-time work to make the most out of life, and writing a book seems to have been that ‘next thing’ to do.

Q2. Your first book is a non-fiction about the famous racehorse Subzero, winner of the 1992 Melbourne Cup. How exactly did that come about and what was the research and writing process like?

Subzero’s Melbourne Cup win was a turning point of my life. 1992 was the year I did a school project on the racing industry and it was the first Melbourne Cup I went to. I vividly remember the events of that day and have fortuitously encountered Subzero many times in his promotional duties in the years since. His owner, Graham Salisbury has always been keen for a book to be written and I decided to catalogue some photographs which led to some further research and from there I just carried on writing a manuscript. I loved the research and discovering the stories (many previously untold) but initially found the writing quite cumbersome because of my naivety to writing. I employed a freelance editor to work with me and I completely wrote the book three times over before I had a manuscript worth taking to a publisher.

Q3. From there you’ve expanded to writing a children’s book, Sam Junior’s Day. What gave you the idea to focus on something completely different?

A lot of Sam Junior’s Day was done before Subzero. My illustrator, Caitlin Tolsma did her work in 2015 on the project but then Subzero came along and demanded my complete attention which put the children’s book on the backburner. Sam Junior is our family border collie who is quite habitual, but a kind and playful dog who just wants to please everybody he meets. He is part of our family and it is a joy to have this book completed for him.

Q4. You’ve chosen to publish Sam Junior’s Day yourself. How have you found the process in comparison to publishing Subzero which was published traditionally with one of the “big 5 publishers”?

Completely different. Obviously, to have Penguin Random House guide me through the production of my first book was a massive help. It took away the need for me to think of printing, distributing and marketing. I could solely focus on the editing of the manuscript. Part of the Sam Junior’s Day journey was to experience the self-publishing world and I’m so glad I’ve done that because there were a number of challenges along the way and I learnt a lot about things such as formatting which is critical, depending on the platform you list on.

Q5. Having seen some different sides of publishing, what do you think is the biggest challenge as an author?

It will always be surrounding the story you are portraying. I believe Subzero was a strong enough story that it could have been written and commercially published by anyone who had the dedication and passion to write an accurate account of his life. Subzero was a strong topic, and that’s what attracted the eyes of a major publisher. As the author, I then had to produce the writing to reflect that strong topic, which was greatly enhanced by the staff at Penguin.

Q6. Are you a reader yourself? If so, what do you like to read?

I have a chuckle to myself regarding my reading habits. As a kid, I generally hated it. I was a kid who played sport and that’s all that interested me. The only book I enjoyed through my entire school life was Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell. It left such an impression on me that wrote every essay I could in Year 12 on it and making English my best subject – the one subject I never really cared about! I still have that book on my shelf today. However, as I’ve grown older, I have become a reader, particularly sports biographies. I’ve collected many Dick Francis novels over the years and since many of his stories are based on horse racing, I find them quite easy to follow his fictional plots.

Q7. What does the future hold for you, writing wise?

Not entirely sure. After Subzero was released, I thought that would allow me to move on to the ‘next thing’, but I am currently considering writing something else – can’t say too much just yet though.

Q8. And lastly for a bit of fun…..if you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 things would you consider essential?

I’m a practical man so I’ll say a hammock, a pair of sunnies and a satellite telephone to call for the fully-fuelled speedboat whenever I’m ready to leave.


Buy Subzero from Booktopia (also available in print from good bookstores) as well as Amazon & iBooks
Buy Sam Junior’s Day from Amazon & iBooks

Check back tomorrow for my review of Sam Junior’s Day featuring a very special little guest reviewer!

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