Fiction Fest: 10 questions with ‘Lair of the Serpent’ author, T. Lynn Adams

T. Lynn AdamsT. Lynn Adams’ “Tombs of Terror” series — which includes June’s “Lair of the Serpent” — has been optioned by Hollywood producer Kevin Buxbaum, who produced “Avatar” and “Life of Pi.”

The book is the third in the series and was released on June 11, 2013. You can get a copy of the books on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and BooksAndThings.com.

Adams recently took some time to field a few questions in our Fiction Fest hot seat. Take it away, Terri!

Your “Tombs of Terror” series has been optioned by Hollywood. Will you tell us how that came about?

Hollywood producer Kevin Buxbaum, who is best known for his award-winning “Life of Pi” and “Avatar,” saw a newspaper article about the release of my first book, “Tombs of Terror.” He thought it sounded intriguing so he ordered a copy. He fell in love with the entire premise and tracked me down to option the movie rights. It has been interesting to visit with him about the process of turning a book into a movie. We have also had fun working together on an entirely different movie idea for children.

How did you come up with the story?

All of my books are based on fact. I find an interesting piece of history, grab a local legend and wind the two together. While in Peru as a missionary I heard the legends of the hidden tunnels of the Incas and stories of people falling in them and wandering for days before coming out some place different. I thought it would make a great teenage adventure story so, years later, I turned it into a story that my own children could read.

Since we’re talking Hollywood, who would you cast as the main characters in motion picture versions of your books?

My kids keep saying I should cast them!

Who would score and contribute to the soundtrack?

There are so many great composers but who wouldn’t want Howard Shore to compose their soundtrack?

What is your writing process like?

I would love to say I write on a set schedule every day in a private office with flowers and wildlife outside my window but that isn’t my reality. With my job and a family of eight personal schedules don’t survive very long and my office is most often the kitchen table where I can keep up with the coming and going of my family, do the dishes, cook meals and hear the washing machine between writing dramatic paragraphs. Actually, the only real set writing process I have is to pray first. If I feel out of sorts in my relationship with God nothing works.

What is the most joy writing has brought to you?

I enjoy it when a fan comes up to me and tells me their favorite part in one of my novels. I love it when teachers call and ask me to come talk to their students. And I am touched when something I’ve written on my spiritual blog, myldsthoughts, buoys up a reader. 

What is your current work in progress?

I am working on a YA thriller that blends fantasy, reality and a touch of the paranormal in a way I have never seen before. The beta readers have loved it and I think it has even more Silver Screen potential than my first series! It takes a look at the hidden but very real world of good and evil all around us.

What is your least favorite aspect of publishing a book?

My least favorite aspects about writing a book are time management and writer’s block. My least favorite aspect of publishing a book is finding a mistake after the book has gone to print!

What are a few of the things you would include in a letter to your 17-year-old self?

Life will be full of unexpected surprises but you will enjoy them.

What advice would you like to offer to aspiring novelists?

I agree with Rex C. Reeve, Jr., who said the greatest books have yet to be written. Those books may be sitting out there right now, partially started by writers who have made great beginnings but just need that final push to finish and submit them. Those aspiring novelists may have one of the greatest books ever written so I would encourage them to write what they love, finish what they start, and then take a deep breath and send it in. And for those who have submitted and been rejected I would say there is no shame in a rejection letter—only another chance to improve.