Adam, in addition to being the technological heart of Theory Train, is an author in his own right. I interview him about his series, McCallister Chronicles.
Eileen Young: So, what’s McCallister Chronicles about?
Adam P. Schreckenberger: Hmm, that’s a good question. Sometimes, I don’t even know the answer to that one myself. Upfront, it’s about a knight’s duty when it comes to his princess, but that seemed a little boring on its own. To some extent, it is about the endless insanity that lurks in my imagination and a mythology I created to pass the time. I can do whatever I want in those pages. I want a sword that talks? Fine. I want people that can wield fire? Fantastic! It also keeps my girlfriend happy, which carries a lot of benefits.
EY: Was she part of what inspired you to write it?
APS: Oh yes, she was. We had been thinking about writing a story together for a long time, but it just never worked out. One day, she really needed an upbeat, new tale. I sat down and wrote the five pages that became Episode 1. Like always, I posted it on my site for kicks. What I did not expect was the response.
EY: There was a lot of interest?
APS: That day still holds the record for most hits, and I got a few emails with messages asking if I was planning to write new chapters.
EY: Wow, that’s impressive. And you’ve continued to release the chapters as free downloads. What was the thought behind that?
APS: Well, I am a physicist. Writing is my hobby, and that is how it is going to stay. It just has never felt right forcing my readers to purchase my works. Originally, it was motivated by the fact that most of my fans, if you want to call them that, were in high school and had no fixed income. In that sense, it became a simple choice. Either I’d charge for my stuff and no one would read the pieces, or I’d have them available free of charge. Old habits are hard to break.
EY: And now you have the first several episodes available in print. What made you decide to make it available that way, too?
APS: Some of my friends are diehard supporters of MC. When they asked me to make a printed copy available, I obliged. Plus, let’s face it. It is awesome to hold a physical copy of something you wrote. It certainly brings me some joy.
EY: It really is. So, you never considered publishing traditionally?
APS: Once upon a time, I did. I was in talks with a publishing house, but there were terms of the deal that I just did not like. For starters, everyone could kiss the free copies goodbye. They also wanted to put me on a timetable for the remainder of the series, which is not acceptable when one factors in my job. I guess it would be nice to have it released in the traditional sense. It would certainly make it more capable of receiving some recognition, but I am proud of what the book has accomplished.
EY: Is there anything else you’d like to say?
APS: I am grateful that I had the opportunity and the motivation to write MC. It brought me new friends, and pushed my old friends even closer. There is also something worth mentioning to those out there that are on the fence about writing a book or self-publishing. Just do it. Whether you put it on a blog, dA or some website, getting your work out there is worth the effort. We are all extremely fortunate to live in a time when these tools are available to us. Do not let them go unused.