Meet the Creative: Luthaneal Adams
The next in this series of interviews bringing you inside the worlds of some of my favourite creatives.
This time I'm delighted to introduce you to one of my dearest friends, the talented writer and artist Luthaneal Adams!
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your creative story so far.
Okay, I'm Luthaneal Adams. As for my creative journey, so far... I guess it's been a cocktail of chaos, experimentation, and devotion. A few set-backs, here and there, but overall progress and a momentum that seems to be pushing in the right direction.
I started out in writing non-fiction, but my journey has seen me expand into fiction writing and recently, digital art.
Who or what inspired you to pursue your career and who or what have been the most important influences on your creative life and work?
I'd been ill for a long time, with a condition called Functional Neurological Disorder, coupled with Depression. Writing my first book, was in some ways a way for me to have a project to devote myself to, that I could do around the ups and downs of my health. It was a non-fiction book, about modern witchcraft covens and chronicled my personal spiritual journey in a way that I hoped could help other people, treading a similar path.
So, I suppose you could say that it was a spiritual inspiration that kicked it all off. But since then, there have been so many more inspirations. My love of horror has absolutely played into my first fiction book and is definitely present in my current work, too. Regarding horror, I would say that I draw inspiration from the likes of H.P. Lovecraft, Hammer Horror, and a large array of real-world folklore.
What are you working on today?
Right now, the main project I am working on is a roleplay game (similar to Dungeons & Dragons, and the like) and several content books and adventure modules, connected to it. Though, I've realised how unfortunate my timing has been with this project, thanks to Covid. That's really slowed down the production and development. But I think it is fair to say that the finish line is in sight now.
To sum it up, the game is set in a high-tech, futuristic, sci-fi city and sees the players taking on the roles of special law enforcement agents, who possess incredible magic or psychic powers. They're tasked with the job of protecting their city from more nefarious sorcerers and psychics, as well as any other supernatural threats that may lurk in the shadows.
How would you describe your writing and artistic style?
Hmmm. I really don't know. Maybe I should leave that for others to decide, But I think my style changes a fair amount, depending on what I'm writing and whether it is fiction or non-fiction.
When it comes to my artwork, perhaps the best way to describe it, would be "realistic comic book". Or something like that.
What was your first published work and how have you progressed to the projects you’re working on now?
My first published work was, I think, some poem in a collection, way back when I was in junior school. I can't remember what the book was, but I remember that I wrote a poem about a skeleton. I had a few articles published, here and there, but really my first "real" published work, is my book 'The Book of Mirrors'.
In many regards, The Book of Mirrors is a long way from the things I am currently working on. But at the same time, they are still connected. I draw on my real-world knowledge and qualifications in religious studies, along with mythology and folklore, to inform the fantasy in my books, so they are grounded in something realistic. I hope that this approach makes it all the more convincing and perhaps even strangely familiar, to the reader.
How do you start your creative process and from where do you get your inspiration?
Oh Gods, my creative process is pure chaos. I tend to need variety and can feel the will draining out of me, the longer I am stuck doing the same thing. So, I tend to spend a number of weeks doing one element of a project, then as the mood takes me I will then switch to something different, then later will change again.
So, I might focus on a certain chapter for a while, then do some artwork, then switch to editing, then working out rules mechanics, then back to artwork, then more writing, and so on.
As to where I get my inspiration, as I have already mentioned, real-world folklore and mythology plays a part. Especially things like old fairy lore, urban legends, and allegedly true encounters with the strange and mysterious. But I'll also get inspired by things like movies and anime.
What have been the greatest challenges for you so far?
Having to focus on one thing at a time. The big problem I find is that I get lots and lots of ideas in my head, but I know that there is no way that I can bring them all to life. So, I have to choose which ideas I want to work on and bring into the world, and which ones to leave drifting in the oblivion of my head-space.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The absolute freedom to create whatever I can conceive of and build entire worlds, for other people to visit. The freedom to shape it all around my own needs. So, my schedule is always flexible. I can start late and finish late, if I want. Work long hours one day and short hours another. Decide which days off I want each week. Just generally not being beholden to anyone, but myself.
When are you at your most productive?
When the mood takes me.
Honestly, if I am not in the right frame of mind to do art or write, then the end product will be crap and I'll have to re-do it. But when I'm really feeling it, I know I can do great things and I lose all track of time and the outside world.
Could you let us take a peek at your workspace?
Suuuuure. I actually just re-decorated my studio, to make it better for my photography work.
What have you learned that’s been invaluable to your creative process?
Be disciplined. But don't try to force it.
What do you listen to/watch when you’re working? And what's your favourite thing to snack on?
Really depends what I am doing. If it's creative writing, then I generally don't have anything on in the background, as it breaks the mood. This is especially true if I am writing horror. When writing horror, I do it in the dark, late at night, when there will be no distractions and the mood can match the dark mood in my head.
However, if I am writing non-fiction, I do that during the day, so that I can have all my research materials around me and close at hand.
If I'm doing digital art, though, there's a good chance that I've got a podcast in the background, on youtube.
I rarely snack while I work. I tend to have breakfast, then get to work - fuelled by multiple coffees throughout - and then not eat again until my stomach tells me it's time for dinner.
If you were granted an extra hour each day, how would you use it?
I like to think I would be productive and get more work done, and on some days that would be true, but I am pretty sure there would also be a lot of days where that extra hour would be spent in bed. Sleep is the best thing.
Do you have a motto or favourite quote for inspiration?
I used to have a gold piece of card on my wall, with big, black letters on it, just saying "ACHIEVE". But I don't have that up anymore. I made it for myself and it was supposed to be motivational.
There are a lot of quotes that I like. I have a fair number of books of quotes. But I don't think I have a favourite quote or motto. Maybe I should get one. I'm open to suggestions. Answers on a post card....or in the comments section.
What tip or truth would you tell yourself at the beginning of this journey if you could go back and give them a heads up?
If I had the power to travel back through time, you best believe that the thing I'm telling my younger self, is the winning lottery numbers.
Everything else he can figure out on his own.
What is it about your creative world that you are most proud of?
I've received emails from readers of my first book, saying how much it helped them and made them feel like they weren't alone. I'm very thankful for that and happy that it's been able to have that kind of effect on people.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing or creating art?
The secret is, that I am pretty much always working on my art. My brain just won't shut off. Even when I am not physically writing, drawing, etc. my mind is churning away with it, still.
That's not a flex. It's actually quite annoying.
It's great to have ideas, but it really sucks to not have the time or physical energy to get them all out of your head.
Sometimes, having your mind fervently working away at something, even while you're doing something else, can be an absolute blessing. It gets those problems solved and means I can come up with some fantastic things. But then there's the other side of it, when it won't let you sleep or focus on the movie you're trying to watch, or hear what someone is saying to you. Then it can really suck.
However, that being said, I do get to unwind and distract myself. I play roleplay games with my friends. I watch movies and shows. Go out to dinner and lunch. I also do some volunteer work.
What are your plans or ambitions for the future?
Getting the current project finished, is the main thing. But I have a few other projects simmering away, too. Including a comedy novel that I have been working on, on and off, for some time. Another horror novel, and another game.
What are you looking forward to next?
I really don't know. I have some photoshoots coming up, with some fantastic models, which should be a lot of fun and provide me with some great materials for my digital art. So, that should be good.
Where would you like to be in 10 years?
Travelling back in time to me now, delivering the winning lottery numbers.
How can we find out more about you?
But if you're so inclined, you can check out my poor, neglected website: www.luthanealadams.com
Plus, I'm on Facebook. You can find my page there, by searching for 'Luthaneal Adams'.