Thomas Schaefer is haunted by a memory.
He has devoted a large part of his adult life to finding his kidnapped daughter. Since Amber’s disappearance ten years ago, Schaefer has become an expert in the recovery of missing people – his particular specialty is rescuing young adults from cults.
Schaefer inhabits a dark world populated by sinister characters. His obsession with finding Amber draws him down a desperate path. His only seeming sources of succor are Doctor Harry Gilmore, a renowned cult deprogrammer, and Ellen Ovitz, a psychic Schaefer once consulted in his desperation to find his daughter. Gilmore and Ellen represent different approaches to life – the rational and the spiritual – and Schaefer finds himself torn between the two.
Against his better judgment, Schaefer takes on a case that Gilmore brings him – the disappearance of a young girl, Katie Blake. The case shares many similarities with Amber’s kidnapping – the two girls even look the same. Schaefer meets Katie’s mother, Sally Blake, and says he will find her missing daughter. Schaefer starts by shaking down known pedophiles, but has little success. He also asks a police contact to investigate an occult symbol found at the scenes of Amber’s and Katie’s kidnappings.
As he encounters events he cannot explain, Schaefer turns to Ellen Ovitz, who tells Schaefer that there is a dark cloud around him – that he must give up the search for his daughter if he is to have any hope of salvation.
Alistair Mathers, a distinguished occultist, discovers that Schaefer is at the heart of a dark conspiracy. Schaefer cannot give up the search for his daughter, and finds himself struggling with the challenge of an increasingly macabre world. When he is used to kill an innocent man and implicated in the murder of his police contact, Schaefer goes on the offensive and tracks down the people who are manipulating him. Schaefer discovers that he and his daughter are part of an occult ceremony that goes back hundreds of years, and that there is much more at stake than their lives: their souls face the prospect of eternal damnation.
Adam has stopped by for an interview:
? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Sitting in my commercial law tutorial realising that a career in law wouldn’t let me exercise an overactive imagination.
? How many jobs did you have before you became a writer?
I tried turning pro when I was 22, but lacked the discipline to do anything but kill time. So I embarked on a corporate career and had four jobs before I had another crack at writing. This time it seems to have worked out.
? How long does it take you to write a book?
So far the average has been about four months.
? What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Phase is only my second novel, so I’m not sure I’ve been writing long enough to develop quirks. I do like listening to drum and bass music as I write, however, so if things seem like they’re happening at 150 beats per minute there’s a reason.
? Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?
From life. Live life, talk to people, expose yourself to the most colourful people you possible can, listen to their stories, peel back the layers and understand the psychology behind them.
? How do you decide what you want to write about?
There’s a buzz of excitement that always comes with a new idea. If the buzz remains after you’ve chewed it over for a couple of months, it’s probably worth pursuing.
? What books have most influenced your life?
The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo, Cloud Atlas, the works of Stephen King, the works of Peter Biskind, and Jeeves & Wooster.
? What are you reading right now?
A draft manuscript of Welcome Home by my friend Adam Sydney.
? What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Spend time with my family, make films and go to the gym.
? What is your favorite comfort food?
Lamb shawarma from Ranoush Juice on Edgware Road.
? What do you think makes a good story?
An emotional reaction. If I can write something that thrills, saddens, angers or otherwise emotionally engages people, I feel I’ve done something right.
? Who would you consider your favorite author and why?
Alexandre Dumas. He wrote entertaining tales of adventure that were considered a little trashy and populist by contemporaries, but have stood the test of time.
Fun random questions:
· dogs or cats? Dogs
· Coffee or tea? Tea
· Dark or milk chocolate? Dark
· Rocks or flowers? Rocks
· Night or day? Night
· Favorite color? Blue
· Crayons or markers? Markers
· Pens or pencils? Pencils
Thanks for having me.
More about the author:
Adam Hamdy is a British writer and filmmaker. Hamdy’s self-published debut novel, Battalion, has been described by critics as a ‘blistering political, techno-thriller’ (The Lottery Party) and a ‘must read’ (Bookreview.com). Hamdy executed innovative deals with The Huffington Post and Qustodian to promote the book, which currently rates 4.3 stars on Amazon.com, and 4.6 stars on Amazon.co.uk.
Hamdy produced and co-directed the critically acclaimed, award-nominated cult feature, Pulp, which was sold to Microsoft and became the first fi lm to ever premiere on the Xbox platform. After Pulp’s successful UK launch, Microsoft released the fi lm in Australia and New Zealand, where it quickly shot to number one in the overall fi lm sales chart in both territories.
Hamdy has also written for the comic and video game industries, and created The Hunter, one of the most successful series of independent graphic novels in recent years.
Hamdy holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of London and an MA in Law from Oxford University. He had a successful international business career before changing direction to pursue his long-held ambition to become a writer and filmmaker.