Selling cars by day, local playwright creates vampire novels at night
Al Klimcke, Courier Post 2/00
Maple Shade writer Scott Charles Adams, whose day job is selling cars, didn't send out any valentines this year.
The lanky, bespectacled chain smoker doesn't believe in romance. He tends to look at relationships from the dark side.
Adams is the author of a one-act, three character play, currently on the boards in Philadelphia, that trashes the familiar boy-meets-girl, happily-ever-after scenario.
In his play, Love American Style, it's more like boy meets girl, boy lies to her and cheats on her, girl lies right back and says she'll put up with his philandering as long as he keeps her in a style to which she would like to become accustomed.
Boy says he'll go along with that if the sex is good enough, and the curtain falls.
Well ... this is pretty close to the plot of the play. He did pretty well considering I gave him a half-assed description and he hadn't seen it yet.
Spiced with sarcastic repartee, the piece is being performed in excellent company on a bill with anti-romantic one-acts by Eugene O'Neill, Terrence McNally and David Ives.
A long-time enthusiast of South Jersey community theater, Adams has had supporting roles at Footlighters in Cinnaminson, Playcrafters in Cherry Hill and Haddonfield Plays & Players.
He lives with his father and a sister and makes ends meet selling cars at Maple Shade Mazda while working at his real love, writing.
He wrote Love American Style specifically for the current show title Heart Attacks. It's the annual ritual debunking of Valentine's Day schmaltz by a youthful theater company called Theatrix.
The show runs through Feb. 27 at 2ND Stage, the Adrienne theater, 2030 Sandom St.
The Heart Attacks concept meshes perfectly with Adams' personal perspective.
"I'm rather cynical about dating," he says. "I've been around the block a few times. I don't know if I'll ever let myself be dragged into another antique store.
"Women like to demonstrate their dominance by making men stand for long periods of time in places they have no interest being," he explains.
On a darker note, Adams is the author of a self-published, modern-day vampire novel title ... never dream, and is at work on a sequel.
His vampires, though traditional bloodsuckers, do not kill their victims. They just drain off an occasional pint or two, like Brits in a neighborhood pub.
Neither do they dabble in romance.
"Two of my protagonists have lived hundreds of years," Adams says, "They're way beyond that. They're much too practical."
He and his book share a Web site at neverdream.com. The book is available at borders Books & Music in Marlton and online at Amazon.com.
At 31, Adams is unmarried and confident he will remain so for some time.
"Whenever I meet a new woman it doesn't take long to figure out exactly why she'll eventually dump me -- or I'll dump her," he says. "I just don't have the right frame of mind for the wife thing."
Who would argue?
Not an error, just an ironic little note -- I got engaged less than three months after this article was printed.
Maple Shade writer adds his 'Style' to Theatrix's production
Sally Friedman, Burlington County Times 2/11/00
For as long as he can remember, Scott Charles Adams of Maple Shade has been writing.
He wrote from his imagination when he was growing up in Edgewater Park, and he wrote during study halls and computer classes at Burlington City High School.
His first novel was written at the age of 18, and although it was never published, it was a valuable learning experience.
My mistake ... I was actually 19 when I finished Through the Breach.
Then there was a brief foray into higher education at Drexel University because Adams' father hoped his son would study engineering. But even the compromise -- physics -- didn't work, and when money became an issue, Adams left college and basically moved out to be on his own.
"I got a job at Macmillan Book Clubs, and worked my way up to production coordinator for Weekly Reader, a national educational publication. In many ways, it was a perfect schedule -- I could work eight hours, and write the rest of the time."
I have to interject here, just because 'production coordinator' sounds like a big, important job. It wasn't. It was monkey work. No, it was worse than that ... even a monkey would have been insulted.
In 1992, after working behind the scenes at various local theaters, Adams drifted into acting and discovered that he could have fun -- and meet interesting friends -- through the craft. There were flings with Burlington County Footlighters, Haddonfield Plays and Players, and other local groups.
Actually, I didn't do any work behind the scenes. I'm not sure exactly what I said to give her this impression ... perhaps that my first role was a silent part, and when I refer back to it, I generally say something about the fact that I was a Furniture Mover.
"I was a little hard to cast because I'm 6-foot-5,and it was always a challenge to make an audience forget that I look like Godzilla," he said.
The whole story was as follows ...
I played Phillip in Lion in Winter back in '98. Basically, I was not only too old for the part, I was also physically too large. Phillip is supposed to be an effeminiate 17 year-old French king. As usual, I was pinch-hitting -- they'd begun the show without a Phillip, and they asked me to do it because they didn't have anyone and I was available. I haven't looked 17 since I was 12.
For my first entrance, the line is, 'I hear he's quite impressive for a boy of 17,' then out walks this big circus-freak. The joke was, when I watched it on video tape it looked as though Godzilla had just walked into Tokyo.
"I hear he's quite impressive for a boy of seventeen ... Aaieeeee! Run for your lives! Godzilla attacks the city!"
It was during that phase of his life that Adams not only wrote and published a novel called ... never dream about vampires and werewolves; it was also when he began doing some comedy skit writing for Philadelphia's Brick Playhouse.
Um ... I never actually wrote anything for the Brick. I met Laura Gross through Carolyn West (the editor of ... never dream), and it's Carolyn who writes for the Brick.
By now in a "day job" selling cars at Maple Shade Mazda, and thorugh his collaboration with another writer, he came to know Laura Gross, the artistic director of Philadelphia's Theatrix, a company dedicated to producing new and/or unusual works. The company's annual spoof of romantic love, "Heart Attacks!!!" is one of its most popular, and is billed as an "anti-Valentine" production.
"Laura and I got to talking about it, and she invited me to do a play for this years production," said Adams, who was delighted to have a go at sardonic humor. The result is "Love, American Style," which is one of the four featured works in "Heart Attacks!!!," running at the Adrienne Theater through Feb. 27.
Um ... she didn't actually invite me. I dashed something off within a few days of meeting her, and had Carolyn show it to her. She called me about six months later and told me she was interested in producing it. By that time, I'd completely forgotten that I'd even written the sucker.
Adams work is the only original piece in the line-up, which includes works by Eugene O'Neill, David Ives, and Terrence McNally.
Love, American Style, is the playwright's view of a first date run amok, with the couple actually saying exactly what they think instead of posturing. "The remarkable thing is that everyone's honest," says Adams.
His characters, Dan and Cheryl, explained the playwright, are in some ways every twenty-something male and female, struggling to make a connection that matters.
DAN: So, you're already decided you're going to sleep with me?
CHERYL: You had me at pre-law.
Um ... she hadn't seen the play when she wrote this, either. Again, it's my short-coming ... I don't think I gave her a good enough idea of just what it was about.
Adams' regret is that he couldn't spend as much time as he would have liked sitting in on the process, under director Laurie Brown, that would take his work from page to stage.
For now, Adams is content to continue selling cars, a career he finds unexpectedly satisfying, and one that provides interesting clues into human nature, and to work in his writing as much as he can.
This one's actually my favorite one ... I think because this interview was about a book signing rather than the one-act play.
New Author says his vampire tale has its roots in realism
Suzanne Casey, Maple Shade Progress 6/2/00
When Scott Charles Adams began writing at the age of 13, it was mostly short stories and poetry. By the time he was 19, he had begun his first novel, a medieval fantasy.
And now, at 32, the former Maple Shade resident is a featured author at book signings with his first published novel, never dream.
Ahem. At the time, I was only 31 ... this must have been my mistake. Sometimes, I miscount.
Though his press release describes the book as a "story of a conflict between two groups of vampires and a mortal caught in the middle" as well as the "appearance of a wolf with a predilection for English." Adams is quick to expand on the plot.
"It's more male Anne Rice, sort of Anne Rice meets James Cameron -- Terminator Cameron, not Titanic Cameron," he points out.
"It's like a supernatural thriller, but almost a detective story. Actually, it's not so easily categorized because it has all the elements of several different genres," he said, giving in to his explanation. "Because they are portrayed as real life, my characters are ordinary people who have something extraordinary happen to them."
Adams acknowledges Anne Rice's influence on his writing a tale about vampires, and even tips his hat to her in the book. "If not for Anne Rice, I would never have gotten into vampires," said the author. "Vampires had gotten pretty campy over the years, but she revitalized them with her books."
Adams said his intention was to have his story be more action packed, but is finding that women are getting much more into it than he expected.
"There is a very strong female character and she is definitely identifiable by women," he said.
A resident of Maple Shade for over 13 years, Adams was known mostly by his day job, selling cars at Maple Shade Mazda. "I always found that if you're nice to people you get a nice reaction," he said of his sales job. "It's been really good for me as real jobs go, but not as good as writing."
This is a really minor thing, but I didn't actually live in Maple Shade for 13 years. I think I was there for about five, or so. Wow ... heh ... I didn't realize until just now that I'd lived in Maple Shade for so long. Gosh, maybe it was even six or seven years. Hmm ... I guess she was more accurate than I was.
Currently, the multi-talented writer is working on the sequel to never dream, titled never dream II: rogue, as well as a rewrite of a screenplay titled Passed Around. And if that isn't enough, he is in rehearsals for The Taming of the Shrew -- a Shakespeare in the Park production to be presented by the Palmyra Bridgeplayers and set to open on the July 4th weekend.
Adams admits that he fell into acting back in 1992 with the Burlington County Footlighters in Cinnaminson.
"Originally, I was terrible, just awful," he said. "But I learned my lines and showed up and went on to pinch hit for two years in regional theater." His role in The Taming of the Shew is actually a reprise of his role in 1993. He readily admits shaping characters in his books after different actors he has known. "Acting is more of a character study for my writing than is car sales."
Since its publication, never dream has been picked up by Amazon.com and has already sold over 100 copies and received 14 reviews. Adams attended a book signing at Waldenbooks in Deptford earlier this month and credits the book chains with providing supports for his publication.
An excerpt from the book is available on Adams' website neverdream.com.
Where you are now! How about that?
Though Adams recently relocated, he still sells cars by day. And he still carries his notebook with him.
"I'm the guy who is always scribbling in a notebook," he added laughing.
That's true ... I was laughing -- but probably because the full statement I had in mind was, "I'm the guy who sits in a go-go bar, scribbling in a notebook." I edited myself for her sake, but I don't have to do that here, do I?
Oh -- and I don't go to those places anymore. The fiancée wouldn't like it. ;)
Burlington City grad drops by to sign his first book
Gail Sweet, Burlington County Times 8/18/00
Vampires are alive and well, at least between the covers of a new book by Voorhees resident Scott Charles Adams.
"... never dream" ($15) is a modern day vampire tale with vampires that are more genteel than many well known creatures of the night. It is the story of a conflict between two groups of vampires and a mortal caught in the middle.
In his debut novel, however, Adams' vampires suck a little blood but do not kill their victims.
The author is a 1986 graduate of Burlington City High School. "Most of my classmates would say Scott who? I was quiet but a comedian. I didn't say anything unless it was funny. I actually stared writing on the school computers but I don't think anyone knew what I was doing. They probably just thought I was a strange computer person," he said.
Adams' book features several vampires, including one who is 700 years old. Yes, there are parts of the author in the book with one notable exception. According to Adams, vampires are too practical to be romantic. He is, however, getting married on Oct. 1.
"The wedding does not have a vampire theme but will be non-traditional," he said.
The bride, who will be attired in peach and purple, is writing the service with Wiccan and mainstream religious overtones. The groom is writing his own vows.
Does Adams believe in vampires? "I don't think that they really exist. I have never met one and don't think I ever will. They are too farfetched." He credits much of his interest in vampires to Anne Rice's books and video games such as "Vampires: The Masquerade."
Um ... this isn't actually a video game, it's a pencil-and-paper role-playing game put out by White Wolf.
While interested in a plot with a lot of action he worked to create strong characters that make the action secondary. As a result the book appeals to those who do not usually read vampire novels as well as those who are fans of the genre.
He wrote "... never dream" on a 10-year-old Macintosh computer at home during an 18 month period. It was originally twice as long but he cut it in half. He has now graduated to a lap top computer and is using the edited portion of "... never dream" as the basis for the sequel. There will probably be 3 or 4 books in the series.
The second book, tentatively titled "never dream II: rogue," will probably take a little longer to complete. "While I was writing '... never dream,' I was a bachelor and never dated. I may not be able to write another book in 18 months because of my significant other, but she is very supportive," he said.
Adams has a web site that features an excerpt from "... never dream" (neverdream.com) as well as a humorous advice page "The Truth According to Iago & Mrs. Steele," but he doesn't foresee the publication of one of his books online. "A computer works best for stories that are told in video games. A book wouldn't take advantage of what a computer can do. I don't think that books will ever really go away," he said.
Adams has also written a one act play "Love American Style," that was produced this year by Philadelphia's Second Stage Theatre.
He is also writing a screenplay, as well as working for Maple Shade Mazda by day.
Um ... I'm not actually working for Maple Shade Mazda. As of this writing, I hadn't worked for them for some months ... I'm not sure where this might have come from.