Hey there! It’s me, Christopher, back again with a brand new novel, this time written in partnership with my co-writer and brother, Alex Sergi. Go and check out his new website.
So what’s this, what is Adam and the Goat? Adam and the Goat is a novel about a young man who thinks he’s got it all, until a talking Goat comes along and throws a spanner in works, leading Adam onto a path he never thought he’d see himself on.
This novel has drama! It has action…LOADS of action, seriously we pumped this novel with nonsense! It’s got tears, it’s got friendships, love and a f*** load of swearing! We’re very proud of it, really we are. If you’re up a for a dark comedy about a talking goat, we’ve got you covered.
After finishing my first novel Everscape, I was ready for a new project, but I wasn’t looking to write a sequel to Everscape just yet. I wanted to put my debut on the back-burner for a while whilst I honed my writing craft.
If you’ve ever followed me in the past, you might know that I used to dedicate my blogging and writing to both Animal and human rights. Animal rights were and still are a huge passion in my life. I LOVE animals. There awesome, they’re fun and we owe them for the joys and colour they bring to our lives. So one day, I said to myself I wanted to write a novel based around this interest.
Just wanted to share this picture of the pair of us. Me on the left, Alex on the right. Thankfully we look nothing like this presently, (the thug look I mean…we’re quite a bit older now!) Though I’m glad now that my hair isn’t actually receding. It was far back there too!
I went to Alex and said I was looking to write a novel about an “Animal-Saving Superhero“, like Superman who saves cows and pigs instead of people! Ha! The idea was pretty fun at the time, but Alex gave my a quizzical look and told me it was strange idea. But whatever, I persevered anyway, coming up with an idea about some guy who went around beating up people who were mean to their dogs, and suffice to say, the idea fell pretty flat.
‘Why don’t you have an animal character in it?‘ said Alex. ‘You know, make it funny. Add a goat maybe?‘ And then the story kind of went from there, and as a result, Alex well and truly got on board, and idea become a collaboration.
I couldn’t say exactly what it’s like to collaborate professionally. I’ve never written or done anything creative with anyone else on a professional level, so my experience in collaboration is purely with a family member.
I guess this, like everything, had it’s pros and cons. There’s little urgency in writing a book with your older brother. Neither of us are part of any publishing house with strict expectations or deadlines, so the book was a pretty casual write in all fairness. It was only after a few weeks of inactivity I said to Alex that we were NEVER going to complete the manuscript unless we got professional. So we (after many arguments and headaches) set up a timetable and got to work.
That is one thing I’d say about collaborating with a family member. Because there are no professional barriers, arguments are likely to ensue. And boy did we argue, about everything: the book, the release date, the style of writing, the front cover…..etc. Literally every stage of the writing process that I as a writer am familiar with, we argued about it!
Baring in mind Alex is not a novelist like me. He is a screen-writer, which anyone who writes knows has a completely different trajectory in how a final product is conducted and manufactured. but this inevitably was not a long-term issue. We are both creatives who are pooling our talents.
Alex is a total ideas guy. Stuck for a scene, Alex was on hand. Not sure what a character should say? Alex had the perfect line. But when it came to character perspective and novel construction, I’ll blow my own horn on those ones.
Novels take a long time to create. They DO! I swear. They are hard work. If ever you’re curious as to how much effort goes into one, check out the first stage in my Writing 101 here on my blog.
And because they take so long to write, my first novel Everscape took me about 10 years. BUT, during that time I never considered myself a writer. More like, a creative person who’s trying to write. Now, however, I am a writer. Yep, if you write, yes YOU, whatever it is, and put it out there for someone else, then you ARE a writer. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back, you fabulous awesome person.
But I digress, books take a long time to create. Adam and the Goat however took only around 18 months. Now that might still sound like a long time, considering the fact Alex and I both work regular jobs full time, myself during the day and Alex during the evening (yes, that was also a pain in the arse in terms of out collaboration pattern). But also considering the fact I was at the time, and still am, studying part time for a degree, the novel itself realistically was completed fairly quickly.
When you accept the possibility that you’ll end up tearing each other to pieces at some point, having two heads can be pretty beneficial when creating something. I suppose it comes down to the analogy that video games or movies are never created by a few people, but more so armies!! Alex and I proudly worked as a team to create a novel we are both passionate about.
Yes our editor tore it a new hole and helped us stitch it back again. Yes Alex and I disagreed on a magnitude of areas and yes we got through at least one hundred headache tablets between the pair of us. But we did it! And guess what, we’re going to do it again! And again, and probably again.
Adam and the Goat never intended to be a comedy, or a dark comedy at that. I initially wanted something depressing and eery, but with the mind of your big brother and his expertise on idea generation, we settled for something that’s fun but touching, sad but happy, and kind of realistic but fantastical. We’re sure we’ve nailed it with this one, especially considering it’s a strange read, meaning the story itself is pretty out of the ordinary when it comes to fantasy set in real world situations.
But if you’re curious, you can read chapter 1 here, just for a taste, and if you’re up for the full bite, you can get your copy on both US and UK Amazon stores in both e-book and paperback. And yes, there’ll be a sequel!