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Adam Selzer

Adam Selzer lived in Des Moines back before it was cool, then tried out a series of small Georgia towns that will probably never be cool before settling in Chicago. In addition to several books on Chicago history and ghostlore, he’s the author of several young adult and middle grade novels, including How To Get Suspended and Influence People (which is part of the ALA’s Banned Books Week packet), I Kissed a Zombie and I liked It, and Sparks (under the name SJ Adams, a Stonewall Honor book for 2013). He has seen Bob Dylan in concert more than forty times, holds a world record for “Most Richard Nixon jokes in a Children’s Book,” and often performs music, both solo and with various bands, at science fiction conventions. Visit him online at
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My Life in 8 Words

Author Revealed

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Check your sources and give 'em hell.

Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

A. Hmm....perhaps I'd go to Christopher Marlowe and say "Stay out of Deptford in 1593  or you're gonna stab yourself in the eye under suspicious circumstances !" He'd probably laugh at me, though, and wonder where I got such a strange accent. Also, there's a LOT I'd like Shakespeare to clear up.  How often DID he go back to Stratford? Did he really write Love's Labour Won, or is that just an alternate title of a surviving play? How about the rest of the apocrypha? The amount we could learn and analyze if we had a two minute interview with him could keep a world of scholars off the streets for years.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. Spider-Man. He gets his butt kicked half the time, but keeps making wisecracks the whole time.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. As a historian this one is tricky, because it's so tough to get into historical people's heads enough to really identify with them, so I'll pick my great great grandpa. He was the first guy in Iowa to sell ice cream cones, and worked as a carny, moving picture theatre owner, soda fountain owner, and gangbuster. I think that's all very neat.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. Probably winning a stonewall honor for SPARKS, a book I did under the name SJ Adams

Author Voices

April 16, 2014

I work in the ghost hunting field. I'm sort of embarrassed by this; most rational people hear me say that and assume I'm some sort of nut.

And why wouldn't they? TV is full of ghost hunters who act like drugged up dudebros.

My job in the field is twofold, really: I'm a historian who specializes in places that are supposed to be haunted, and the stories that I dig up are re-told in books and on the ghost tours that I conduct aboard a big black bus. I love running tours. I love to pull up to the side of the road in a big bus that says "ghost tours," open the door, and shout "They died RIGHT ON THIS SPOT" at tourists. I love to try to get... see more

April 09, 2014

So, I bought one of those "make your own soda" contraptions. I thought that switching to just drinking carbonated water might help save me from the future I'm heading towards (life with Type 9 diabetes).

But really, it just made me want to try making my own sodas. The syrups you could buy to go with the thing all just tasted like Splenda, but I figured that with the right equipment, maybe I could recreate Jolt Cola, OK, Surge, and other pops from days-gone-by.

I have since turned my kitchen into a science lab. A very, very messy science lab. They're getting to know me down at the brewing shop that sells sarsaparilla pretty well. But I'm... see more

Adam Selzer on the Web




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