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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 be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

A. I'm tempted to say "my cat," but I don't want to seem lazy. Better an unsatisfied person than a satisfied pig, right? I think I'd make a good 1940s hardboiled private eye with a dark secret, though.

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 are your 5 favorite songs?

A. "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton" by the Mountain Goats, "Dignity" by Bob Dylan, "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota" by Weird Al, "This Tornado Loves You" by Neko Case, "How a Resurrection Really Feels" by The Hold Steady

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. Bruce Springsteen. Dude's in his 60s and still playing 4 hour shows that are like tent revivals, only I believe, I believe, I believe.... And the extent to which he throws himself into his work is just plain inspiring.

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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