Local author raises human trafficking awareness with new novelWritten by Jordan Finney | | firstname.lastname@example.org
He’s talked to sailboat enthusiasts, helicopter pilots and SWAT teams. He’s traveled the Cayman Islands, Sunshine State and New Orleans. He’s a self-published novelist with eight award-winning books to his name and an imagination wild enough to write many more.
Bob Adamov never quite knows where his research will go or how a story will end. It’s like putting the pieces of a puzzle together without having a box to know what the picture looks like.
“I never know where he’ll take something. I just can’t wait to see what he’ll write next,” said Adamov’s wife, Cathy. “His imagination really doesn’t stop. He can talk to people and all of a sudden he gets this look about him and I think ‘Oh here he goes, there’s a story here.’ I’m starting to be a better listener because of him.”
The mystery-adventure writer from Put-in-Bay spends about a year researching before he begins writing a book. The investigation begins with a list of scene ideas, maybe some catchy one-liners. Then, Adamov fashions a rough working outline that evolves as he meets new people and new plotlines develop.
“One reader told me I use the ‘prego’ approach to writing: if you want it, it’s in there,” Adamov said, chuckling. “I’m also a prankster. I look at my books as a fun opportunity to pull pranks on thousands of people, tease readers. I also try to be accessible and visible with them so I can ask ‘Were you surprised? Did this prank work?’”
Newspaper headlines or a random, entertaining anecdote can explode into a book chapter. Even Adamov’s personal experiences — like sitting at a seafood house near a rough-looking biker crowd only to realize his face is plastered with sparkles from suntan lotion — get added to his stories.
“I think the author’s main character has to embody what the author is to some extent,” said Mike Steidl, who helped copy edit Adamov’s newest book “Zenobia: The Patriot Way.” “When you get a description of Emerson Moore’s personality, you can see a lot of Bob in that. Inquisitive, adventurous, generous.”
In addition, Adamov often incorporates acquaintances, friends and local personalities into his writing.
“It’s so much fun to read about yourself as a semi-fictionalized character. It’s a thrill, actually, to be part of the process,” said friend Mike “Mad Dog” Adams, who appears throughout “The Other Side of Hell.” “Bob reminds me of his literary hero, a famous author by the name of Clive Cussler. Each book gets better. I’m a rave reviewer.”
Inspiration can happen at any time. If Adamov’s enjoying a movie, but thinks it should go in a different direction, he bustles over to his computer and types out the inspiration behind a scene.
“I’m always listening, watching, writing notes,” Adamov said. “If an idea hits, I’ll want to jot it down. If I don’t have paper, I’ll call myself and leave a message. It’s important to capture ideas while they’re fresh. And if it’s really hot, I’ll sit down and write it out. It could even be the subject of my next book.”
While researching with a SWAT team in Naples, Florida, Adamov stumbled upon a “really hot” idea, which led to his latest thriller, “Zenobia: The Patriot Way.”
“In ‘Zenobia,’ I take a hard look at human trafficking. I’m not an expert, but I tried to use my novel as a tool to create more awareness in readers’ minds about it,” Adamov said. “All those atrocities in the book actually took place — I didn’t make any up. That’s why I call my books ‘faction,’ not fiction. I mix so much fact and true detail into the story.”
Research for ‘Zenobia‘ included extensive interviews with local experts, including University of Toledo professor Celia Williamson, Toledo Police Department Detective Peter Scwartz, Lucas County Juvenile Court Judge Connie Zemmelman, and Tasha Perdue of the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition.
The novel opens in Vukovar, Croatia, where Adamov’s Serbian father used to live. Protoganist Emerson Moore ventures to Vukovar for an investigative reporting assignment, giving readers a cursory glance at the Serbian-Croatian war. Near its middle, Zenobia’s plot advances to the present day, with Moore investigating the disappearance of two women while he’s working undercover in Toledo. The final third of Adamov’s novel carefully examines the sex trafficking industry’s many human rights violations.
Adamov said he felt shocked to learn the hushed horrors of domestic human trafficking, and especially how its common perpetrators include clergy members, truck drivers, businessmen and police officers.
“I thought I was a savvy guy, but there’s a lot going on I had no idea about,” he said. “I take readers up to a closed door and that’s where it stops, no sex or strong language in my books. It’s just not my style. They’re PG, maybe PG-13 because of violent graphics. My daughter is still my little girl and I wouldn’t write anything that would offend her.”
A portion of proceeds from “Zenobia” will be donated to Second Chance, a Toledo-based service initiative dedicated to supporting victims of domestic sex trafficking and prostitution, and the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition.
Tags: Bob Adamov, Cathy Adamov, Celia Williamson, Croatian War of Independence, Emerson Moore, human trafficking, Judge Connie Zemmelman, Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition, Mad Dog Adams, Mike 'Mad Dog' Adams, Peter Scwartz, Put-in-Bay, Second Chance, Serbian-Croatian war, Tasha Perdue, The Other Side of Hell, The Patriot Way, Zenobia