IAN ADAIR’S COLUMN #2 (for 2010-2011)
Ian Adair has one of the most creative and prolific minds in magic! He was instrumental in the success of the Supreme Magic Company, being the creative think tank behind amazingly commercial effects. His mind is like the vault at Fort Knox, because it contains precious ideas. He is also an accomplished writer, whom I admire for being candid and Stevens Magic is honored to have him aboard as a Columnist – Joe Stevens
Hi there! Having written 256 books on magic and the allied arts, one would automatically think that another would be an easy matter. Not so. My previous books have been text books, ones describing magical effects, what they consist of and how they should be presented. Writing a ‘story’ book is a completely different matter, as I found.
Two years ago, Ali Bongo said “Ian, why don’t you write your autobiography and explain the rise and fall of the Supreme Magic Company”. Well, having been a partner in the firm and working at Supreme for some thirty-six years, perhaps I am the one to tell the story. And after all, the firm became so large at one time, employing some 65 full time staff, most magicians who hadn’t visited the premises, would never have had insight as to why it became one the largest, if no t largest magic dealing companies in the world.
I found that I had to do quite a lot of research, something I didn’t normally have to do when writing text manuals. Dates, times, places, correct spellings of names – the list was endless. It was becoming an academic exercise.
Can you believe it – it took a solid year and a half to write. I typed the draft, gathered together a number of photos which were to be included in the book, selected numerous line drawings and prepared the index which was planned for the end for the book (that took some time!) I even designed the full color cover and back.
It’s OK writing another book but it is useless if you don’t have a publisher to take it on. I advertised in The Linking Ring magazine and received two replies (nope – “it pays to advertise in The Linking Ring” doesn’t always work!!!) I was getting nowhere.
Then suddenly, out of the blue, a publisher came along. The book was in preparation. The type-setting was done, the proofs were run off and I had the opportunity to read the pages as others would do likewise. “Should I have mentioned that dear old Edwin (Hooper) ran after me with a very sharp axe one day at the studio when he was in a vile mood” I asked myself “and was there any great need for me to go into details regarding the tragic demise of the company, what with us all being thrown out unexpectedly, and me taking the firm to court” I further asked myself.
I really wanted the contents of my book to commence when I was young and deal with those ‘Supreme’ years as honestly as I could, warts and all! And that’s what I did.
I told magicians this would be my last book, my 266th, but… I’ve started on another, and a large one at that. But it’s not a story book this time, so I will be able to ‘churn’ it out without crying over some of the pages, as I did when writing the sad story of the rise and fall of the Supreme Magic Company. The really sad thing about it all, is the Ali Bongo didn’t live to see it published!
There’s magic in the air… from Ian Adair (M.I.M.C.)