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Freelance journalist interview with James “Adam” Bolton

Freelancer James “Adam” Bolton tells us about his passions and skills in this interview. Our journey with Adam takes in Italy, his local and a patrol with the AA, as we learn what inpsires his work and how PRs can help.

What do you write about?
I am a photojournalist and although my specialisation of writing about and shooting motorcycles, scooters and cars old and new has developed from my own deep-rooted passion for anything with an engine, I have also supplied reportage travel, food, men’s interest and interiors features for various magazines, and used to create advertorial and advertising creative concepts, pages and copy for customer magazines such as Sainsbury’s The Magazine, FT How to Spend It and IKEARoom.

Where are we likely to see your work?
RIDERSmagazine (Italy), The Telegraph Motoring Section, Motorcycle Sport and Leisure, Two Wheels (Australia), Classic Bike, Scootering, Twist and Go, TheClassic Motorcycle, Motorcycle Classics (USA), Greasy Kulture,Period Living,25 Beautiful Homes, Livingetc, House Beautiful, Buckinghamshire Life and The Bucks Heraldamongst others. I am also currently working onmy own independently published magazine called Italian Motor, and if it’s got a motor and it’s from Italy and is fascinating, beautiful or relevant, I’ll feature it –

What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
Must be attending manufacturers’ motorcycle launches in Italy. I lived in Italy for five years and speak fluent Italian, so I really appreciate riding around stunning scenery, eating fantastic food, taking my own shots and being able to really understand in depth what’s going on. Being commissioned to produce a series of ‘a day in the life’ reportage features for a motorcycle magazine was also fascinating as I got to spend time training with the highly skilled Met Police bike squad, on patrol with an AA man on a scooter, a day with the Wall of Death and shadowing a dispatch rider round the traffic-choked roads of London.

What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
I’d just love to interview Valentino Rossi, the many times MotoGP world champion, in Italian, and in London where he lives. He’s got pure talent, charisma and he’s got a great sense of humour – a rare combination. Otherwise, any work where I am given a brief and told to come back with a complete story in words and pictures.

Where do you source ideas for articles?
All over – magazines, newspapers, the internet, friends and contacts, travelling, watching TV, riding my motorcycle to other events, or just chatting to friends in my local.

How can PRs be useful to you?
By sending me concise and current press releases that are or could potentially be relevant to what I do.

How and when do you like them to get in touch?
Always initially by email, nice if they know your name too…

Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
No, but the few I attend are organised by a few specialist PR people I work with on a regular basis. As a freelancer I have to take a risk on some articles by doing the work and hoping that they will be published, but some PRs always want a guarantee that something will end up in print, and unfortunately it’s not always possible to promise that as editors change, as do their budgets and their favourites of the month.

If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
Not sending me completely irrelevant press releases that are badly written and spelt.

How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
I would have loved to have been an archaeologist, but failing a complete career change, I guess restoring old motorcycles and automobiles, or translation work that allowed me to live abroad.

If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
Much as I’d yearn to buy myself a new Gretsch guitar, I’ve recently become a dad, so I’d spend some on going to Italy to shootfeatures, and the rest I’d put into my daughter’s bank account.

What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
The last book I read was ‘A Riot of Our Own’, Johnny Green’s tale of being on the road with my favourite ever band, The Clash. I’ll browse from blog to blog, usually motorcycle related, and it’s handy how they all link up, though I admit to recently researching more and more about babies and what they do at what age!! I don’t really buy many magazines, too many ads!

[lnk||_blank|James Adam Bolton on the Freelance Journalist Directory]
[img|jpg|James “Adam” Bolton]