Every Sunday we shine our spotlight on one author by way of interview. We are fascinated with the world of writing and all the wonderful real live characters that live within in. This week’s caricature is Mari Adkins, a southern gothic author with an incredible sense of humor. Enjoy!
A southern gothic fiction writer for adults and teens, Mari Adkins works reflect a love of literature and music flavored by the darkness and magic residing in the Appalachian foothills.
She lived four years in the black heart of Harlan County, a place mired in coal, ash, and blood, a land of coal seams and rhythmic discord that breed amity and illusion, all of which birthed the Harlan Vampire stories.
Mari is known to dance with fairies and ghosts beneath full moons and wade barefoot in creeks and wild rivers.
Midnight, her first novel, was published by Apex Book Company in May 2014.
- What is your name (real or otherwise)? Mari Adkins ~ that’s Marywithani 🙂
- Describe your writing style in three words. A jumbled mess.
- How long have you been writing? I started writing professionally about eleven years ago. Technically, I’ve been writing for as long as I’ve been able to pick up a crayon.
- Describe one way in which you could improve your writing. Transitions. I have a difficult time with transitions. I need to learn how to make them easier, smoother. Mine are very “rough”, kind of like hitting a brick wall.
- What is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given? “Take frequent naps,” Douglas Klegg
- Who is your favorite author? Rosamunde Pilcher. She grew up in Cornwall, lives in Scotland. I describe her writing as “paints with words”. Incredible. A reader can totally see everything she writes, taste the foods and drinks she describes. I want to be her when I grow up.
- When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time? In no certain order: homemaking, cat harassment, journaling and coloring (sometimes the same thing!), or playing The Sims 3.
- How do you discover the ebooks you read? I have a lot of writerly friends, so a lot of the books/ebooks I read are things they’ve published. Now and then, I’ll follow the “recommended for you” links in the backs of books. Otherwise I just pick up what looks interesting to me.
- Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? Actually, yes I do! I was six years old and still have that story. I wrote it on yellow ledger paper with crayons. It’s about a Princess who lives under the sea and who, along with her pet beagle, has a grand adventure finding her Sweet Prince.
- Describe your desk/writing space: I write longhand, so my writing space is any hard, flat surface I can find at a given time.
- Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing? I grew up in Southeastern Kentucky. Appalachia is full of its own stories and storytellers. I’m happy to have even just a tiny piece of that.
- Do you prefer to write long stories, short, flash? What is easiest for you? The one time I tried writing flash fiction, I ended up with a short story! So, needless to say, writing shorts isn’t my forté. I’m more like Faulkner or Dickens in that description means a lot to me, though I try my best not to overdo it. Besides, longs give the writer far more room to explore people, places, and things. That’s one of the fun parts.
- Share one writing goal you have yet to meet. I’ve yet to be on Oprah.
- What are you working on next? In 2011, I started a young adult project, mostly to see if I could write YA. I found it enjoyable, more enjoyable than some of the adult projects I’ve done over my lifetime. Unfortunately, due to life events, the project stalled. Even so, thanks to the last two NaNoWriMos, I’ve managed to catch up some. Enough that the one story turned into three, possibly five. We’ll see!
I’m also working on, and behind on, a companion book for the Joe Ledger series by Jonathan Maberry. My idea. I suggested such a thing because there are so many books now, and I feel like I need my own flow chart to keep up with the Who’s Who and the What’s What. So I sort of got volundrafted to create the companion. Also because of life, it’s gone much slower than planned, but I’m determined to get it out there!
Thank you for allowing Our Write Side to interview you! We look forward to reading many more of your stories in the future!