Congrats again on your finish joint runner-up in this year’s Puddle Award for Best Opening Line. What’s the name of the novel or story it comes from?
Lie Awake at Midnight ya paranormal fantasy work in progress. Title is subject to change because I can't seem to make up my mind.
Tell us a little about it.
In her own words: 'I watched my mom live in a fog after the accident that killed my stepmom. The wreck also took my brother and sister, and it left my dad in a hospital in another town for six weeks. I had my own problems aside from everything else. Who doesn't when she's almost sixteen and just finding out she'd been born into a family of vampires? But I'm getting ahead of myself. Hello. I'm Destiny Bradford, and this is my story.'
How many times did you change the opening line before you settled on ‘The number of parents I have should be illegal.’
At least four, and it's apt to change again, honestly.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a southern gothic fiction writer who grew up in the coal mining community of Woodbine in southeastern Kentucky. I have lived away from the mountains and lived deep in the mountains. My current home is in Central Kentucky with my lifepartner and our cat. I am the mother of two young men and am an avid supporter of kidney disease awareness and living organ donation awareness. The mountains, their culture, their superstitions, their particular magics, will always be in my heart and my blood.
What’s your preferred genre/wordcount?
Paranormal Fantasy, although my publisher has me pegged as Southern Gothic. I say there's a fine line there.
Are you a pantser or an outliner?
I'm actually somewhere in between. I start with a general idea and go from there. Once things are a bit more solidified in my head, then I might sketch out what the most important events are and when they occur.
What are your long term goals as a writer?
Right now that is "live through the publication process without having a nervous breakdown".
Tell us about your very first sale.
I was asked to write a short story for an anthology. I was terrified.
As a reader, does a good opening line make a difference to you?
This is where I get to say, "It really depends." No, it really does. If it's a writer I'm unfamiliar with, it matters to a degree. What matters more to me is the blurb on the back, the reviews in the front, and the pages I glimpse as I thumb through.
What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever heard?
Douglas Clegg blogged about napping several years ago. It reminded me that even I need to take breaks. So I do. When I need one, I go rest. I don't always necessarily nap, but sometimes I just lay down and read for a while or lay down and close my eyes and rest.
What’s the worst?
"You should turn this friendship into a sexual partnership." Couldn't do because of plotline reasons, and the idea really grossed me out. This comment told me the person hadn't understood the story at all -- if she'd even read it.
What was the last story/novel you pitched/submitted?
Midnight - adult southern gothic. Published by Apex Publishing next year.
What was the last story/novel you read?
Mira Grant's Newsflesh series, including all the short stories (well, except the short that comes out this summer, of course). Good stuff there. I was in a medical clinic on Wednesday and went down to the basement, where the vending is, and flipped out a little when the elevator opened. Long, empty, bare hallways.
Do you belong to a writing/critique group? Why?/Why not?
Matter of fact, I just wrote about this. The group I talk about in the post is called Worlds of Wonder, and they're wonderful people. Writers Groups and the (New) Writer.
Where can readers find your work?
Harlan County Horrors, which I edited, scattered through my website, and in the Help anthology.
Where on the web can you be found?
http://mariadkins.com and http://facebook.com/mariadkinsfan
What do you know now, that you wish you'd known when you first started writing?
How hard it is. I can handle the isolation and the boredom (yes, there's sometimes boredom and tedium). But sometimes the writing comes hard and turns a day, week, month, or longer into pure drudgery.
Is there’s anything I didn’t ask you, that you want to answer anyway?