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Adventures in Writing » Interviews » IWU Interview with Heather Marie Adkins

IWU Interview with Heather Marie Adkins

Once again, I am back with my continuing series of interviews from the Indie Writers Unite group on Facebook. This time around, I am interviewing Heather Marie Adkins, the author of “Abigail“.

Heather is an independent fiction novelist and avid bibliophile with the library to prove it. She is the author of paranormal mystery “The Temple”, fantasy/romance novel “Abigail”, and upcoming chick lit “Constant State of Disaster”. Her current projects include a horror novel with a ghostly protagonist, a collection of paranormal romance short stories, and the first in a new witchcraft series. A practicing Witch, Heather lives in North Central Kentucky with a house full of animals and the love of her life–all of whom drive her crazy.

Now let’s get to the interview:

Where do you generally prefer to go when you write?
I prefer going somewhere with a bit of background grumble and a lot of coffee, like Starbucks or Panera. But, I moved into my boyfriend’s home several months ago and we don’t have those on our end of town 🙁 So, I end up writing at the kitchen table.

How long have you been writing?
Since I was about ten years old. My mother was promoted within the local police department and began working 4 pm to midnight. I was a really responsible child–all cops’ kids end up being either really great human beings or rebels who end up with criminal histories–so I stayed home alone. I’d ride the bus home from school, lock up and set the alarm, and was pretty self-sufficient. After some time, though, I became bored. At ten, I didn’t really like television (still don’t) and I didn’t have the money to buy new books, so I started writing my own. I wrote 6 full length novels between ten and sixteen.

What is the last book you read?
I’m just a few pages from the end of Alan Nayes’ “Barbary Point”, a lovely romance novel by a very kind and supportive indie.

How many books, and in which genre, have you written?
I am a multi-genre author, luckily. I have two full-length novels out, The Temple (a paranormal mystery) and Abigail (a fantasy/romance). Both of my free short stories published are horror. My upcoming novel Constant State of Disaster is chick lit–it will be out before the end of August.

Who is your favorite author?
Jennifer Crusie. She’s funny, she’s smart, and she’s incredibly kind, as well as having a crooked sense of humor and an attitude. She’s my hero.

Tell us three random things about yourself.
I’m a police dispatcher.
The pinkie finger of my left hand is fused, meaning it will never bend again. I shattered it in Karate (I’m a black belt).
I love vegetable and herb gardening.

Do you prefer to write on a laptop or a desktop computer?
I am a laptop girl all the way. I love the versatility it provides; if I want to write outside, inside, at Starbucks, in my car, or upside down, I can do it. (Okay, maybe not upside down, but you see what I’m saying.)

What do you most enjoy about writing?
Everything. There is nothing I don’t like about writing. I love creating characters–that’s probably my favorite part. My MCs end up feeling like my best friends.

What steps do you take in starting a new book?
Most of my books begin out of order. I’ll get a snippet of a scene in my mind and MUST write it down. Once I get it out, the story begins to build from there like some great, magical scheme from the ether. I don’t outline, though I do shove Post-Its on the wall above my bed with tons of notes about many different ideas.

Do you use a critique group or just trust your instincts?
I tried! I had a lot of interest from people in being beta readers for me. I sent “Abigail” out to five people, and never heard back from four; they must have absolutely hated “Abigail”, I guess. So, yes and no. I have one beta reader who I will continue to utilize while searching for more, as well as an author friend who also reads for me.

When it comes time for formatting, do you do it yourself or hire it out?
Do it myself 🙂 I actually really enjoy ebook formatting! It’s a very zen thing for me, quite meditative.

What are you currently working on writing?
As in works in progress? Several. A paranormal thriller with a dead protagonist, a Southern chick lit, a Southern YA and a vampire/paranormal YA, a couple paranormal romance novels. Plus, a collection of paranormal romance shorts and some other stand alone shorts that will go up for free, like my first two. Probably more, but it’s late and I’m out of coffee.

Have you ever collaborated in your writing, and if not, would you consider it?
Yes 🙂 It’s still a secret though, but suffice it to say I am currently co-writing a series with another author.

What advice would you give a new writer?
Other than just to write all the time, do your research. Learn about the indie publishing world, make sure you do all the steps right–put out professional looking product and enjoy it while you’re doing it. But, most importantly, keep writing. The more you have out, the better your chances at being found.

What is the most important thing you have learned about writing?
There is no bottom line. We all do things differently, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Success has a lot to do with luck, but talent plays a big part too. You must be talented, but you don’t have to be perfect. Readers will devour books and books are subjective. Someone may sing my praises to Texas and back, while someone else may call me a hack who will never make it. I can’t strive to be perfect or to follow the footsteps of another writer, because no one way is THE way. We forge our own paths.

How many drafts do you usually have before deciding it’s done?
About three, which I think is probably not many for a writer, huh? It’s surprising when I think about it because I have very little faith in my writing most of the time. So, why do I not obsess over drafts more? I am an enigma.

What would you do differently if you we just starting out today to become a writer?
I would have known about self-publishing when the boom began last year, so I could have published then. I wish I had had more of a headstart on the revolution 🙂

 

© 2011, Steven R. Drennon. All rights reserved.

Filed under: Interviews

4 Responses to "IWU Interview with Heather Marie Adkins"

  1. PJ Jones says:

    Okay, Heather, I totally agree with you on wishing I had a headstart on the Kindle revolution. Stupid me waited on responses from editors and agents for two years before pubbing Romance Novel myself.

    Great article. I just got started on Abigail and LOVE it!

  2. Thanks for having me! The questions were a blast to answer 🙂

  3. alan nayes says:

    You summed it up well- success has a lot to do with luck.

  4. Brenda says:

    Fantastic interview with great questions.

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