Guest Blog – An Interview With Mari Adkins
Posting the Guest Blog a wee bit early this month, to help celebrate the release of Mari Adkins’ novel of Kentucky coal-country vampire awakenings, Midnight.
Mari chose to do the self-interview, and has even included a glimpse at the characters from the book. Enjoy!
Q: What inspired you to write Midnight?
Mari: When I first got the idea for Midnight in late 1996, I knew I wanted to write a different kind of ‘vampire story’. I never meant for the story to be the typical vampires-are-demons, the embodiment of our worst fears, gothic-chiller type story; I wanted to write about humans having a vampire problem. My characters, therefore, had to be as human as possible and face every day, normal difficulties. The added element of Samantha Clark’s discovery of real vampires, including that she, herself, carried vampiric genes only provided her another avenue of self-realization and wholeness.
Q: What’s your book about?
Mari: The core of this story is Sami losing herself only to find herself and where she belongs. Learn, laugh, live – and remember that darkness doesn’t have to mean evil.
Samantha Clark is her own antagonist. As cliché as it is, Sami is her own worst enemy. She’s been abused and told she is neither wanted nor loved over the course of her lifetime. She comes into the story lost, depressed, and with little will and no direction. She believes her ultimate goal is to regain the life she had made for herself and had had ripped away from her in Richmond. If she can get back to Richmond, she can rebuild what she’s lost. Over the course of the story, Sami falls further into the darkness and comes close to losing sight of everything she ever was and ever had. She drowns herself in alcohol and marijuana to hide from the pain that awaits her in reality. That rope with the knot in it that she clung so tightly to? she feels she slipped off of the rope and lost sight of the knot months before, if not a year before, she ever came to Harlan County. How to get it back within sight and reach, she doesn’t know.
Sami has to learn that some things she thought were real aren’t and some things she thought weren’t real are. She had to learn that she does have a home, that she does belong, and that there are people in the world who do love her. Within the darkness, she must find herself and the source of her own personal power. Also there, she must come to terms with the life she ran away from and face her new beginnings.
Q: What got you started writing?
I write because I can’t not write. It’s in my head going around and must come out on paper. And yes, I write longhand; I’ve always found it difficult to get my thoughts straight at the keyboard as I’m dyslexic and have ADHD. This means I’m prone to leaving important things out – like words and sentences and explanations – when I try to compose or edit at the keyboard.
I started writing when I was six. I created a book with crayons and construction paper about a princess and her dog who lived under the sea. I started writing poetry when I was eight or nine. All through school, various write-ups I did for Girl Scouts, 4-H, and other activities were published by my home town newspaper, the Corbin Times-Tribune. In high school, I was editor and contributing editor for both the school newspaper and the yearbook. In the twenty-four years since high school, I’ve kept busy writing, although I never got serious about publishing anything until I got halfway through Midnight in 2004. I started writing book reviews for Apex Publications in 2005 and have since published several short stories through various venues.
Q: If your book was made into a movie, who would be on your dream cast? *
Q: How can we purchase your book?
Through Apex Publications – Midnight by Mari Adkins.
Samantha Clark has always known she was different.
Brought up in a loveless household, she can almost forgive herself for turning to an abusive boyfriend to help her give her the roots and love she desperately needs. But that solution turns violent, and Sami is on the run, turning to a college friend who offers her a new hope at ‘family’.
Set in rural Kentucky in 1985, Midnight is the inward journey of Sami’s self-loathing, self-reflection, and eventual self-acceptance. Through the love of her friends and the mysterious Michael, Sami not only heals from the scars given earlier in life, she also finds her personal strength.
Mari Adkins grew up in the hills of Woodbine, Kentucky, and nurtured by the Appalachian darkness and magic. A southern gothic fiction writer for adults and teens, Mari graduated from Corbin High School, where she was a member of the newspaper and yearbook staffs. Afterward, she worked toward English degree at Eastern Kentucky University. 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.
You can visit Mari online at: http://mariadkins.com
Thanks for stopping by Mari, and for the lovely eye-candy to go with the interview! I am so thrilled that Midnight is available – good luck girl! <3 JL