Goldfish Grimm: If we could peek into your office (coffee shop, kitchen table, wherever you write), what would your writing process look like?
Antha Ann Adkins: I write at home on a laptop, migrating between the chaise lounge, recliner, sofa, and bed. I am lying down in all these cases, so if I go into deep thought mode about some aspect of a story, I can take a nap. So my writing process either looks like typing madly or sleeping on the job.
GFG: What is it actually like?
AAA: When I start a new project, I start a document I call the project “journal”. I use this document to discovery-write various aspects of the story: the plot outline, character names, the world I’m writing about, etc. I write the story itself in a different file. Once I hit “the end”, I still have a checklist I follow to edit the story. Once I’m sure there’s nothing I can improve, I send it to my critique group (critters.org, which I have gotten a lot of mileage out of) so I can learn that there is, in fact, a lot I can improve. I wait until I’ve gotten all their comments, make a list of my responses to their comments, and implement my list. Then it’s a last pass with my editing checklist, and I’m ready to start submitting. Through all of this, I keep a log of how much time I’ve spent writing and how many words I’ve written per day, so I can tell you that this story took 8.1 hours to write, 1 hour to edit, and 6.1 hours to revise.
GFG: Was there anything in particular that inspired “Have You Looked in a Mirror Lately?”?
AAA: I was on a driving tour of Yorkshire that stopped at Whitby, where I saw the view of Whitby Abbey (a stunning ruined abbey on a cliff over the North Sea) that Bram Stoker looked at as he wrote Dracula. That got me thinking about vampires, particularly about my contention that the word for a 200-year-old-man pursuing a 15-year-old girl is not “romantic” (in case you’re wondering, the word is “predatory”). If a 200-year-old man wanted companionship, wouldn’t he rather have someone closer to his own age? A story was born, and I wrote a good chunk in the shower the next morning.
GFG: This piece is on the lighter side of vampire stories. Do you usually write pieces in the (pun intended) same vein?
AAA: Yes, even when I attempt to write about serious topics, my stories come out light. I’m working on learning how to write humor, and I’m learning that writing funny is hard work!
GFG: Do you have anything you’d like to plug or promote?
AAA: Links to my other published stories as well as my musings on space and aliens, my favorite things to write about, can be found on my blog, acubedsf.com.
Antha Ann Adkins
Antha Ann Adkins lives in Friendswood, Texas with her husband, two children, and an ever-growing collection of books. Her stories have previously been published in _Interstellar Fiction_ and _The Town Drunk_. She blogs about Space & Aliens, her favorite things to write about, at acubedsf.com.