Friday, October 28, 2011

The talented and pretty author Heather Marie Adkins!

Heather Marie Adkins is an independent fiction novelist and avid bibliophile with the library to prove it. She first began publishing her work in June 2011—much to the chagrin of her mother—and now has five published ebooks in various genres.  In September of 2011, she was chosen as the Louisville Eccentric Observer’s Reader’s Choice 3rd Best Local Author.  She loves to garden, cook, and travel, and would give anything to live in a cottage in Ireland.  She can be found barefoot on her urban Kentucky farm.

Cause & Effect
Martin’s existence has centered on his wife, Sophie, for thirteen years.  Their tumultuous, explosive relationship ends in adultery and her abrupt death, leaving Martin to pick up the pieces of the life she built for them – and a daughter he barely knows.  With the touching insights of his little girl and memories of Sophie to keep him going, Martin navigates the year after her death in a series of lists, finding that happiness is something to create, not expect.

Now for the much awaited interview!

      1)  Many authors, when asked what inspired them to write a particular story, mention either a mental image popped into their mind, or they heard a line of conversation, or it was related to an event in their lives.  What inspired you to write Cause and Effect?

A writing exercise.  I follow my favorite author’s blog religiously (Jennifer Crusie).  She did a post a couple years ago about how beneficial writing exercises can be to a writer—practice makes perfect, etc.  One of the people who left a comment mentioned a “laundry list” exercise—make a list, then write a short story telling how each item made it on the list.  So, I did.  What was originally a fun writing exercise for my blog became a novella.

2)Cause and Effect is a gritty, real life drama-type story—unlike your other well-reviewed story, The Temple. Why did you elect to switch genres from paranormal to a subject matter that is more representative of real life events and situations?

I don’t like to be tied down.  I believe that any writer can branch outside the genres they’ve limited themselves to and do it well.  The five books I have published range from mystery to horror to paranormal romance to chick lit—and of course Cause & Effect, which I guess could be best classed as a literary drama. 

That being said, I’m nearly certain Cause & Effect wrote itself.  I have no idea how the story developed... it just did.  It was so outside the realm of my comfort zone yet it turned into something so beautiful.  A lot of the real-life emotion that is found in this novel was me channeling the death of my cousin.  Much of what Martin goes through came directly from my own experience. 

3)Though Cause and Effect has an interesting plot, to me, the story is more about the relationships between the characters than a simple plotline. Did you find it more difficult or easier to craft a story built on relationships versus a plot driven story?

You are absolutely correct.  Cause & Effect has little to do with plot and everything to do with the relationships.  I’m fascinated by relationships.  What causes one man to dote upon his children—little league, ice cream cones in the park, helping with homework at night—yet another man barely knows his kid?  What drives a woman to cheat?  Cause & Effect is a glimpse into what happens for every action we take in life, and how the people around us are deeply connected to our responses.

4)As a follow-up to the above, the structure of Cause and Effect is unique, in that the story does not follow a single timeline from early to middle to end, rather the scenes jump from the present to the past and back to the present again, which worked really well with how the story elements played out. My question is how hard was it to write the scenes this way or did you actually write the entire story first, then reposition the scenes in the final version?

            I actually wrote it out of order.  It wasn’t too terribly hard to keep up with but I kept an active Word doc on the laptop where I kept track of every date for every story.  I had a system—luckily it seems to have worked!

5)I have to ask this one since the characters seem so real—do you “know” any of the major players in Caues and Effect, or did you really just make them all up?

            They are all made up :)  I didn’t base any characters in Cause & Effect on actual people, though I did try to make them as real-to-life for the kind of people who live here in Kentucky.  Martin is a true country boy, while Sophie is probably every blonde cheerleader I knew in high school.  And Alison is the kind of child that were I to ever have a daughter, I would want her to be like Alison.

6)Without giving away too much of the plot, do you think Martin and Sophie would have remained together if what happened didn’t happen? Or was their “situation” inevitable?

They would never have stopped loving each other, but their marriage was probably not salvageable—unless Martin had realized where he was going wrong and fixed it before, and the same for Sophie.  Too many people lose sight of the fact that relationships are NOT one-way streets, and that’s why divorce is so prevalent.  A relationship takes love, honor, devotion, and WORK.  And if the two parties involved can’t meet halfway, then it’s doomed.

7) This question might not be fair but I’ll ask it anyway (lol). Who are you more like—Sophie or Tina?

Definitely Tina.  I’m SUCH a hippie.  Sophie is confident and sexy (SO not me), and her very outlook on the important things in life doesn’t match my own. 

8) Besides being entertained, is there anything else you would like the reader to take away from Cause and Effect?

Time is not static.  Everything you have now is fleeting, so each moment should matter as much as the last and the next.  The people in your life are everything to the person you have/will become.  And finally, always remember cause and effect.  What you put out determines what comes back.

9) Will we visit Martin and his family again, or is Cause and Effect the only glimpse of their lives we will ever see? (That sounds so melodramatic, in other words, is a sequel in the works?)

No, there is unfortunately no plan for a sequel.  Then again, I said that about The Temple and I have eight people tell me to write a sequel.  So I am.  My moods are subject to change ;)  If I did go anywhere with Cause & Effect, it would probably be with one of his kids, because essentially, Martin’s story is told.

10) Was there a defining moment when writing Cause and Effect when you thought, “Wow, this is turning out pretty good.”

Not while I was writing it.  When I was writing Cause & Effect, it was just a fun exercise.  I was exploring emotions and imagery; learning about Martin and his world while I went through a lot of sh** in my own life.  It wasn’t until I was doing rewrites when I realized that I had a piece of gold; the most emotional, beautiful piece I had ever written.

11) Does author Heather Marie Adkins plan on staying with real life drama stories or will readers see more paranormal in your future endeavors—or both? Yes, here is where we want to hear about your future projects.

I dabble in a bit of everything.  I read in every genre and therefore I want to write in them all :)  So, you’ll see more of both.

Currently, I am focusing on a YA paranormal romance that will be released under my YA pen name, Nolia McCarty.  After that, I have the first in a new witchcraft mystery series, as well as a thriller and a southern chick lit.  My next YA novel will be a real-life drama.  I have a loooong list of ideas that will keep me writing for years, and there’s a little bit of every genre hanging out on that list.

Check out my debut novel, The Temple, at these platforms
and my second release, Abigail, at these platforms.

Find me online at my blog!


  1. Thanks for the awesome interview, Alan. I had a great time answering questions about Cause & Effect :)

  2. I am going to have to download Cause and Effect, especially after reading The Temple, which I LOVED! You're right, Heather is talented and pretty, and she ROCKS as a book formatter.

  3. Very impressive list of successful accomplishments in a short time. Talented seems like a perfect adjective for you, Heather. It's great that you're trying other genres and not tying down yourself to only one.
    Good Luck!

  4. Really enjoyed reading about a new (to me) author, and your book sounds unique, Heather. Your success story is encouraging to all new authors, and Im wishing you lots of Sales and more future success!

    Hugs, Kari Thomas,

  5. thanks for commenting, ladies. heather is an author to keep an eye on.

  6. I hear ya on not tying yourself down to one genre. I try to challenge myself with each ms, trying out different genres.

    Good luck with your release. I wish you many sales.


  7. Thanks for all the comments, everyone! It is a fun ride being in this writing world :) It's even more awesome to have people like Alan Nayes and Pj Jones by my side ;)