Friday, November 13

First Interview!

Posted by Shelly Holder

One of things that the Fatherly Voice of Guidance best drilled into my head was "You have to learn to speak to people."

I hate speaking to people. I really do. I'd rather watch from shadows and behind doorways then get up and speak to people. When you speak to people, you have to be thinking of too many things at once to be able to concentrate on the picture of personality that you're drawing- you have to listen to what they are saying, you have to think of what you are going to say next, you have to respond to what they are saying superficially but read what they AREN'T saying, you have to appear pleasant and agreeable but in charge, while trying not to lose yourself in the public persona you are forced to adopt. All of this, at once, and most of it subconsciously.

I really hate speaking to people.

But the other day I did it.

I've slowly been forced over the past few months since summer to step into a more public role through my work and through the clubs that I run, so it's getting more familiar if not more agreeable nor more comfortable. I've tried to adapt a policy that my creative writing professor Dr. A advocates, which is speaking to all authors at a book signing. The college Barnes and Nobles does a good job of bringing in local authors on a regular basis, and I've spoken to a few. Even bought a few books from them. But it's all been on a personal level.

The other day, I saw another author set up at the book signing table, and I thought that it would be fun to interview her. Just a random thought, something that I thought would be a good lark... but normally, I hate interviewing people. I'm not interested in journalism, and the idea of taking on journalism via an interview usually makes me cringe. Me, speak to someone? Ewwwwwwwwww.

And yet, I thought about it. I wiggled around in my seat. I stood up, sat back down. I looked like a spastic chicken to all other patrons of the Barnes and Nobles cafe. And I really really wanted to interview this lady.

And imagine my delight when I realized "Oh, I can interview her for my blog." Then my greater delight when I realized that interviewing her for critINK, as the director of critINK, was even greater in the sense of legitimacy.

I think I was taken over by an alien sent undercover by an intergalactic newspaper to investigate the cultural phenomena of earthlings that scribble on bounds stacks of paper that have funny black symbols all over the pages. Surely. Because I got up, walked over to her table, and asked "May I interview you?" without any more hesitation.

Yes, I was temporarily brain-washed by human-loving journalistic aliens for the newest yellow newspaper in the Milky Way.

Because I really hate talking to people.

Right Now:
What I'm listening to: (It's my newest obession!) set to Frou Frou station, and playing Kate Havnevik
What I want most: food! om nom nom, lunchtime

Interview with Maria Hudgins

Thanks to Ms. Hudgins, who took the time to talk to me, and who answered all my stumbling questions! Check out her book, Death of a Lovable Geek, first in the Dotsy Lamb mystery series, at Barnes and Nobles.

SH: So I guess I should start off with what did you major in during school? Was it English?
MH: No, actually, I was a biology major. I then taught science until I retired.
SH: When did you start writing?
MH: I didn't really start until after I retired, and that's been the majority of when I wrote.
SH: What do you like to write?
MH: I like mystery, both to read and write.
SH: Is the novel your main form of writing, or have you done short stories as well?
MH: A few short stories. I've had one published in Alfred Hitchcock magazine.
SH: Tell me a little about your book.
MH: Well, it's a mystery of course. The main character is a history teacher from Virginia that travels to different countries in each of the books (the second book, Death of an Obnoxious Tourist, is out in stores, and the third in the series will be released later this year).
SH: What sort of advice would you give to students of critINK?
MH: Practice. Don't give up. Contact other writers, online or in person, and get to know them. First know what you want to write, and then find others with the same interests.
SH: Is there anything else you would like to add?
MH: It's more important to tell a good story than to be formally trained. I never was. And like Elmore Leonard said, cut it out if readers tend to skip it.

Thanks again to Maria Hudgins, and good luck!


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