I placed a signup sheet for volunteers to read “A Christmas Carol” to teenagers. When Mia Darien wandered in, I slammed shut the door and pointed in a vague direction. Before her performance, she agreed to answer a few questions. Granted, I did answer some of hers as well… “Am I ever getting out of here?” and “Who do you think you are?” were my favorites.
Why writing? What drew you to it? Why do you continue?
Honestly? Because I have no other choice. I write professionally and as a hobby. I’ve tried to stop. Really, I have. I managed to stop lacing words together, but the ideas come no matter what. And if I can’t stop the ideas, why not try to write them? I apparently am able to put a few words into sentences that please others, so might as well just roll with it. What started it? Reading. I’ve read and read and read since I was three, and thought: I could do that.
If you were freezing to death and the only thing left to burn were the books in your library, what 5 books would you burn last? (And yes, everything else burnable has been burnt.)
I’m only looking at my paperbacks, since they’re paper and all. The five that would go last would be: “The Heroes” by Joe Abercrombie. “The Scar” by Sergey & Marina Dyachenko. “Being a Green Mother” by Piers Anthony. “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. “The Vampire Files (1-3)” by P. N. Elrod.
What’s the most challenging thing you’ve done (in life or in writing (your choice))?
Had a child. In continues to dwarf all else.
What’s one word or phrase that drives you nuts? Why?
UFO, because every time someone says it, everyone automatically thinks they mean an alien sighting, when all it stands for is Unidentified Flying Object. It just means folks don’t know what it is. I could toss a pillow across the room and if you didn’t see well enough, it’d be a UFO to you. So the automatic, “I saw a UFO” to “You saw an alien?” response drives me nuts.
Do you have a favorite character you’ve created? If so, who is it and why?
Dakota, hands down. She’s the narrator of “When Forever Died,” which is the second Adelheid novel. She’s tough, but has a complex past and a good heart. She’s sarcastic as hell, and says what she thinks. I love that. My mother says Dakota says all the things that I think but am not willing to verbalize. She’s my grumpier half.
Creepiest place you’ve ever been? Has it appeared in your fiction? Why or Why not?
I’ve seen places in pictures and on television that have creeped me out, but I’m hard pressed to think of one I’ve been to. Salem has a spooky edge to it, with all its history. It was the setting of the Adelheid series before it was the Adelheid series (back when I was a teenager) but it hasn’t appeared in my fiction since. Dunno why, though.
What’s the best rejection you’ve ever received?
I dunno about the best, but the most memorable was when I was told that my short story “A Computer Carol” (as based on Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”) was being rejected because their demographic was teenagers, and they didn’t think they’d get the reference. I wept for our youth that day.
How did you get that scar?
What song would precede your entrance into a room if we all had personal soundtracks?
“O Fortuna” by Robert Wagner.
Promote yourself and/or your writing
Go read my stuff! …wait, there should be more? Okay, well, if you think the idea of a town of paranormals in a country that just made paranormal beings legal, then Adelheid is for you and you should check it out. If you like First Person Sarcastic narratives, with a good share of tough chicks, snarky vampires, and creepy backstories, then Adelheid is for you and you should check it out! (She’s also got a website, and she’s on facebook and twitter.)
Final thoughts before you run screaming for your life?
This is one of the most epic interviews I’ve ever done. You should add the question: “If you turned into a zombie, whose brain would you want to eat most?”
I think the most honest answer to that question would be “All of them.” Zombies can be so greedy… Thank you, Ms. Darien, for your time and insightful answers. Once you’ve performed “A Christmas Carol” for the caged teenagers (yes, you have to do the voices), you can make your way through the UFO graveyard…past Salem Common…down to the House of Seven Gables. Then, turn around…go into Ye Olde Pepper Company and pick up some butter crunch for me. Once you’ve done that, you’re free to find your way back to Alabama. But the butter crunch comes first…