Tuesday, May 28, 2024

42 Stories Anthology Presents: Adah Marie Guy's Interview


Adah Marie Guy is the Story of Excellence Award Winner in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to History chapter for 



BAM: Hi, Adah Marie. Could you tell readers your aliases in the anthology in case they'd like to read your other works in the book?

Adah Marie: Anita Marsh Grey, Astrid Mae Garrison, Abby Margaret Grabenstein


BAM: Where are you located? 

Adah Marie: Maryland, Allen in The United States. 


BAM: Where do you write? 

Adah MarieHome

BAM: What got you into writing?


Adah Marie: Writing prompts got me into writing.


BAM: Good to know. When did you realize you liked writing?


Adah Marie:

Second grade is when I realized I liked writing. My homeroom teacher required my classmates and me to keep journals, and every so often throughout the school year, she would give us writing prompts. The prompt that had the biggest impact on me wanting to pursue a career in writing was about three doors. I had to be creative with what was behind each one and why my character wanted to open it first, second, or third. My story was speculative fiction as opposed to romance fiction, which is what I write now, but I truly believe second grade was that life-changing year.


BAM: Fascinating. While writing, do you play music, or watch shows/movies?


Adah Marie: 

Sometimes, I play music. Other times, I need silence.


BAM: It's good to have diversity in life. On editing, do you edit alone, have a friend read your work, or do you hire a professional editor?


Adah Marie:

I edit alone as well as have a friend read my work. First, I edit alone because only I know how my story is supposed to sound, the tone and mood each of my characters should assume in any given scene along with their overall dispositions, etc. Second, I have a friend read my work because two pairs of eyes are better than one pair. Because I do not relinquish more than a short or a scene from a manuscript at a time, his or her eyes are in tune to seeing if a particular sentence makes sense or whether the dialogue speaks for itself and thus does not need further explanation in the next sentence, etc. In conclusion, one kind of editing is efficient for big picture problems and the other type for little problems.


BAM: Interesting strategy. So, what inspires you to write?


Adah Marie:

The plot line I create for my novels or shorts inspires me to write. Intentionally, I devise a plot I am passionate about. Putting the first word on paper is the hardest part of writing, and if I do not have a topic I find interesting, I do not have the incentive needed to begin. When my characters take control, I run into that problem every day I stop and start, so I better hope they leave me where I enjoy crafting the time, place, secondary characters, conflict, etc.

BAM: Tell me more.

Adah Marie:

Money can be a great motivator to write, but I do not write for anyone but myself. The money, therefore, does not appear in my bank account until I secure a book contract with a traditional publisher. Getting my novels traditionally published is my goal, whereas self-publishing my shorts is a goal if publication outlets become out of reach too many times, and so I become fed up with the process. Besides money, goals can inspire me to write and keep writing.

 BAM: Where does that take you? 

Adah Marie:

With respect to what inspires me to keep writing, the plot line I continue to develop does. Also, I belong to a few writing groups on Facebook. Reading a post that includes a book blurb a fellow member wrote that day, for example, or a post about how a fellow member is ready to query literary agents makes me want to get to that point in my own writing project. In a concept, therefore, competition keeps me writing. The end of the tunnel is another incentive. For me, the end encompasses publication. To get there, I remind myself that no one is going to finish the story for me. If I do not finish it, it does not have a chance at being published. Envisioning my family and friends who are excited to read my published writings cannot act as more encouragement to get the stories written. I cannot imagine anyone, though. Envisioning my target audience does not have the same inspirational push to keep me writing because I do not know it personally.


BAM: Makes sense. As an experienced writer, could you tell readers, who might be writers, too, how you handle story rejection and celebrate acceptance?


Adah Marie:

My philosophy on creative writing is how I handle story rejection. When I submit a short to a publication or enter it in a contest, for example, I do not come away with expectations. In other words, I do not expect to be published or to win, but I submit or enter for the fun of it. Writing makes me happy!

BAM:  Great!

Adah Marie:

On a more serious note, I remind myself the writing market is competitive. A story rejection does not mean I am a bad writer. A rejection means my story was not right for that specific publication. Publications are as numerous as stories and their authors. Only one editor must like my story for it to get published or win. Finding that one editor, however, is tricky. Writing is subjective. What I think is a good fit for a certain publication or to win a certain contest, the editor may disagree with. Because he or she has the final say, I must move on without complaining. Moving on could mean submitting a different story to the same publication, or submitting the same story to a different publication. Regardless, though, persistence is key if I want my story to be published or to win.

BAM: Tell me more. 

Adah Marie:

An Observation on Writing Contests and Story Rejection:


I have noticed many contests have guest judges who decide which stories win and which do not. Usually, the contests offer that information freely. From year to year, the guest judges change. If an author is adamant about winning a particular contest, therefore, he or she can enter the same story every year.

BAM: Very astute. Great idea, too. What about acceptances?

Adah Marie:

Given my history of life among other things being stolen from me within the snap of a finger, I refuse to celebrate acceptance. Instead of celebrating, I look ahead to my next writing project. For me, it is easier to exist if I keep my eye on something productive and thus worthwhile than something that may or may not happen. An e-mail announcing my story has been accepted is great, but how reliable is that information? Ideas for anthologies, for example, can fall through. Journals and magazines already in existence can go bankrupt, lose funding and therefore fold, etc. I have issues believing written words. Spoken words are not more effective. What I need before I can celebrate acceptance is the anthology or journal and magazine. Once I have concrete evidence that publication is real, I may breathe a sigh of relief and play a game or watch a movie.


 Adah Marie Guy is getting her MFA in Creative Writing. She already has a BS in Legal Studies, a BA in Journalism, an MS in Law, and a BA in Irish Studies. Obviously, learning is her passion but so is fiction writing.

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