Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | May 23, 2011

Interview: Sandra Blevins Aikman

We survived the tornados and their aftermath. Now, I can start working with the interviews once more.

I think that a blog about writing doesn’t necessarily restrict interviews to novelists–published or not. Writing is not only about novels. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Sandra Blevins Aikman, a writer with two short stories in anthologies, “Dead on Demand” and “Ghosts on the Coasts”.

T. Hello, please give us a bit of biography.

S. I am from Texarkana, Arkansas. Not Texas, the Arkansas side of town. After graduating from Nursing School at Arkansas Baptist in Little Rock, I worked for a few years around the tri state area (Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana). I didn’t find anything interesting, so I joined the Air Force for adventure. They sent me to North Dakota! Not a lot of adventure in Minot, N.D. but there were a lot of lonely men. One of them, Lynn Aikman, started asking me out and forty years, four kids and 5 grandkids later, I find myself in Scottsboro, Alabama.

T. When did you start writing?

S. I think I have always written things in my head. I started putting them on paper about 12 years ago.

T. Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor? Tell us about him/her.

S. Elizabeth Engstrom was one of the writing teachers at Lane Community
College in Eugene, Oregon. I was lucky enough to sign up for one of her
week-end at the coast seminars. I met her then and just found her to be
one of the most genuinely nice people in the world. She also knows her
stuff about writing. She is always supportive, never negative, a very generous person.

T. Please tell us about your current work.

S. I am a very lazy writer. I just about have to have my feet against the fire to sit down and write. Right now, I have relatives at the gate with torches waiting for my family history. I have always been fascinated with history and since I got interested in genealogy I have found some of our folks were in the thick of it. So it will write itself. I am just trying to organize everything.

T. Do you writing plans you can share?
S. I have for a long time had a three part story in my head based on one of the first short stories I wrote. It’s a civil war adventure romance. One of these days, I will get it down.

T. What are your writing habits? Are you an outliner or do you write “by the seat of your pants?

S. I come from a long line of storytellers. My mother wrote and my dad was kind of an oral historian, common in the South. I tell stories. I have found that in the process of getting the story out, I naturally just hit all the stops I have learned about in writing classes.

T. What are your ideas about the future of digital publishing?

S. I am very interested in it because I hate to turn over control of my writing to someone else, like an agent or editor. My one experience with that was not pleasant. I would like to have complete control over things with my name on them, with the exception of a proofreader to catch typos, etc.

T. Anything else to share?

S. I find the atmosphere in Scottsboro and the South in general to be very conducive to poking the muse and am feeling that itch to get things down on paper. I’ve met a lot of nice people since moving here four years ago and some not so nice, but they make good character fodder.

T. Thank you.

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