Today, I spoke with Lindsay Maddox, winner of one of the Accentuate Writers Short Story Anthology contests and whose story will appear in the upcoming book, Elements of the Soul.
Jennifer Walker: Tell me about the work you have in Elements of the Soul. What is it about, and what inspired it?
Lindsay Maddox: My piece, titled Love and Loss, touches on pregnancy, miscarriage, and the breadth of emotion that goes along with loving and losing your baby and surviving through the grief. It was inspired by a friend of mine who experienced the devastating loss of her daughter, Janell Victory, who was stillborn at 31 weeks 3 days. My friend and her husband took their grief and turned it into an amazing organization (A Small Victory) to help others through the grief and loss of their babies. Hearing Janell's story and seeing what an amazing impact she has had on the world inspired much of the emotional impact behind my story.
Jennifer Walker: Did you have any misgivings about entering the contest? How did you get over them?
Lindsay Maddox: Initially, I was quite nervous about entering the contest. The contest prior, I had ignorantly assumed I had written the best story ever, and didn't place. This was a necessary, but still crushing blow to my ego that had me questioning my abilities. I worried that I was like one of those American Idol contestants that thinks they can sing, but in all actuality are completely tone deaf. I eventually decided that I was good enough to place in a contest and gave it another shot. Glad I did!
Jennifer Walker: Have you entered any more contests since the one that got you into the book? Do you plan to enter any more?
Lindsay Maddox: I have entered nearly every Accentuate Writers Anthology contest since winning first place with Love and Loss and have fared quite well in some of them and not so well in others. I will most definitely enter in future contests and have a few stories in the works for the current themes!
Jennifer Walker: How have the Accentuate Writers Anthology contests helped you grow as a writer?
Lindsay Maddox: Through the Accentuate Writers Anthology contests I have learned the unpleasant but still necessary lessons of rejection, undergoing critiques, and that fact that not everyone will enjoy my work. For me, these have been essential to creating more effective pieces. I am still learning so much, and hope to continue learning with each contest I enter and critique I receive.
Jennifer Walker: Tell me about other writing projects you have going, unrelated to the contests.
Lindsay Maddox: I have a novel in the works for preteens, though I have taken a bit of a break from it for a while. I also have an adult fiction novel outlined and ready to be written. Other than that, I write on my blog for fun and inspiration.
Jennifer Walker: Is writing your full time job, or do you have a "day job"?
Lindsay Maddox: Writing is my creative outlet. My full-time job is as a stay-at-home mom to a 4 and 2 year old and newborn twins coming soon!
Jennifer Walker: To what do you attribute your success as a writer so far?
Lindsay Maddox: My success as a writer stems from a number of areas. First, my mom, who instilled in me a love of reading and drilled proper grammar and spelling into my head from a young age. I am so very thankful for that, even though it may have annoyed me as a child. Second, my family and friends, who have cheered me on with writing since before I even attempted a writing contest, following my blogs, complimenting my writing, and pushing me to do more. Third, my husband, who has never once thought of my desire to write as silly or a waste of time. He has taken the kids so I can write in peace and is always there to give me a hug with a rejection or a hug with a win or accomplishment.
Jennifer Walker: Tell me about your family. Are they supportive of your writing?
Lindsay Maddox: Yes, very much so. I can't tell you how many emails or phone calls I have received from family members who can't wait to hold Elements of the Soul in their hands and see what stories I will concoct next.
Jennifer Walker: What was the last book you read?
Lindsay Maddox: Oh, dear. As a mom, I don't get to read as much as I would like and have had to settle for easy reads as of late. Sadly, I think the most recent was Stephenie Meyer's New Moon.
Jennifer Walker: Tell me one thing about yourself that you think most people don't know.
Linsay Maddox: I have never watched Survivor. Never. Not one single episode. Can you believe that? I have also never watched a single soap opera, and that includes the teeny bopper ones like Dawson's Creek, 90210, and Party of 5.
Oh, and I hate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as well as seafood. Yick. Blech. Ew!
Thank you so much to Lindsay Maddox for stopping by! Be sure to pick up your copy of Elements of the Soul so you can read her story.