Maria Hudgins interview with David Alan Binder

posted Mar 22, 2017, 4:17 PM by David Alan Binder

Maria Hudgins interview with David Alan Binder

 Bio from her website (shortened):  I taught high school science for thirty years and retired with a head full of information that often creeps out in my stories. At one time or another I taught biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, physical science and oceanography.

I’m the luckiest of all possible people. To be able to write what I want to write, spend time with my friends when I want, and with the friends in my stories when I want. All this without having to starve in a garret.

 My two latest books and the start of a new series are based on two exciting recent trips to Egypt and to Turkey. I was fortunate enough to go to Egypt before the rebellion in 2011 and to enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Nile from Aswan to Luxor. We also spent a few days in Cairo so I got to browse the Egyptian Museum, though not nearly long enough. I want to go back as soon as I think things have sorted themselves out a bit. I found the Egyptian people delightful and friendly (Not including the hawkers and panhandlers with their hands ever out for baksheesh).

In Luxor, we spent one night in the Old Winter Palace, little changed since the days when Christie and Churchill stayed there. My favorite spot? Valley of the Kings.

In Istanbul, I’d been cautioned to act aloof and avoid eye contact. Baloney. Whenever I found myself standing on the sidewalk and looking lost, invariably a local would come up to me and say, in English, “Can I help you?” One guy even applauded me from across the street when I successfully followed his instructions and caught the tram going the right direction.

 My most recent adventure was to South Africa and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. It left me speechless. Maria Hudgins


1.     How do you pronounce your name ?

 Hudgins as in “fudge-ins.”


2.     Where are you currently?

Hampton, Virginia


3.     What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?

You can learn a lot from reading your favorite writers’ works. After all, there must be some reason why you like them. Write the book you’d like to read. Unless you’re really strange, others will like it too.


4.     What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?

I stick my plot points and photos that remind me of my characters and settings on a science fair board.


5.     Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?

My first (and only) publisher was Five Star, but they have dropped their entire mystery line and I’m now looking for my next best option.


a.     Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they located?

I’m working on that.


6.     Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?

Hang around with writers and other print professional. Go to conferences.


7.     Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?

Read your favorite writers. Study their plots and ask yourself, “Why do I love this book?”

8.     What was one of the most surprising things you learned with your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?

Sometimes you have to cut the parts you love. Keep the story moving.

9.     How many books have you written?

Ten, I think, and about the same number of short stories.


10.                  Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be as specific and information as you possibly can)?

Read your work aloud, or have someone read it to you.


11.                  Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?

Keep an eye out for little things that creep in unexpectedly, like a June bug that flies through an open window. It’s strange how often they turn out to be the start of something good.

12.                  What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?

So many books sound like they were written by a formula. Fact is, they were. Patterns are good; cookie-cutter plots are bad.


13.                  What saying or mantra do you live by?

Don’t sweat the small stuff.


14.                  Anything else you would like to say?

Don’t spend money on things to impress others. Spend less and you can write full-time even if you don’t make enough to live on.