Saturday, 9 February 2013

BLOGGER BOOK FAIR interview Kelly Miller

Welcome to day 3 of the fantastic Blogger Book Fair. Today I would like to do my 2nd Author feature on the wonderful Kelly Miller.

Author - (Kelly Miller)

1/ When and what made you decide you wanted to be a writer?
Writing has always been in my blood. Since the age of thirteen when I coauthored a cheesy romance novel in a blue, spiral bound notebook, I knew I wanted to pursue writing as a career. But somewhere along the way, I lost my voice. As is often happens, life simply got in the way. I got married, had three children, and adopted a black Labrador. As a stay-at-home mom, I was lucky to get an hour a day to myself. And when I found those few precious minutes, they were spent reading a good book. It was only in my search for my own identity after staying at home with the kids that ultimately lead me back to my love of writing.

2/ Can you tell us something about your books, genre?
I write mysteries with a sexual element. And not the 50 Shades of Grey kind. I shine a light on sexual taboo topics like in the case of Dead Like Me, childhood sexual abuse. My debut mystery novel allows readers the chance to see one example of a girl who’s lived through horrible childhood trauma and the path she took because of it. It’s also very important that I leave my readers get a satisfying ending. You know the type of story where you exhale. Readers have invested days, sometimes weeks into reading my book. They’ve immersed themselves in my characters, followed them through thick and thin, and when that final resolution happens, I want them to close the book, hug it to their chest, and exhale. As a reader and author, it can’t get much better than that.

3/ Where do you get your ideas from?
In the case of Dead Like Me, I was inspired to create the Kate Springer character when I was at the park with my then two children. That day a grandfather was there with his granddaughter. There was an odd dynamic between the two. Now I’m pretty good at reading moods, and I could tell by the girl’s body language she was uncomfortable with the touch of her grandfather. I’m a mom. I know the difference between when a child is being moody and when something else is bothering them. This was definitely something else. I regret not striking up a conversation with the child but soon after they arrived, my son fell down, scraped his knee, thus ending our day out. I’ve never been able to get that little girl out of my head. And in my writer’s mind, she developed into something more. Eventually, I created a whole scenario around her thinking what her life would be like if she grew up the victim of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of her grandfather. Thus Kate Springer was born. I took it a step further, wondering what if Kate became a detective and one day looked into the face of a thirteen-year-old victim, realizing it was like looking into a mirror. What kinds of emotions would it stir up? Would the memories of Kate’s life at thirteen come rushing back?

4/ Are you working on a new book at the moment?
Yes. I’m a third of the way through the second book in the Detective Kate Springer series. In the first book, Kate is required to see a shrink when she’s involved in a shooting. Kate and Dr. Nina Grace form a strong bond that I further explore in the second book. When Dr. Grace calls Kate in the middle of the night stating, “I think I just killed my husband,” Kate investigates the case. She fights to clear Dr. Grace’s name, knowing in her gut that the woman couldn’t possibly be capable of the horrific murder of her husband.

5/ What are your ambitions concerning your writing career?
I’ve never been motivated by money. In fact, I’m married to my patron of the arts. Creating stories, sharing them with others—that’s my passion. My writing is what keeps me up into the wee hours of the night, and my characters are the first things that cross my mind in the morning.  My hope is that I get to continue publishing my work. And though only one title’s been released, I want each novel to be better than the last.

6/ Which writers inspire you?
My favorite mystery/suspense author is Lisa Gardner. She also writes about a kick-ass female detective. But I also love the greats like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Jeffery Deaver, Karin Slaughter, Max Lucado, Harlan Coben, and Jodi Picoult.

7/ What book are you reading at present?
The last book I read seemed to be on everyone’s must read list last year—Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. But now that I’m in the middle of writing again, I stay away from novels. At least during my first draft. I don’t want to subconsciously sabotage the process either by writing something similar to what I’m reading or being discouraged by such high quality writing. Author’s egos are fragile, and we’re horribly guilty when it comes to comparing ourselves to each other.

8/ What are your thoughts on reviews, good and bad?
Nature of the beast. They’re needed so others can get a feel for what’s good and what’s not. It’s funny how personally I read movie reviews but when it comes to books, I leave it up to the book’s blurb and cover. I pick titles based on what moves me. I rarely let others opinions influence me.

9/ What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Enter your novel into writing competitions. When my novel kept getting rejected, I entered the manuscript into the Florida Writers Association RPLA competition. I won second place in the Best Mystery category. Even though it won, I got back invaluable information from three judges who’d critiqued my work, pointing out the weak areas. It was an inexpensive way to get feedback on my work.
Something else happened after I won the award. I finally got the attention of agents and publishers. I changed my query letter, adding the information about the award I won and each submission was met with positive feedback. I got past the first stage with the agents and publishers, each requesting the first three chapters of my book. Eventually, I signed with the small press, Black Rose Writing. Another option to keep in mind is that many small independent publishers offer their own writing competitions. Prizes sometimes include a publishing contract.
10/ Do you have any advice on how to market your books?
No but if you hear of some good tips, pass them my way.

11/ What would you consider to be the worst thing about being an indie author?
When you’re trying to get attention for you book, sometimes it feels like you’re shouting into the wind. It’s hard to break through all the noise in the marketplace and sometimes it feels like you’re all alone. Sometimes I feel that unless you tap each potential reader on the shoulder personally, you won’t get them to look your way.

12/ What do you like to do when you’re not writing, hobbies, etc?
Are you talking about free time? (Insert author’s laughter here.) I’m a SAHM of three who also has a husband and a dog. So when I’m not hearing “Can I . . .” and “I want . . .” I’m volunteering at church or the kid’s school plus juggling marketing my first book and writing a second.

13/ Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your books?
That’s a tough one. I guess Anna Torv who plays Olivia Dunham on the television show Fringe. The show was one of my favorites. Kind of like a modern day X-Files. I love the supernatural bent. Torv has a similar look and she excellent playing a strong female detective.
14/ What is your favourite movie and why?
Depends on the day and how I’m feeling. I have a favorite in each genre. If I’m feeling sappy, I love watching Notting Hill. If I need something deeper, I watch Good Will Hunting again. In Sci-fi it would have to be Aliens 2. You get the idea.

Where can you be reached?

 Fantastic interview, Many thanks Kelly.
'Dead Like Me' is free throughout the length of the BBF, follow the link below and go check it out:

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