From time to time we feature other authors here on the blog besides me.
Today and tomorrow I’m featuring two friends (DM Miller today, Jolene Naylor tomorrow), who are both interesting and who both OUGHT to come on the video show (no pressure) but who also both shed some light on authoring from their own unique perspectives.
Here’s 20 Questions (almost) with my friend D M Miller. Enjoy.
- What is the working title of your next book?
While I was writing it, the Word doc was called, “Catherine2.” So original, right? But the real title has become, Agony of the Heart.
- Where did the idea come from for the book?
It’s the sequel to my first novel, and it just sort of came to me as the next stage in these people’s lives. The thing is, I needed a message. The first book has a message, and this one needed one too. That was something I had to think about, but once it came to me, I had a goal to work toward.
- What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
If I told you that, I’d have to kill you! 😉 Actually, there are actors in my head, but if I were to reveal who they are, it would ruin everything. When people read books, they create their own pictures in their heads, and I would never want to spoil each reader’s personal take on my books.
What makes you so damn interesting anyway?
Because I write about things others don’t, and I am not afraid to tackle controversial issues. I go where others don’t dare because political correctness doesn’t scare me away. 😉
- Why do some authors sell well and others don’t? (Indie or otherwise, but indie if possible)
There are so many variables in this. Much of it has to do with marketing. Authors are not born publicists, nor do we have the money to pour into it. To be honest, I’ve read books that are absolutely terrible yet sell well because the author knows how to market. On the other hand, there are excellent books that just need that big break. If the right person were to read it…
- How did you choose the genre you write in? Or did it choose you?
I’ve always written about love, from the time I was 12 and writing poetry. As for the Middle East, my late father was Jewish, and I have always been drawn to that side of myself, with a deep spiritual connection to Israel. Jews and Arabs, specifically Egyptians and Palestinians, terrorism and the various wars, were topics we’d discussed throughout my childhood.
- Can you wash light and dark clothes together? Have you even turned a bunch of stuff pink in the washer?
You know, I would have said no in years past, but now you can! They’ve made a new product that looks kind of like a dryer sheet. You can throw that in the washer and put all your clothes together! J
- What “person” do you like to write in? First Person, Third Person, etc. – and why?
Third person, but I like to switch up the point of view. A fellow author was yelling at me about it because in my first book I change the point of view from him to her to ubiquitous narrator, but the truth is, I did it on purpose. It was no accident. It may not follow the rules, but I don’t care.
- What do you think some of the greatest misconceptions about indie authors are?
That we can’t write, that if we could write, we would have a publishing contract. Not all indie authors can write well, but there are many who can write better than those who do have contracts. Frankly, I haven’t even attempted to get a contract with these two novels.
- What’s a good writing secret or time management secret?
Set out a daily plan, and print out a chart that you have to fill out every day once you complete your writing for the day. On the chart, write what the goal is, and make that goal a reasonable one. For me, it varied, but I finally settled on 1500 words. If I surpassed it, great, but I had to at least meet the minimum. Give yourself at least one day off because you’re only human, and you need to get away from that computer for a while.
- What’s your favorite food?
Anything fattening. Pasta, cheese and bread, and if you put them altogether, even better! Maintaining my weight is a constant battle, and as a matter of fact, food and weight play an important role in my new book. Catherine struggles with expectations, and it becomes overwhelming for her.
What’s one thing that sent you completely off the rails when you were writing?
I made the mistake of letting my husband start reading the beginning right after I had written it, and he told me I should write more on the supporting characters. But that wasn’t part of my plan, and I couldn’t figure out how on earth to fit that in! My plan was already set, and these were secondary characters after all. I stopped writing for months because I was stumped. Then I decided to forget what he said and follow my original plan.
- What is the single most important quality in a novel; what must an author do to win you over?
Emotion. I need it, like a drug. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s reading a romance with no emotion.
- Best book to movie you’ve seen?
None. It doesn’t exist, which is why I can’t reveal who the actors are in my head. People create their own images, and the actors never match.
- What are your three favorite books by other authors?
Come on now! That’s impossible. Only three?? Well, some recent books I couldn’t put down are: The Settler by Orit Arfa, The Gardener of Baghdad by Ahmad Ardalan, and a story called “The Jewish Neighbor,” which is part of a collection in Paper Cut Hearts by A.M. Khalifa.
As for influences, there are so many that have shaped my writing and my thinking along the way, like The Sun Also Rises, Night by Ellie Wiesel, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Merchant of Venice (for various reasons), Semites & Anti-Semites by the great Bernard Lewis, The Book of Esther, loads of poetry, etc., etc.
- Do you hate cats?
Ha, ha! Well… no comment. 😉 Ok, ok. Let’s put it this way: I’m a dog person, but I love cat people too. Cats, on the other hand, are a different story.
- What was the most fun interview you’ve done and why?
Why it would have to be this one of course! You’re just too charming, I guess. J
- I hear you have some very exciting news! Can you share it with us?
That’s right! My new book just came out! My second published novel, it’s the sequel to The Religion of the Heart, an interfaith romance between a Muslim and a Jew. This one, Agony of the Heart, continues the journey of the same characters, Abdul and Catherine, but with new issues to face. There are claims of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, but the biggest hurdle for them both is one I cannot reveal. The reader discovers it as the problem worsens throughout the book and explodes at the end.
The Religion of the Heart: http://www.amazon.com/Religion-Heart-D-M-Miller/dp/1514892901/
Agony of the Heart: http://www.amazon.com/Agony-Heart-D-M-Miller-ebook/dp/B01DFEA160/
DM Miller Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/D.-M.-Miller/e/B012RDNV76/