Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers
Q1: Thanks for participating in our Authors.com Spotlight Interview series Mark! Please introduce yourself and your book to help our readers get to know you.
A: Thanks for having me! I currently resides in Florida with my family. My father was a newspaper writer and editor for both the Kansas City Star and Kansan. I received his Bachelor’s Degree in Film from the University of Kansas. I have been influenced by C.S. Lewis, Stephen King and Tolkien and movies such as The Dark Crystal, and Star Wars. I have co-written four screenplays, two of which were produced as ultra-low budget direct-to-DVD features and a three episode children’s program. I have completed three other novels and a screenplay. Comfort Publishing has published my Empyrical Tales fantasy series; Book I: The Fourth Queen and Book II: The Lost Queen. Book III: The Secret Queen is coming June 2012. Through Trestle Press, I have two digital short story series, one spiritual and one for young readers. I believe being a father of four makes me uniquely qualified to write fantasy stories. My two daughters unknowingly provided the models for the main character sisters.
Q2: Please explain how you came to be a writer, what inspired you to write your book(s) and how long it took.
A: I have wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember, even back in high school. I suppose I have to follow in the footsteps of my namesake, Mark Twain. It took me about three months to write the first draft of The Fourth Queen. Of course, we all know the editing process can take much longer.
Q3: What did you enjoy most about creating this book?
A. Even now, my greatest enjoyment comes from the reader’s responses, both adults and children. It is wonderful to see them laugh or gasp at the right moment.
Q4: What facets of your life, both personal and professional, are woven into your book, if any?
A. My morals and beliefs are strong and show as positive attributes in my heroes. I want my children to have a good example even after I’m gone. Also, many of my daughters’ characteristics are in the main characters.
Q5. How did you get published?
A. Queries. I sent out plenty of query letters. Comfort Publishing liked what they read, I guess.
Q6: Did you have any surprises or hiccups along the way during the book writing and/or publishing process?
A. I have learned that print publishing is a long process. I never expected it to be that way. I try to be patient, but what can I say, I get excited.
Q7: What one thing did you wish you'd known before you started this project?
A. I wish I’d known more about deep POV. I’ve learned a lot since, but I think it is that point-of-view that helps the reader connect with the character and then the story. I think I pulled it off pretty well in The Fourth Queen. I am always learning though.
Q8: You're a fly on the wall when readers are discussing your book. What would you hope to hear them say about it?
A. I would like to hear them say how much they love my characters and can’t wait for the next book.
Q9: Tell us one thing about you that most people don't know or would surprise them.
A. My writing is very family-friendly, positive role models and such. I try not to be too secretive about it, but I am a zombie fan. I love zombie books and movies. I don’t think I will be able to fit them into any of my stories, but who knows?
Q10: What single piece of advice would you give new authors?
A. Keep writing. Even if you’ve been rejected 100 times, keep at it. Everybody has a story to tell.
Q11: Share a short summary of a typical day in your life with us please.
A. I usually don’t have a typical day. With four kids, working as a substitute teacher and writing, my days are constantly in motion. It’s a good day when I can knock out 2000 words, get groceries, do the dishes and have time for video games with the kids.
Q12: Describe where you do most of your writing. What would I see if I was sitting beside you?
A. Some of my short stories, I write in Word at my desk. It’s a fairly nice Ikea given to me by a friend, scattered with note cards for story ideas and “honey-dos”. I prefer to write my novels longhand. I carry around a spiral notebook and a pen. When I am working on the first draft of a novel, I can be caught writing anywhere.
Q13: What's your motto or favorite quote you like to live by?
A. Be nice.
Q14: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us in closing such as your website, an imminent book launch or what you're working on presently?
A. My website is www.MillerWords.com. I am also on Facebook. I love getting new friends and fans. I try to put out a short story with Trestle Press at least once a month. My next book with Comfort Publishing is The Secret Queen and it is coming June 2012. I have recently completed the first draft of Book IV: The First Queen. Thanks again for the interview!
Authors.com profile: http://www.authors.com/profile/MarkMiller
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