Anne C. Miles
I am a Bluegrass American
Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR ARTISTIC PROCESS?
Anne C. Miles: I believe my writing needs to be done at the direction of God. So learning to listen to and hear Him is the most difficult thing. I want things done on my time table and He has other ideas. I have to honor that and trust it will all work out.
Romelia: DOES YOUR FAMILY SUPPORT YOUR CAREER AS A WRITER?
Anne C. Miles: Yes. I started as an adult, with marketable skills as a graphic designer, so I’m not launching out as a kid trying to make a career happen. I’m sure things would have been very different if I had done that.
Romelia: IF YOU HAD TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY AS A CHILD OR TEENAGER TO BECOME A BETTER WRITER AS AN ADULT, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Anne C. Miles: I studied modern languages as a teen/ college student. Spanish, French and German. I read incessantly. I think I was preparing to be an author and didn’t know it. I don’t think I would change anything.
Romelia: HOW LONG ON AVERAGE DOES IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE A BOOK?
Anne C. Miles: About a year.
Romelia: DO YOU BELIEVE IN WRITER’S BLOCK?
Anne C. Miles: Not really. I think we can go through dry spells, but that just means we have something to learn in another area before we can move on and write the next thing.
Romelia: AT WHAT POINT DO YOU THINK SOMEONE SHOULD CALL THEMSELVES A WRITER?
Anne C. Miles: When they write, whether it is published or not. If you write, you are a writer.
Romelia: WHAT DIFFERENCE DO YOU SEE BETWEEN A WRITER AND AN AUTHOR?
Anne C. Miles: An author has a published manuscript, either self-published or indie published.
Romelia: HOW DO YOU PROCESS AND DEAL WITH NEGATIVE BOOK REVIEWS?
Anne C. Miles: I ask myself if the review is true. Do I agree with their assessment? If so, I do my best to change whatever it was the person objected to.(For instance, I simplified my book cover.) I might make a note to address their problem in a future book. I haven’t had a lot of bad reviews. The one sort of bad review I received was not true. It was obvious the reviewer had not actually read the book. She had only skimmed it. When she wrote her review, she actually named the wrong state as a setting. So no, the issues this reviewer had with the book were not my issues. In another case, my main character hit the reader in a way which was too intimate and disturbing. She was too close to home. The reader couldn’t finish reading the book. I understand that. But again, those are not my issues. Not everyone will like or jive with my story. That’s okay. A book is very much a Rorschach test. The issues people have with it, many times, are their issues. Not mine. So I will try to determine where the bad review is coming from, and then move on. A bad review, if it is honest, and addresses something I need to address or change? That is gold for me. It makes me better. I’m totally okay with that sort of review, and welcome it.
Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR WRITING PROCESS?
Anne C. Miles: The bit between starting to work and seeing the scene my imagination tends to be a struggle. Once I see the scene, I am fine.
Romelia: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING OR WHEN DID YOU START?
Anne C. Miles: I started writing when I was a small child. I started writing with an intent to publish in 2017.
Romelia: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A WRITER WORKING ON THEIR FIRST BOOK?
Anne C. Miles: Get the words on the page and work with a good editor.
Romelia: WHAT, TO YOU, ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF GOOD WRITING?
Anne C. Miles: Eucatastrophe. There must be that moment of grace, the moment of poignant turning in the story that will pierce the most jaded emotional armor a reader might have. That is the most important element of good writing.
Romelia: WHAT COMES FIRST FOR YOU – THE PLOT OR THE CHARACTERS – AND WHY?
Anne C. Miles: The plot. Aristotle mentioned plot is character and he was right. It is what a person does which shows who he is. Character flows from plot.
Romelia: HOW DO YOU DEVELOP YOUR PLOT AND CHARACTERS?
Anne C. Miles: I stare at photos of them until I know what they are doing and then I write it down.
Romelia: WHEN DID YOU FIRST CALL YOURSELF A WRITER?
Anne C. Miles: 2017
Romelia: HOW DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA AS AN AUTHOR?
Anne C. Miles: I post interesting bits and bobs and thoughts and background on my author Facebook. I try to ask questions too. I want to know what my readers think.
Romelia: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE PART OF PUBLISHING?
Anne C. Miles: I love it all. I love designing my book cover and writing the blurb and building my web site. I love marketing the book. I love all of it. My least favorite part would probably be the edit, which is like open heart surgery. But it is also where the magic happens and where your story takes on life. So while editing is painful, I’d say I enjoy it too.
Romelia: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO AN AUTHOR WHO WANTED TO DESIGN THEIR OWN COVER?
Anne C. Miles: I have been a graphic designer for 20 years and I designed my own cover. I’m not the right person to ask this question! I think most people should have someone else design the cover. Even for me, the design was really hard. I went through a lot of designs before I landed on the right one, and then I simplified it after getting some feedback. Most people are just too close to the book to be able to get the design right. Effective typography is a skill which takes a lot of time to develop. If you copy someone else’s typography you can pull it off, but in general, it is much, much, much easier to hire someone else to do it. There are pre-mades you can purchase inexpensively, so there is really no excuse to not have a decent cover.
Romelia: HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN AND WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE?
Anne C. Miles: I’ve just written my second book, which is a ghost-written book, a memoir. It will be coming out in the next month or so. I enjoyed writing it, though obviously ghost writing is very different from fantasy fiction. I prefer my fantasy.
Romelia: WHAT PART OF THE BOOK DID YOU HAVE THE HARDEST TIME WRITING?
Anne C. Miles: The hardest parts of the book to write were scenes in which my main character, Sara, was exploring her relationship with her father with her therapist. Emotional abuse and abandonment are vey painful and just as impactful as physical abuse. I think they are easy to dismiss. I wanted to write those scenes and show how different episodes affected Sara without resorting to “Her daddy abused her.” Most people wouldn’t see their relationship as abusive, because there was no physical abuse. We can have issues that need to be resolved which have nothing to do with intentional overt abuse.
But those issues are still real and still must be dealt with.
Romelia: WHAT PART OF THE BOOK WAS THE MOST FUN TO WRITE?
Anne C. Miles: The gnomes were a hoot. I love my gnomes. I also love Tabor, the leader of the Spinners. He sort of walked on stage and took on a life of his own. He’s hilarious.
Romelia: WHICH OF THE CHARACTERS DO YOU RELATE TO THE MOST AND WHY?
Anne C. Miles: I relate the most to Sara, simply because she is a woman and an artist. I understand the pressures she faces, within and without.
Romelia: IF YOU’RE PLANNING A SEQUEL. CAN YOU SHARE A TINY BIT ABOUT YOUR PLANS FOR IT?
Anne C. Miles: I had a plan for 3 more books. Then I read Jim Butcher’s Live journal and the man completely upended all my plans. The jerk! My outline is a poem and I had been completely okay with that. But he made some really valid points about plot and the Big Middle of the book. So now I’m reworking book 2. Where I had planned to tell about gathering ALL eight of the refrains in book 2, I am now just gathering the first one. The third book will deal with the next one and so on. Trystan, my bard, also has a full story arc intertwined with Dane’s story. His story is very Arthurian. Sara will only appear throughout, like Tinkerbell. I may write her story more fully down the road. It keeps intruding on me and I may not have a choice. All of this means more books, but hopefully it means a stronger overall story.
Romelia: TELL US SOMETHING FUNNY ABOUT YOUR ADULT LIFE.
Anne C. Miles: I once went on a hayride with the Okinawan City Council (from Japan) and a lot of figure skaters. It was a surreal moment.
Romelia: describe yourself in a few sentences. Tell us something we do not know about you and something you hate about the world.
Anne C. Miles: I have a bat phobia. It’s an actual phobia. I discovered my phobia when a bat flew down a chimney and knocked itself out. We put it in a jar and took it to a friend of mine, a wildlife biologist. I held the jar in my lap on the ride to her house. I was fine until I sat in the car and saw the bat’s little face. I have never felt anything like the wave of terror that gripped me. We covered the jar up so I could endure the car ride. Since then, I have avoided bats whenever possible. Even a photo can set me off. I’ll be in tears and not understand why. I’m mystified by my crazy, but there it is. I can’t reason with it or undo it.
I hate deception. Deception is the single most destructive energy in the universe. I think the self-deception we all participate in is the worst.
Universal book link: https://storyoriginapp.com/universalbooklinks/e6512154-e536-11e9-95af-97953ea05de0
Or my book website: sorrowfish.com
Email: email@example.com (use this one in the article if you put one in)
And firstname.lastname@example.org (my work email which I will probably be using as I am lazy)
Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/loricaAuthor
Author website (my blog ) annecmiles.com
Press kit/anything else you need: http://bit.ly/3b7vXQO