It time to meet another author, drink our favorite beverage, and indulge in a little book talk. This week's guest is urban fantasy author A. R. Miller.
Welcome, Amy! How do you take your coffee?
A.R.: I’ll take it any way I can get it, but usually with a touch of milk. Iced when it’s hot, and hot when it’s cold. Alternatives, would include chai—again iced or hot—and Dr. Pepper, always iced.
Ally: I think we'll stick with the real stuff. :) While I pour, please introduce yourself to readers.
A.R. Miller writes urban fantasy for grown-ass women (and men) who are still too young to care.
She lives in Central Iowa with an accommodating husband and their four-footed companions. When not testing the patience of readers with cliffhanger endings, you might find her wielding a makeup brush or curling iron as a freelance stylist.
Something unique that isn't in your bio: "I don’t think there’s anything unique about me, I’m pretty boring and average." (Ally note: Ha. Having met this author, I can assure you that isn't true. Since she writes about supernatural stuff, perhaps there are secrets she can't reveal. :))
The Meadowlarks reader group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1673553996227189/
Amazon page: http://tinyurl.com/glef6hz
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/z2flfs8
Ally: When readers pick up one of your books, what can they expect?
A.R.: I write contemporary, or what others have labeled, urban fantasy. Almost everything I write is for adults. You’ll find references to days gone by, some spicy scenes of a sexual nature, violence, and some pretty adult language. I won’t say it’s mature, but it’s for a mature audience.
Ally: Describe the creation of your paranormal world. Did you start with a character, setting, or plot?
A.R.: The Fey Creations series came about when the main character, Keely Fey, flipped the tables on me. Originally, I was all set to write an epic fantasy, but Keely—her original name escapes me—didn’t want to live in a medieval world and she certainly wasn’t a sword toting warrior. She wanted to live in modern day Iowa and her weapon of choice a pair of shears. She wanted to cut hair not flesh.
Age was another issue, but probably more for me than her. Most characters in contemporary or urban fantasy are twenty or thirty-something, kick-butt heroes. As I matured—I say this very tongue in cheek—I began wondering what an average, middle-aged person would do in the same situations. That’s how middle-aged, hairstylist Keely Fey came into being.
Ally: Are you a plotter or a pantser? Charts, outlines, character sketches? Do you consciously think about story arcs, rising and falling action, the three acts, the six stages...or do you wing it?
A.R.: I work best when I’m winging it. I’m primarily a pantser, but have had to do a little more plotting—or paying attention—as the series grows. My ‘outline’ consists of various things that need to happen in no particular order, sandwiched between a beginning and ending, all subject to change at a moment’s notice. I also write in scenes, meaning if something comes to me, I get it down and tuck it away. If it doesn’t fit the current project, I save it for a future project.
Ally: What's the best writing or marketing advice you ever received? The worst?
A.R.: The best writing advice? Write the story you want to read. If you enjoy what you’re writing, the reader can sense it and it makes their experience better. If it interests you, chances are someone else will be interested.
For someone who relies on word of mouth, the best marketing advice comes from Maya Angelou, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I can’t think of anything that would be considered the worst advice. There are plenty of things I don’t agree with or haven’t worked for me, but it doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else.
Ally: What is your next writing project?
A.R.: I just finished the fourth book in the FC series, Shadow Play—it will be out at the end of September—and will be starting number five soon. Unfortunately, I don’t have much to tease, not even a working title. But true to form, bad things will happen to Keely.
Ally: Let's finish with a few quick answer questions.
- a. the most unusual item in your refrigerator: Strangest thing in my fridge, unused 35mm film. Yes, I still have a camera that uses film.
- b. your favorite candle scent: I haven’t burned candles in years. I abolished them when my birthday cake turned into a flaming torch.
- c. a book you'd recommend: If you like sci-fi, thriller, with a touch of romance, I highly recommend the Traveler Chronicles by Dennis Green.
- d. a place you'd love to visit: I’d love to visit Germany, and the Frisian Islands.
- e. a guilty pleasure: My biggest guilty pleasure is having a moment to lay around and do nothing. Too bad I don’t have time to indulge.
Ally: Thanks for visiting the blog, Amy. Before you go, please tell us more about your upcoming release, Shadow Play.
Shadow Play (Fey Creations Book 4)
Keely Fey’s first assignment, as the Lord’s Shadow, is to spy on Var Royd’s nemesis, Haydn Koehler. She must use her Talents, but with access to Vereinen—the only other schattenkind—denied, and no one with the knowledge to teach her, the mission seems doomed to fail.
A chance meeting with a stranger changes everything. Mr. Mortonson, a student of history and member of the Ahnenerbe Society, claims to be an authority on the schattenkind.
Does Mort have the information needed to complete her assignment and find Vereinen? Or is he another player in the game to control Keely and her Talents?
Available at Amazon | Kobo | iBooks
Coming to B&N September 30, 2016
Other books by A.R. Miller:
A.R.: Thank you, Ally, for inviting me to have coffee with you and your readers!
Ally: My pleasure!