February 2016 Author of the Month: Nancy Miller
We call this site “Our Write Side” because that’s what it really is. We want you to meet and mingle, find great new reads, a new author, maybe even a guiding light. We want to pay it forward to the same writing community that has treated us with such love and support.
This is why every single month we will host one author; one outstanding writer to showcase for the whole month.
This month we honor one of our own favorite writers.
Our Write Side is pleased to introduce you to the Authoress Nancy Miller, who also writes Nancy’s Notes, a weekly Monday column right here on Our Write Side.
Name: Nancy E. Miller
Latest Book Released: Crystal Unicorns
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Preferred Genre:Romantic Suspense
Nancy Miller lives out in the Illinois countryside near St. Louis, Missouri. She shares her home with her husband of 31 years and three exceptionally spoiled dogs. After losing her house to fire in November 2013, not much was left but they did find a slightly melted USB drive with all her writing backups. She took this a sign she should get back to work. She is the author of Crystal Unicorns, a romantic suspense novel available in paperback and ebook on Amazon. Her current book, Shark Bait, is in final edits.
She shares her writing advice and more every Monday on Nancy’s Notes.
We are so honored to have you as our Author of the Month! Thank you for sharing your words with the world! Let’s talk about your latest released book. Tell us a short blurb about the book, please?
Crystal Unicorns is a romantic suspense that follows three people whose lives have been shattered and their innocence shattered. Alexis wrote a book about a woman who was betrayed by a close friend and the accusations she made put Alexis in a horrible situation with the police and an arrogant and devious child protection officer. When the book hits the stands it becomes the new bestseller. But there is a young man who remembers that time and what happened with his mother. Unable to handle the stress, one of his alters comes forward and all hell breaks loose. This one wants blood and will go through anyone to get revenge for breaking the primary rule: Thou shalt not tell. Zach steps in to keep Alexis alive but can he keep his head clear enough to do his job or will his love for Alexis cloud his judgement?
Truthfully, something that happened to me when a so-called friend used me to cover up something she was doing. It was an extremely rough time but what really killed me is that the powers that be knew I was innocent all along but were using me to find out the real story. Of course, once that happens your reputation is shot and you find out who your real friends are.
How long did it take you to write it?
I started around 1995 but shelved it because I felt it was so personal I just couldn’t publish it. In 2011 I decided to get it together and get past the fear. I think there are people out there that need to read the message in this book.
How did you come up with the title?
Alexis wears a crystal unicorn head on a chain around her neck but the image of broken glass runs through the book. It is my symbol for the innocence that all three characters and their own stories of innocence lost.
What is your favorite line from the book?
There are so many. This one segment is probably my favorite as it defines Zach’s determination. Blossoming from the small of her back was an orchid of purple, blue, and red. Zach held his temper and fastened the dress closure, taking care not to touch the tender area. As the jacket settled onto her shoulders, Zach placed a firm hand on each and leaned in toward her ear. Keeping his voice an eerie calm, he said, “On the way to the reception, you will tell me everything about this son of a bitch. Is that clear?”
There’s a lot of talk in the writing community about “writing what you know.” Does that apply to this book?
Yes, definitely. I took the emotions I felt during that trying time and poured them into the book. It was quite cathartic. My current project is a bit more challenging but still familiar.
When did you start writing and what was the first thing you wrote?
I started late. There is a story I tell about a board of crayon yellow daffodils at the first grade open house. The one in the middle was every color but yellow. Mom said she knew immediately it was mine. But being out of the ‘norm’ was not allowed in my house. It wasn’t until I started therapy after the incident that I started writing letters and poems that someday I plan to publish. Then came Crystal Unicorns. It was my first book and I am so happy with the reviews.
How did you find “your voice?”
I stopped trying to sound all prim and proper and wrote like I talk. I am from the south and that sassy, sarcastic, twangy language is part of me. So I use humor to break the drama which actually increases the tension. My characters have attitudes and backstories all their own.
Do you stick to one genre or do you dabble in others, too?
I have a few general romance stories that I work on, and I have written poetry.
What are you currently working on?
A romantic suspense, my editor calls it a thriller with romantic overtones, Shark Bait. It begins with a human head and two dead tiger sharks on a beach. Kate Ainsworth is called in to identify because Detective Ben Rayder thinks the man is one of her clients. From there, we enter a world of murder, drugs, and deceit.
Which manuscript did you have the most fun working on?
The first one was a work of angst. I think Shark Bait is a lot more fun to write…we won’t discuss how I feel about editing.
What is your best one sentence advice to other writers?
Read and Research everything you can about writing, authors, technique, then read books in your genre.
Let’s talk about you, the author, now. What do you do when you aren’t writing?
I watch television and end up figuring out the plots…writer’s way of life. I love my three dogs, work with my hubby in the kitchen, do crafts. I’d like to get back into my art, but there are only 24 hours in a day. I’m already planning my garden for this year, and we love to can the produce.
If you had to sum your life up in 3 words, what would they be?
We had a fire two years ago that took everything we had, including our six dogs and two cats. I almost didn’t make it through those first few days. Then I decided it would not ruin Christmas. So I reordered the gifts and then afterward I started working with plans to rebuild and reestablish our home. My three words. Keep moving forward.
What motivates you?
Well, I have a brand new office which makes it easier to stay focused and I feel it gives my work the respect it deserves. General motivation? The belief that my husband, family, and friends (especially here at OWS) have that I will be a bestselling author someday. I’m 58 so I’d better hurry up.
Tell us about your favorite cause.
Rescuing and rehoming animals. Coco was in a humane society for 4 years because she is a pit bull and they thought she might be agressive…not a mean bone in her body. All she wants is a couch to sleep on. Daisy was a rescue from a hoarder and in horrible shape. She is a lovely little lady now but still with PTSD issues. River? We’ve had her since 6 weeks old. Her owner just won’t have the mother fixed and wonders why she is getting snappy.
Identify your superpower.
Empathy. I find I can pick up on moods, attitudes, and emotions, possibly because I worked with kids, the mentally ill, and come from a childhood where you had to know how to sense changes in order to know when to duck and cover.
What’s your favorite quote? Book? Movie? Song? Food?
Quote: “Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.”
Book: Jane Eyre, and I watch all incarnations of the film.
Song: So many, but I sing “You are my Sunshine” to my dogs sometimes.
Are you coffee or tea?
Coffee, two cups, in the morning, tea the rest of the day.
And lastly, what is the one thing you wish people who DON’T write would understand about writing?
When we are working, and it is work, don’t expect us to just stop and chat on the phone or want to go to lunch. And don’t get all irritated because we said no.
Pick up your copy of Crystal Unicorns below: