This week’s Friday Featured Author is Renee Miller! Check out her books The Legend of Jackson Murphy and In the Bones on Amazon, and stay tuned for a teaser from The Legend of Jackson Murphy at the end of the interview!
Website: On Fiction Writing
SL: What inspired you to start your blog?
RM: Honestly, I started it because I was advised to do so as part of my “platform” when I decided to try to publish my writing. Now, I don’t think I’d give it up. It’s too much fun having my own corner of the Internet to just be “me.” Even if it’s a tiny corner.
SL: When did you first start writing stories?
RM: I don’t recall a time when I wasn’t making up a story of some kind. From the time I could spell, I scribbled stories. Now they make a little more sense.
SL: Who or what most inspires your writing?
RM: I’m inspired by a lot of things. I guess it’s mostly people, since most of my stories are character driven. Sadly, it’s not usually the people who should inspire me. I’m inspired by people whose actions I can’t figure out.
RM: It depends on what I’m writing. I listen to practically every genre of music. It depends on the lyrics or the melody. If something strikes the right note inside me, I’ll write to that song or genre for the duration of a book.
SL: Which of your own stories is your favorite?
RM: That’s like asking me which of my kids I love most. However, I will say that THE LEGEND OF JACKSON MURPHY was the most fun to write. But I really do love them all. Well, except for the first couple. I try not to think about them.
SL: Who is your favorite author?
RM: My favorite author changes constantly. I love George R.R. Martin, Stephen King, John Irving, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christopher Moore, and Chuck Palahniuk. I also love some less “famous” authors, like Maria Zannini, Chris Rothe, Lauren B. Davis and Les Edgerton. I don’t think the latter get the recognition they deserve. So…that didn’t answer the question at all. I have too many favorites.
SL: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
RM: Writing shouldn’t be easy. If it is, then you’re probably doing it wrong. And also, if you want to write, you’ll write. It doesn’t matter if you never publish. You’ll write because you love to. It’s that simple.
SL: If you could be bffs (best friends forever) with any fictional character, who would it be?
RM: Eric Northman. (Sookie Stackhouse series) Friends with benefits, preferably.
SL: What is your ultimate goal as a writer? (To write for pleasure? To be a best-selling author? Something else?)
RM: I already write for pleasure, and while I certainly wouldn’t turn down best-seller status, I’d be happy with the books earning enough that all of my time could be devoted to them. My day job is writing articles, so I have half of what I want already.
SL: What are some of your favorite blogs to follow?
RM: Terrible Minds http://terribleminds.com/ramble/blog/(I sometimes disagree with Chuck Wendig—although it’s rare—but he’s honest, smart and funny. Can’t go wrong there.)
Katrina Monroe http://authorkatrinamonroe.wordpress.com/(Kat is refreshingly blunt and bold.)
Maria Zannini http://mariazannini.blogspot.ca/(Maria is an author I admire both as a writer and a human being. I’m rarely bored by her blog posts.)
Record of a Baffled Spirit http://baffledspirit.blogspot.ca/ (Mike Keyton teaches me something every time I visit his blog and his writing voice is just so damn easy to fall into.)
Darke Conteur http://darkeconteur.wordpress.com/(Another author I admire, Darke likes to change things up, offering a mixed bag of writing tips, general commentary, amusing bits and pieces, and fiction. Plus, she’s Canadian, so what’s not to love?)
To name just a few. I follow a lot of blogs, but according to my feed reader, these are the most frequent stops for me.
SL: If you could be anything you wanted (besides a writer lol), what would you be and why?
RM: Batman. But seriously, this is going to sound cliché and nauseating, but I’m everything I wanted to be. I’m the mother to fantastic kids, doing what I’ve always wanted to do for a living, and I have the most amazing friends and family ever. Really, I’m very lucky.
SL: That’s awesome. Anything else you care to divulge.
RM: Like secrets? Sometimes instead of writing, I watch Netflix. Everyone here thinks I’m working, but I’m not. In my defense, though, sometimes ideas and characters need to marinate a while. If I read, I get lost in someone else’s world. When I watch movies or television, my brain is free to wander. I come up with my best stuff when I’m “not writing”.
So there they sat him and Jenny, two miserable people in a happy little kitchen. Why wasn’t she trying to be nice to him? If she wanted him on this cruise so bad, why not suck up a little to seal the deal? Yeah, something smelled wrong.
She looked up, as though feeling his gaze on her as he stared over his paper. “What?” she asked.
“Nothing. Just thinking,”
“Stop it, you’re creeping me out.”
Jack hid a grin behind the sports page and his mind revisited the idea of tampering with her car. Cutting the brake lines was too cliché. He mulled the idea over, shifting his gaze as Jenny stood to get more coffee. She smoked, usually only in her car. Jack enjoyed forcing her to hide it. Perhaps he could do something with the gas line. The thought of blowing Jenny up had a nice ring to it.
Jenny stared from the counter.
He grinned. “What?”
“Are you okay?”
“Sorry, it’s just nice to have a peaceful morning with my wife. I like not fighting.” Oh, yeah. He was brilliant.
Jenny’s face reddened. She sipped her coffee before joining him at the table. “See? I told you we could make things work. But stop staring, you’re making me nervous.”
Jack went back to his paper and Jenny flipped the page of her magazine, shaking her head. Really, if they could get along like this for longer than a minute, he’d have reconsidered the whole thing. Sadly, they couldn’t. His acting skills were the only barrier to another fight.
Late the night before, listening to her soft snore across the bed while he pondered possible murder scenarios, it crossed Jack’s mind that he should see a therapist. His thoughts couldn’t be healthy. But crazy or not, Jack didn’t want anyone to talk him out of the plan. Jenny had to die.
His brain ached from the cruise’s ticking clock as he struggled to solve his dilemma. Christ, he’d never make a serial killer, too many things to think about. Too many possibilities. Staring at his empty coffee cup, his headache subsided. I’m thinking too small. Every report on the news about the ones that got caught, involved tampering with cars or some stupid, amateur shit like that. Jack could do better. He had to do better. Something that had never done before.
Then, as Jenny delicately dug a booger from her nose—sniffing most unattractively—the solution hit him like a runaway truck barreling through his front door.
Thanks again to Ms. Miller for playing and to all of you for checking in with us! Until next time, check out my past interviews here!