Today we feature author, Sam Miller! Thank you so much for doing an interview with us! Links and more info can be found at the bottom of the post.
1. What inspired you to write this book?
Answer: A dream! I needed to write it out and it just stuck with me, I had never written a book before (besides some fanfiction writing here and there). Once I wrote it out it flowed from there.
2. Can you tell me about the book?
Answer: Yes! Lyra is my first novel and is about a girl who is thrust into the mystical world of paranormals by almost killing her best friend. It follows her journey to finding out what she is and how to control her gifts. It’s a full-length novel full of sarcasm and heat. This book does contain explicit content and is book one of The Greek Mystical series, each book will be a stand-alone novel but will have similar themes.
3. What is your writing process like?
Answer: I luckily found an amazing beta reader who reviewed each chapter after I wrote it. For the most part, I didn’t edit much in the beginning just put it all down and went with it. After I finished the book, I went through and edited and revised majorly and found four other beta readers to read through it all in one go. I took in their suggestions, edited again and then ran it through a grammar application.
4. What surprised you the most?
Answer: How fast it came out of me! I wrote, edited, and revised this novel in under three months.
5. What does the title mean?
Answer: The title is the name of my main character, Lyra.
6. Was the character inspired by a real person? If so, who?
Answer: No one in particular, though I do put a bit of myself in my characters. I’m a very sarcastic person and that does come through in this main character, Lyra.
7. What do you think happened to the characters after the book ended?
Answer: Well, this is book one in a series. While this is a stand-alone novel, these characters will be at least mentioned in future books. They live happily ever after.
8. What advice do you have for writers?
Answer: JUST WRITE! That’s seriously the best advice I can give anyone. Don’t sweat the small stuff or the details, just sit and go with it.
9. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Answer: Energize for sure! I’m constantly wanting to write and every time I finish a chapter, I’m filled with happiness and want to continue.
10. What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Answer: Thinking they need to spend a lot of money. On editing, publishing, covers.
11. What is your writing Kryptonite?
Answer: Grammar for sure!
12. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Answer: I considered it, but I think it’s important to connect with my local communities. I want people to know I’m a mom first and foremost, just an average person who became a writer and anyone can do it.
13. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Answer: Both. I like to come up with ideas I haven’t heard of before, or read, but I also try to give the readers what they want. If I had to choose one, I’d choose to be original.
14. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Answer: A little of both, each book will be a stand-alone but will have parts from previous books mixed in. It should be enough that readers of the series will go OH! But not enough that people who haven’t read the previous books to be confused.
15. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Answer: Only one at the moment and that’s my current work in progress
16. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Answer: A ton! This particular book and series has a good bit of Greek mythology mixed in. I spent a lot of time researching Greek myths and locations. I try to be true to the cities and towns that feature in my book.
17. How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?
Answer: Never. From the time I had that dream, I’ve been a full-time writer. I seriously feel like a writing bug bit me in the butt!
18. How many hours a day do you write?
Answer: Probably about five. I shoot for a chapter a day, some days I do two. I really enjoy writing and it’s an escape for me. I don’t view it as work, and that really helps me spend a lot of time writing.
19. What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult)
Answer: Young adult. Even when I was a teenager writing fanfictions, I focused on that age group.
20. What did you edit out of this book?
Answer: Not too much! There was one scene that I did where my main character was at work, but it didn’t seem to fit in right, so I slashed it.
21. How do you select the names of your characters?
Answer: Most of my characters I spend a lot of thought and research into names. My main character Lyra is named after a constellation (also happens to be a favorite name of mine). You’ll notice throughout my books that characters are properly named for either who they are or what they are.
22. If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
Answer: I still want to be a home-birth midwife. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m very passionate about natural childbirth.
23. What was your hardest scene to write?
Answer: Sex. It’s hard for me to write it since I try to put myself in my writing. I also wrote it knowing others would be reading, especially family members.
24. What is your favorite childhood book?
Answer: Does Harry Potter count? That was my favorite childhood book, but I wouldn’t say it’s a children’s book.
25. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Answer: My first book took me about two-three months. That is my current goal for all of my books but my turn around time, start to publish, is about six months.
26. Do you believe in writer’s block?
Answer: Yes, I do believe in it but so far it hasn’t happened to me. I just try to write and not let myself get distracted by my thoughts.
27. What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?
28. When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
Answer: Never! I liked writing growing up and I’ve always loved to read but I never thought “Hey! I want to be a writer!” It wasn’t until I was about halfway finished with this novel that I realized I wanted this. I wanted to finish this book and write more, and I wanted to share it with others!
29. How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something?
Answer: Not at all
30. Do you aim to complete a set number of pages or words each day?
Answer: I shoot for about 3000 words per chapter but that varies. I try to really just get my ideas down and then worry about word count.
31. Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
Answer: I do set a plot, or at least an idea of one, but really, I allow myself to just go with whatever comes out of me. I’ve had to go back and change chapters before because my writing took me somewhere, I didn’t expect.
32. Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?
Answer: Are we speaking of writers block? If so, just write! That’s always my go to advice
33. Do you read much and, if so, who are your favorite authors?
Answer: Yes, I do! My favorite genre is paranormal romance, which is what I write as well. I don’t have a favorite author, I love most books I read so I have no favorite.
34. What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion?
Answer: The character development.
35. How would you feel if no one showed up at your book signing?
Answer: I would most likely cry. I haven’t had a book signing yet, probably because I’m scared no one will show up!
36. Do you recall the first ever book/novel you read?
Answer: I know I read other books growing up, but really I remember Harry Potter the most.
37. How much of yourself do you put into your books?
Answer: A good bit! I try to put a little of my personality into each of my main characters.
38. Who are your books mostly dedicated to?
Answer: My family. They put up with me writing constantly, I’ve even woken up at 3 am a few times because I woke up and had an idea for my next chapter. My husband gets a big shout out! I also like to mention beta readers who really influenced me and helped me. My first, and so far only, novel is dedicated to Lacie. She was my first beta reader and without her encouragement I never would have finished that book.
39. Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?
Answer: My mom and mother-in-law!
40. Writers are often believed to have a Muse, your thoughts on that?
Answer: I think writers can have muses for sure! I myself do not have one.
41. Another misconception is that all writers are independently wealthy, how true is that?
Answer: Haha! I’m far from wealthy! Sure, money would help me a ton. It would help anyone.
42. Is it true that authors write word-perfect first drafts?
Answer: NO! Gosh, my first draft was awful
43. Did any of your books get rejected by publishers?
Answer: I didn’t send to publishers. I decided to self-publish as that fits me more. I want to be true to my book and my vision.
44. What is your view on co-authoring books; have you done any?
Answer: It’s possible! I commend the ones who do it. It has to be hard making all the different voices mesh into one for a final product. I have not co-authored and I do not know if I ever will.
45. Is writing book series more challenging?
Answer: I think so! I’m constantly thinking ahead to other books. It’s also hard that once I write and publish one book, I can’t go back and change it. That can make writing future books difficult.
46. Does it get frustrating if you are unable to recall an idea you had in your mind some time earlier?
Answer: Yes! I’ll lay awake at night trying to recall ideas.
47. Have you ever destroyed any of your drafts?
Answer: After I was finished and had an edited version? Yes, I deleted my drafts.
47. Can you tell us about your current projects?
Answer: I’m currently working on book two in The Greek Mystical series, Ryan. I do have ideas for a different series that I can’t wait to start writing as well!
49. Had any of your literary teachers ever tell you growing up that you were going to become a published writer one day?
Answer: Yes. Many of my English teachers in middle school and high school had told me this. I didn’t really believe them.
50. Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid?
Answer: My dad was a big reader but no he never pushed me to read. It just came naturally to me.
51. Do you enjoy discussing upcoming ideas with your partner? If yes, how much do you value their inputs?
Answer: No. I love my husband, he’s great, but he’s not a reader or a writer. He also doesn’t appreciate romance novels.
52. Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?
Answer: See answer one to the first question. Yes! My first novel is based off of a dream I had a few months ago. If you read the prologue, that was my dream! I had a dream I was pregnant with twins and for some reason I was being held captive. I went for a walk and hid them up in the trees. The prologue of my book is a bit different, but same concept.