Anita's cat (seen here tuning a guitar) is currently editing Anita's book.
Welcome everyone, to another Friday Feature interview. Please check out the previous interviews, listed above my blog roll. And, please give a hearty welcome to Anita Miller. I love her blog, which is a mixture of professionalism, quirky fun, and intelligence. And, Anita's comments on other blogs get me laughing every time.
In her own words: Anita Miller is a freelance writer, mother of four and wife of one in Colorado Springs. She writes a book recommendation column for her local paper, and is working on her first middle grade mystery.
Anita, Welcome! What are you currently working on?
I am a freelance writer, and so I'm constantly working on freelance projects. My biggest projects right now are CURRENT, INC. greeting cards and my book recommendation column for the COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE. I am also working my booty off on revisions to my middle grade mystery.
What made you start to write seriously?
I have no freaking idea. I've had entire dinner parties at my home that I do not remember, so there's no way I can remember how I started writing. I do know that I've read some really horrible books and thought, "I can do that." Of course there are also books that make me want to stick to writing my signature.
What stage are you at, currently, in your journey toward publication? And--how is that going for you? Has anything surprised you about this stage?
I have one complete manuscript (a cozy mystery) that I shopped to agents and a publisher for about a year. I had a couple of big bites, including with the publisher, but now the book is under the bed. I'm glad it didn't sell. Seriously. And I'm surprised I feel that way. But, really, the book just wasn't what I want to start my career with, you know? Anyway, I should be ready to query my MG by the end of February.
If you had to pick one favorite blog, what would it be?
Murphblog, but don't tell him.
What is a favorite blog post that you have written?
I posted something short once about Medal of Honor Winner Lt. Michael P. Murphy. Murphy won the medal after dying in Afghanistan. He and the three members of his SEAL team were in a battle with about 100 Taliban. Murphy left his position of cover and went right out in the open so he could have reception to make a call for support. While he was being shot, he calmly communicated the team's situation and location. When the communication was complete, he went back to his cover position and continued fighting until succumbing to his wounds. After I wrote the post about Murphy, his dad emailed me. That's why it's my favorite post.
What online resource have you found most helpful?
What has been your biggest trial in writing?
The television. When I finally get my kiddos to bed, I just want to veg in front of the tube. And then I ask myself, "Do you want to be entertained, or be the entertainer?" So maybe it's that question that's really my trial.
What tricks have you acquired to make you write or create when you don’t feel up to writing?
I've never missed a deadline with my freelance work, so with the fiction writing, I give myself a deadline.
Tell us about a book that has impacted your writing life.
I admire books with great voice...DENNIS LEHANE, BARBARA PARKS, CORMAC MCCARTHY, JANET EVANOVICH (a strange assortment of authors) all have great voice. But the really horrible books are the ones which have had the most impact on my writing; they convince me I can get published. Yay, you stinky books!
What is your practical goal with your writing? Do you have a reach-for-the-stars goal that you would like to share?
I love reading and writing so much. I want to be published, so that I can have more cred and be able to offer classes, workshops, etc., about reading and writing.
So far, what has been the best part of your writing experience?
Hmmm. I like pay checks. Also, I like interviewing authors. I've interviewed JOHN GREEN, DAVID BALDACCI, JODI PICOULT, HARLAN COBEN, JANET EVANOVICH and a bunch of others. With my fiction writing, I love seeing how practice (actually sitting there and typing away) improves my writing. I'm getting better and that's very cool.
If you could be a character in a book, and live within their world, what character would you be?
Have you ever read ARE YOU MY MOTHER? The mother bird feels her egg cracking and she LEAVES the nest. Then the poor baby hatches and can't find his mother. What's up with that? I'd like to be the mother bird in the book and stay in the freakin nest. Also, SCOUT and HARRY POTTER.
What are the other distractions in your life?
Husband, kiddos, food, want of sleep, blogs and television. Also, I love long walks. Hard to write when you're walking.
And, just because I’m curious, coffee or tea?
I start and end my days with tea. In the middle, I drink coffee. We sleep very few hours in our house. We will spend twice as many waking hours on this earth as the average person, and we will drink three times as many caffeinated beverages.
Anita, Thanks so much for the fantastic interview. I'm still laughing about "stinky" books, and staying "in the freakin nest". It's that kind of honesty that I find so appealing about your blog and comments! Everyone, please make Anita feel at home, and leave a question in the comments, Anita will stop by to answer them. And, make sure to stop by her blog on the way out!