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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Interview with Author Ann Lee Miller


Anne: Good morning, Ann. Thanks for joining us.

Ann: Hi, Anne. Thanks for inviting me onto your blog!

Anne: You've written an awesome book, and I can so relate to Raine's dilemma. I can remember a time when I felt a strong attraction to what I knew to be the wrong guy at the same time I wondered about another guy (who turned out to be the right one!). Therefore, I confess to this tremendous curiosity: What inspired this novel?

Ann: My daughter has had a passion to become a foreign missionary since she was in first grade. She just completed her junior year of college and is still headed for missions, probably to an orphanage in Peru. Also, a close family friend fell in love with a young man and felt strongly that God told her to marry him. When the guy broke off the engagement, she was devastated on multiple levels. In Kicking Eternity the hero has to come to terms with the same dilemma.

Anne: Who would you credit with getting you into writing fiction?

Ann: I always say I became a writer the year I discovered Sister Sheila had hair. I was in fifth grade at St. Hugh’s Catholic School in Miami, knee deep in nouns and verbs, when Sister Sheila walked through the door in a new habit that showed two inches of mouse brown hair threaded with silver. Thanks to Sister’s encouragement, I went on to earn a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University.

Anne. And why do you write?

Ann: I write because I can't not-write. I believe God called me to write. I want to help people connect to God and His healing.

Anne. What is your goal in this book? What do you want people to "take away" when they're finished reading it?

Ann: I hope my readers are encouraged to seek out God’s dreams for their lives, then courageously trust God by stepping into those dreams.

Anne: Whose life in the book does yours most resemble?

Ann: I have Raine's deep desire to obey God at all cost, but her personality is different from mine.

Anne: And last but never least, writers seem to come in one of two packages, plotters or pansters. Plotters plan out and outline the whole book before beginning the actual writing of the novel. Which type of writer are you?

Ann: I detest plotting, but consider it a necessary evil. I plot every scene for the whole book before I actually write the book. It takes… forever. My first two books were written without plotting. Going back through whole books to fix plot lines felt counterproductive. I tried Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake method of plotting for my third book and Karen Wiesner’s First Draft In 30 Days for my most recent book. I also use Jack Bickham’s Scene and Structure as I build scenes. To me, it feels so much easier to make changes to the book’s skeleton than to rewrite large portions.

Ann's Bio: Ann Lee Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University and writes full-time in Phoenix, but she left her heart in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she grew up. She loves speaking to young adults and giving guest lectures on writing at several Arizona colleges. When she isn't writing or muddling through some crisis--real or imagined--you'll find her hiking in the Superstition Mountains with her husband or meddling in her kids' lives.
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