Wednesday, July 8, 2020

2020 Interview: Kimberly Miller

My name is Kimberly Miller and I’m a wife, mother, and college writing and film professor. 

Do you have any hobbies?

I love reading, watching movies, camping, and making jewelry. 

What is your favorite vacation spot?

I would go to the beach every day if I could. Any beach, really. 

If you were given a ticket to anywhere and spending money to indulge, where would you go?

Hmm… great question. I’ve always wanted to see Paris. Maybe someday…

Do you have pets?

One cat. Westley. He’s named for the Princess Bride (one of my favorite films) – because sometimes he’s kind of bad, like the dread pirate Roberts, and sometimes he’s just my sweet Westley. 

What is your favorite color and what do you love about it?

I’m not sure I have one. Probably red if I had to choose. 

What was your favorite book as a child?

Anything with Ramona Quimby in it. Thanks, Beverly Cleary!

What is one thing about yourself you’d like to change or are trying to work on?

I worry way, way too much. About pretty much everything lol. 

What music genre/singer/band is your go-to for a bad day? For working?

When I’m working or writing I definitely go to smooth jazz because it soothes me but doesn’t distract from writing. For a bad day, I’m partial to serious rock- classic rock, or even metal cranked up nice and loud. I also LOVE Pink for bad days. She’s amazing and so talented!

Do you re-read books? If so, is there one in particular?
While I love books and often will hang onto them forever, I don’t often re-read them. I have re-read ‘The Mountain Between Us’ by Charles Martin though. I adore that book. 

Are you an introvert, extravert, or ambivert?

I would say ambivert. I love people and talking and being with a group (and I love my students and teaching) but after a bit of that I need to be left alone. It’s like I run out of words (and patience) and need to recharge. 

Does pineapple go on pizza?

Ick. I LOVE pineapple. But not on pizza. 

How many places have you lived?

Houses/ residences four. I’m not very exciting that way. Always lived in PA.

What was your first job?

I babysat a little when I was younger but the first ‘real’ job was as a Pizza Hut waitress. Worked a LOT of hours. It (and 2-3 other jobs) helped to pay my way through college (no loans!)- at $2.34 an hour plus tips, it’s no wonder I still remember much of the menu and ordering process. (Did I mention I worked a LOT of hours?)

What is your favorite down time activity?
What’s down time?

Are you an outdoor type? Have a green thumb?

I have a garden. When something survives, I bring it in, raised high, as an offering of sorts, and declare, “Look what I didn’t kill!” I do love to be outdoors though

If you could live inside a movie, which would you choose and which character would you be?

It’s a toss up between Princess Bride (many would say they’d want to be Buttercup- but she’s pretty useless. So, I’d either want to be Westley or Inigo Montoya)/ OR basically any romantic comedy with Sandra Bullock. I, of course, would be her. (Maybe While You Were Sleeping? I could be Lucy)

Are you the type to take a dare?

Not likely 

What is one thing you’ve learned through experience that you’d love to pass along to others?

It might sound trite, but don’t give up. When something is right and worth it, even if it doesn’t come out as you expected, friends are great and life is usually pretty darn good.

What books, other than your own, would you highly recommend?

Did I mention Charles Martin? I love his writing. I also like Francine Rivers and Lori Wick

On to writing: what inspired you to start creating stories/non-fiction? How long ago?

I started writing when I was in junior high. A friend was writing stories about us meeting various famous people (guys we had crushes on, of course) and I thought- “I can do that.” So we’d write and read the stories over the phone to each other every night. It was a lot of fun. I’ve pretty much been writing ever since. 

How do you choose your settings (fiction) or topics (non-fiction)?

I like small towns because that is what I know and like to read about

Can you tell us a bit about your path to publication?

It took a few years to get an agent and then it took another few years to find a publisher. While with my agent, I published three books (two novels and a novella) with the same publisher but had trouble moving on to bigger opportunities. The industry has changed so much in the years since I started (about ten years ago) that my agent and I recently parted ways (amicably) and I’ve just published my first shorter novel independently with Amazon (not quite a novella but not quite the length I usually write either). So far it’s going well but there’s a huge learning curve.

After seeking the counsel of several more successful authors, they encouraged me to go this route- neither has ever had an agent and both are doing wonderfully on their own. I’m not sure I’m yet in the same league as they are, but I am encouraged. Both of these authors said one of the hardest parts was having enough material to keep the voracious romance readers satisfied. I have seven novels finished already that are pretty much ready to go and I’m working on an eighth. When they heard that they said ‘run, don’t walk’ to self-publishing – you’ll do fine.
Fingers crossed! 

Finally, please tell us about your books and add your website so we can find you:

All of my books are considered clean romance novels. 

Picking Daisy- An unlikely pairing of a rock star and a struggling writer brings frustration, fun, and of course, unexpected love.

Forgiving Tess- A girl with a past meets a boy with a future. 

Lucy in Love- (novella) A second-chance romance for two high school pals

Pushing Robby – This is the ‘happily ever after’ from Picking Daisy. So many readers asked for it – How could I refuse?

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