Read on for an excerpt after the interview:)
Tell us about you and your current project.
I’m a wife, mother, martial artist, tea guru, and writer — not necessarily in that order. My most recent business venture is Back Porch Writer: The show for writers, about writers, and writing. As the host, I have the opportunity to talk with amazing people that everyone should know. I edit Kori Miller Writes: The site for creative writers and newbie podcasters. When I’m not writing, or thinking about writing (yeah, that’s rare), I’m creating signature teas, tisanes, and lemonades for The Tea Trove while the kiddos are at school. We’re a martial arts family, so that takes up a bit of my off time. Lock, rock, and roll, baby! (Hapkido/JiuJitsu humor – what can I say, I’m hooked! See what I did there? Hapkidoists love their canes.)
Deadly Sins: A Dezeray Jackson Mini-Series is my current focus. The book includes four mysteries written in a flash fiction style. Each scene, with the exception of two, is less than 1000 words. Each mystery is based on a deadly sin. The reader decides which deadly sin was committed in three out of the four.
When can we expect to see this book available and where can we find it?
Deadly Sins will be available just in time for Valentine’s Day on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, Book Tango, and via other major retailers. It’s being released as an e-book first. You can read an excerpt over at Goodreads. The print edition will be published about two weeks later.
What inspired you to begin writing and what continues to inspire you?
I don’t know what that initial spark was. I learned early that my ability to write could save my grades in certain school subjects. It didn’t help in algebra. That was a total loss. I’m inspired by events unfolding around me and by things my children say.
Do you have any genres that you have yet to write in that particularly interest you?
I love watching Scifi movies. That’s what made me decide to write a middle grade Scifi story (Archer Jaxson and the Compass Wars for NaNo.) Magical realism might be an area I’d explore at some point.
Do you have other works that you have previously published?
I released the second edition of My Life in Black and White: A Book of Experiences January 2014. It includes an updated forward, additional comments for specific essays, two new sections: A 40-year-old’s Perspective and Final Thoughts, and two new essays: I Can’t See White People and Our Lawn Burned. It’s available via Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, Book Tango, and other major retailers.
Any advice for authors that have yet to put their work out there?
You need to accept a few truths:
1. Writing is subjective. Not everyone is going to like what you write. Be intrinsically motivated.
2. Writing is a skill. There’s always room for improvement.
3. You must believe in your work. If you don’t, why should anyone else?
4. There will always be at least one typo, no matter how many times your work was edited, regardless of who did the editing. (Believe me, I’ve read a lot of books by guests on Back Porch Writer in the past year. Every book had errors whether the book was traditionally, or self-published.)
5. You can’t do everything equally well. If you’re self-publishing, learn where to expend your energy and effort, and hire someone else to do the things that you don’t want to learn to do. Be honest, not cheap.
6. You must sell your work. Even traditionally published authors hire a publicist at some point.
I think Auntie Mame said it best: Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! Live! Live! Live! (Ok, that’s two separate scenes from the movie, but you get the point. And, I’m talking about Rosalind Russell as Mame. Funny, stuff.)
What, in your opinion, is the most difficult part of being an author?
There isn’t anything difficult about being an author. It’s a great gig! Where else can you earn money by sitting in your pajamas dreaming up stuff?
Seriously, though, I don’t find many things difficult. (Difficult is learning your child has a life-threatening illness, or something equally out of one’s control. Writing is completely in my control. How I view my writing, what I choose to write, or not to write — all of it is in my control.) I do find some things challenging. And, I love a good challenge! I credit Sister Mary Lucy for my outlook on this front. She was my sixth grade teacher. She posted a quote on a bulletin board in our classroom. It read, “Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off of the goal.” I remember thinking, “Huh, that’s true.”
Where can we find you and do you have any additional projects you would like to mention?
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Blog Talk Radio (Back Porch Writer). My twitter handles are @KMillerWrites and @backporchwriter. My author website is www.koridmiller.com.
Ionia, thank you for giving me an opportunity to share information about my new book, Deadly Sins: A Dezeray Jackson Mini-Series with your readers. And, thank you for creating The Community Story Board. It’s a great space for writers to post their work. I shared one or two of the scenes from one of the mysteries and received helpful feedback. It’s the next best thing to having a critique group.
Deadly Sins: A Dezeray Jackson Mini-Series ** Excerpt **
I opted to walk the four blocks from my apartment to the New York City office of Tracer International. It was my last day. By this time tomorrow, I’d be heading to Omaha, NE. A free house was an offer I couldn’t refuse. And, Omaha would be a welcome change of pace.
“Dez.” Sam Walters greeted me as I stepped out of the elevator on the 20th floor.
“Sam.” I kept walking. He tagged along. The office was like every other place I’d worked. The elevator door opened and the reception desk was all you saw. To the right, a door led to the back offices and cubicles for entry-and mid-level investigators. That was me. I waved my ID in front of the sensor. There was a click, and the lock released.
“You’ve got one more assignment. Becker dropped it on your desk an hour ago.”
I checked my watch. It was 7:30 a.m.
“He said I should go along with you.”
I stopped at my desk. A file rested in the center. I’d cleaned everything else out last night, not that it amounted to much after two years. It all fit in a shoebox. I opened the file.
“It’s a stolen-property case. The client doesn’t want the police involved. I’m not sure why.” Sam plopped down in a chair next to my desk. He was an entry-level investigator.
“Sasha Alexander? Why do I know that name?” I asked more to myself than to Sam, but
he spoke up anyway.
“Socialite. She owns a gallery in SOHO.” He twirled a pencil between his fingers.
“Wait a minute! Not that gallery?”
“One and the same.” He grinned.
“Christ.” I dropped the file. “Let’s go.”
We grabbed a taxi. Screw the trains. It was my last day. Company-paid expenses are a
privilege I’d be without in about 24 hours.
Alexander’s gallery fit in perfectly with all the others in SOHO until you walked through
the doors. I paused on the street in front and took a deep breath.
“Let’s go!” Sam, always the eager one, reached for the handle. People pushed past me on
the sidewalk. I followed Sam through large, ornately-carved wood doors into a small alcove.
Heavy, plush, red drapes hung from the ceiling, blocking our view.
Sam pulled one of the drapes aside, allowing me to enter the gallery.
“Oy,” I mumbled, and took it all in at once. Some things can’t be unseen.
“Wow” was all Sam could manage to say.
© 2014 Kori D. Miller – Fremont, NE – http://www.koridmiller.com