I'm excited have my friend Amber Miller back with her second book.
Why do you write the kind of books you do?
Well, that all depends. If you’re asking why I write historical fiction, it’s because I’ve always been fascinated by history and the people who have gone before us. But history class bored me to tears. So, I love telling those stories through the eyes of people who lived it. Bringing it alive to my readers and perhaps helping them gain a better appreciation or understanding is a welcome challenge.
Now, if you ask why I write romance, that’s because I enjoy the process of taking God’s love for us and turning into a "happily ever after" story. If you believe in God and His promises, you know that no matter how bad things get, there is hope, and things will get better. Romance, for me, allows me to demonstrate that hope. I depict characters enduring what might appear to be impossible situations. By going through them and rising above them, especially in regard to relationships, the characters glimpse that hope and experience the happy ending.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Oh, that’s easy. July 28, 2007 when I married the love of my life, Stuart. We just celebrated one year of marriage, and life is fantastic. The next happiest day would be when I sold my first book in December of 2006. The happiest day to come will likely be when we celebrate the birth of our first child.
How has being published changed your life?
It has given me a new leash on life, so to speak. Now that I’ve sold and am starting to establish readers, I’m receiving feedback on how my books have touched their lives. It’s an amazing testimony to read how the words I’ve written have spoken to someone who has read them. God has given me this gift, and I’m thrilled beyond words to have the opportunity to use this gift to His glory.
What are you reading right now?
I’m almost finished with Trish Perry’s latest book, Beach Dreams. After that, I have Tamera Alexander’s newest and the Deeanne Gist’s. In addition to the Bible (although I have to get better at that), I have a couple of nonfiction books about being a successful stay-at-home mom and savvy business practices.
What is your current work in progress?
I just turned in my 4th contracted book and am about to start my 5th which is due in December. However, at the moment, I’m polishing two trade-length historical novels for submission to 2 editors and 2 agents who have requested them.
What would be your dream vacation?
A few weeks to a month touring the British Isles. My husband and I both have British ancestry, and I have Scottish in me as well. It would be amazing to set foot on the same ground as our ancestors before us.
If I can’t do that, Hawaii or Alaska would be next on the list.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
For my first series, I wanted to depict the historical significance of the little state of Delaware. Since a real home from the 1700’s was near where I used to live and still standing, I chose that for the principal setting. The rest of the area flowed from the initial story lines.
For my current series, my editor sent me 6 states and asked me to send proposals on as many as I would like. One of them was historical Michigan, and I decided to select an area that isn’t often portrayed in novels. Detroit during the Industrial Revolution was a major center of industry, production and high society. It made the perfect setting.
For other novels, the choice of setting usually comes from a place I’ve visited or inspiration from the setting of another book I’ve read. If once I get into the book, the setting doesn’t work, I change it to one that does.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Wow! That’s a tough question, but an excellent one. It’s not easy picking just one person, and it’s a close toss-up between Colleen Coble and Deb Raney. Both of them are such an inspiration to writers everywhere, and they almost always take the time to answer questions, mentor, share their expertise and encourage when they can. Despite their respective success in the book industry, they still maintain their sweet and humble natures. I hope when I reach that point, someone will say the same thing about me.
Outside of the writing world, though, I’d say I’d love to spend an evening with President Bush. Despite the flack and negative press he’s received, he has been a strong leader for the 8 years he’s led this country. He has made his faith a prominent aspect of his decision-making and admitted his faults when he’s made a mistake. It would be interesting to sit with him and talk about his own thoughts about the work he’s accomplished and where he feels he could have done better.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love photography, although I only consider myself an amateur, and I enjoy scrapbooking, even though my books are in dire need of some TLC. Traveling is a favorite pastime along with music, movies, bowling, swimming and horseback riding when I can.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Establishing unique descriptions for my settings and scenes is one. Developing characteristics for my characters to make them individuals in their own right and not cookie-cutter or two-dimensional is another.
I consult a variety of fiction books to see how other authors do it. The Writer’s Digest books on Characters, Description and Setting are of great help to me. Other than that, I send my manuscript or troubling scenes to readers and ask them to make comments on what worked or didn’t work for them. Once I receive that feedback, I read it over, then step away for a day or two from my book to digest it. When I return, I have a fresher outlook and perspective that enables me to do what’s needed. Sometimes, it’s a small fix, and other times it requires multiple alterations throughout the book.
I am still far from mastering this obstacle, and it remains the biggest area that requires edits from my rough draft. But every author has a pet challenge, right?
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Writing is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of hard work, determination, patience, perseverance and faith. And it won’t happen overnight. You have to maintain a teachable spirit and be open to constructive criticism, no matter how far along in your writing journey you get. In the end, the rewards far outweigh all the sweat and tears you shed along the way. Most importantly, if you feel this is the path for you, never give up!
Tell us about the featured book.
Quills & Promises released in July and is the second book in the Delaware Brides series. In this story, you’re taken on the sometimes tragic, sometimes triumphant journey through the French & Indian War through the eyes of Major Madison Scott. Back home in New Castle, Elanna Hanssen (daughter of Gustaf and Raelene from book 1) begins to explore her feelings for the major but is distraught over the stories she hears from a local reporter for the first newspaper in the colony. When Madison’s integrity is questioned and the reporter makes an appealing offer to Elanna, she must choose between her heart and her head. With war on her mind and love in her heart, she makes the right one.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
You can come visit my web site (http://www.ambermiller.com/) to learn the latest news. I have a blog posted on the site that is kept up to date with 2-3 posts each week, and you can subscribe to it receive email alerts when I make a post. That’s the best way to keep up with me and everything I’m doing or where I’m headed next. I don't have a newsletter yet, but I'm working on it for 2009. We'll see where it goes. For now, subscribe to my blog to know when I put up a new post.
I always love to hear from visitors to my site and especially readers of my books or my writing in any form. Feel free to drop me a line through the contact form on my site. I respond within 48 hours unless I’m out of town and without an internet connection.
Thank you, Amber, for spending this time with us.
Readers, check out her web site. It's interesting.
Before you go, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Quills & Promises.
This book first releases to the Heartsong Presents Book Club, then goes to bookstores. You can find out more about Heartsong at this web site: