Indie author Jeffrey Aaron Miller is the author of
1. When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve had an overactive imagination my entire life, and I used to fill notebooks with scribbled comic strips and stories. I was thirteen years old when I finally realized that storytelling was an essential part of who I am, and at that point I decided I wanted to somehow, someday become a professional writer. I have daydreamed stories and fantastical scenarios with almost obsessive frequency my entire life, so it’s good to have some outlet for getting those stories out of my brain.
2. How would you describe your work?
I am drawn to the fantastical, so I prefer fantasy and science fiction. I must have magic or robots or zombies or something strange in the story. The mundane is just not enough for me. I believe I have a pretty strong sense of character, but I guess that’s really for readers to judge. Also, tonally, I am drawn toward melancholy and gloom in my stories, but I am almost always ultimately hopeful.
3. Do you have a favorite author and do you feel that author has influenced your writing?
I always struggle to answer questions about “favorites,” but there are some authors who have had a definite influence on my writing over the years. The first three that come to mind are Stephen King, Orson Scott Card, and J.K. Rowling, all of whom contributed something to my understanding of how to write, build tension, and incorporate fantastical elements without losing sight of the characters.
4. Are you more of a plotter or do you fly by the seat of your pants?
A bit of both. Before I start a novel, I always have a few key scenes worked out very clearly in my head—I’ve played them over and over in my mind like scenes in a movie—as well as the personality of the protagonist and perhaps a few other major characters, and I have a general sense of where the story will end up. The rest of it I work out along the way. Also, my characters occasionally derail the direction I intended to go, and I let them do it. I try to let their personalities influence the plot.
5. If you could speak with any character from any book, who would it be and what would you say?
Wow, this turned out to be a really hard question. I’m an introvert. It’s hard enough meeting real people and figuring out what to say to them, much less imaginary characters who suddenly become real and stand in front of you. After all the screaming and shock, I think I would just take pictures of them with my phone and post them online.
If I have to answer, I guess I’ll say Roland Deschain, Ender Wiggin, or Harry Potter. Maybe if I had some prepared questions for them on a notecard, like a talk show host, it would go fine. I think my questions would be of a philosophical nature, just to try to get into the minds of these imaginary people.
6. What do you want readers to take away from your current work? Is there a lesson to be learned?
My Young Adult series is all about realizing and achieving your own potential. We only get one pass through this life, and we are all presented with numerous opportunities. We get gifts, talents, interests, and, yes, a heck of a lot of challenges. It’s a shame to not at least attempt to make the most of all of them. There are bound to be disappointments, failures, and tragedies, but we have to at least see the possibilities and go for it.
7. What are your plans for the future?
My plan is actually more of a pipe dream, and that is to keep writing and publishing novels until I somehow start to make a living at this. Until then, I will keep working “real” jobs and pounding out stories on the keyboard at night.
8. How can your fans find out more about you and your work?
I have a website that contains cover art, free chapters, blog posts, info about writing workshops and appearances, as well as author info. It’s easy enough to find. It’s my own name: jeffreyaaronmiller.com