Exclusive Interview with
Sam B Miller II
When did you start writing?
I have read countless paperback books in the Science Fiction, Adventure and Paranormal genres. I always found myself thinking I could have made a story a little different and maybe more exciting or plausible. The scientific views and technological devices had to have a realistic background. The story had to be believable. The story had to begin with a real event. With a real threat, I wanted a story that would span many years with actual historical events to bring the reader to the present. I hope I accomplished my goal.
What makes writing your passion?
I can't deny there is a little of both passion and profit. I believe your first book is a passion. You want to write, and you just get into it. I think the profit motive comes later when you see how your writing is received by the public.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing since January, 2015.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Excitement and anticipation.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
Family members, close friends, and some not-so-nice people I have met over the years. One of my characters is based upon a friend in India.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
Writing is difficult, and I get annoyed when someone who has never written a novel opines about how to write. There are also different styles of writing, and no one should try to shoehorn a writer into a specific mold.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
When I feel the block coming on, I stop writing and thinking about my story and get involved with something that settles my mind. Mundane chores like mowing the lawn or washing the car work. Then a good night's sleep and I'm usually ready to hit the words again.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
You need a team of people you can bounce your story off of as you are building it. You need both young and old in the team. Family and friends. I can't tell you how many times my daughter or my son would say, Dad, this sounds like it was written by some old guy. It's not fresh. Or you need to describe this character better. Or this character needs more background so the reader can really understand why they act in a certain way. Your spouse will not pull any punches and believe me I was punched plenty while writing my novels.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Don't waste your time reading certain "classics". And I don't mean Science Fiction.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I read them all. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I feel fortunate that a vast majority of my reviews have been positive.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
A big grin and an appreciation for the intelligence of the reviewer.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Yes but I am sworn to secrecy.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
The book cover is important. It attracts the reader. I am happy to say I have received awards for my cover designs in 2 of my novels.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I have several readers with whom I correspond frequently. Contact always improves my ability to write in a way that keeps readers coming back.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Very happy and grateful for the recognition.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
Authors John Campbell, Robert Heinlein, and E.E. 'Doc' Smith were the biggest influences on my story ideas. They could really take me to a whole new reality in my mind as I read their stories. The Skylark of Space series by E. E. Doc Smith is my favorite.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
I might consider simply adding to the story, SMITH. I tried a new writing style of compression, and many readers liked the style; however, some readers wanted more detail on some characters they loved.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
None. I'm happy with who I am.
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
What would you say to your readers?
Your wait is almost over.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
Sam B. Miller II holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance, and a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance, from the University of Tennessee. He has five children and lives with his wife, Susan, and their many dogs, in Northeast Tennessee.
What is your day job if you have one?
Retired and loving it.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Dogs, home improvement projects, gardening, and painting miniature plaster Christmas houses.
Did you have a happy childhood?
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
What is your favorite music?
Share a secret with us 🙂