This is part 2 of an interview with SF author m a miller. miller’s first novel, Mis’ka – The Rite of Ascension is coming out at the end of April.
Did you do anything to build your profile as a writer prior to getting published?
I have a website and joined Authors Den. AuthorsDen is a way of advertising your books and it links to your website. It works best if you have a lot of books – so with only one so far it isn’t as useful as it could be.
Will you sell or promote your book via any non-mainstream outlets?
Online through Author’s Den and my website plus my publisher’s website. Maybe Amazon.com.
Are there niche groups that you plan to approach?
I am hoping to get together with the other SF writers that alto books publish and have a booth at the AussieCon 4, 2010 (the World SF convention) in September, here in Melbourne – lots of SF fans attend and between us we have about 6 books to promote.
Do you or publisher have any plans to sell your books overseas?
Yes, apparently SF books are big in the US – and here is the irony – if my book sells overseas there are booksellers here in Australia who will then pick it up for sale! The distributor has specialist SF booksellers in America who are interested and (I believe) have preordered Mis’ka.
Tell me about the ebook you’re writing.
The ebook came about because a friend asked me to read and comment on a short story she’d written – although it was a great idea there was very little ‘technique’ – the POV was all over the place, no main character to focus on, and it was written in a way that kept emotional distance from the reader. I started writing her some notes and realised at the end that I had the makings of an ebook to help with all that technical stuff – but told in a simple way.
How do you plan to sell your ebook?
With elibrary and also through my websites.
Will you or your publisher do an ebook version of Mis’ka: Rite of Ascension?
Hopefully, yes. I think that Kindle and the new Apple iPad are the way that some people want their books – personally, I love a-hold-in-your-hand paper version but for travel I think the electronic way is great.
How did you decide what content to put on your website?
I have always loved the back story – bits about character, where they’re from etc – so I wrote my website with that in mind and I am currently working on more to add. Of course, it also has a bit about me. Plus the downloadable ebook.
You’re a member of many writers groups. How has this helped you with your career?
They all have excellent resources (including access to lawyers to help with contracts) and the Victorian Writers’ Centre has fantastic events that are useful for learning and interacting with other authors.
Do you view your writing as a business?
Yes! Since leaving a full-time, non-writing job, writing is the way I earn a living.
How do you structure your writing days?
Depends. Some days – especially when I have a looming deadline – I work from very early (even 4.30am) until lunch then have a break then get back into it. Other days, I do a lot of thinking and not much writing. Currently I’m very busy so more writing, less thinking!
What do you find difficult or pleasurable about working as a full-time writer?
Difficult can be always trying to find the angle – that’s in copywriting – as you need to come up with different ideas for the same thing – currently I’m writing 12 brochures for the same company that need to say the same thing about different subjects. Phew! Also, I do like to ‘think’ about my writing but when you’ve got that deadline often there isn’t the time for that indulgence. But the most fantastic thing about writing full time is that I get to do what I love – writing. And when I’m writing creatively – well that’s just a joy!
How would you describe your ‘brand’ as an author?
I’m not sure that I have a brand but I recently received feedback from my publisher who said that I am a ‘storyteller’ who keeps the story moving forward – as opposed to someone who writes a lot of descriptions and forgets to tell the story. I think this skill comes from my training as a screenwriter (through RMIT’s Professional Screenwriting course). So I guess that is how I would describe myself – a storyteller (although to be honest, I don’t know if that differentiates me from anyone!)
If you could travel back in time to the moment before you sent off your first manuscript, what advice would you give yourself?
Believe that you can do it!
m a miller, thank you.
m a miller writes for the screen and theatre. She has assisted in the development of an animated children’s television series as well as a live action kid’s show. She won a Melbourne University writing competition, a Women’s Weekly short story competition and has worked in the script department for the long running police drama Blue Heelers. She has also had a number of her short stories awarded or commended. In her spare time, miller finds time to swim, walk her dogs and eat (lots) of chocolate – not necessarily at the same time!
Mis’ka – The Rite of Ascension will be released at the end of April.
Click here to visit m a miller’s website.