On July 15th, Nerd Girl Official did an HallowRead Author Special with Rachel Rawlings titled “Planning the Perfect Mini-Con”. We are thrilled to be an official blogger/promoter for the Historic Ellicot City Based Horror/Paranormal festival.
This month’s installment is another home grown author, Cat Miller! She literally lives a hop skip and a jump from my Rosedale abode AND I even went to high school with her brother and sister-in-law. Talk about 7 degrees of Kevin Bacon. Isn’t that how the phrase goes!? Cat is the author of the Forbidden Bond Series and the Vampire Nation Series who is an avid reader who loves all genre of romantic fiction from historical to contemporary to paranormal. Take a look at the beautiful covers for Unbound and Unforgiven for the Forbidden Bond Series! I love the colors pallet and the overall feel of the books. A collector like myself is totally thrilled to learn that you can purchase autographed copies off of her website!! <<SQUEALLLLLL>>
And Now a Word From Cat…
“No matter what anyone tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” ~ Robin Williams
I remember the first time I saw that quote. It was like a light can on in my head. As an avid reader turned writer this statement couldn’t be more true. When I open a book I see the world through someone else’s eyes. Things I don’t understand become clear. Things I could never image become real to me. I’ve never watched a television show or movie that could take me away the way a book can. My imagination is far better than anything a producer can concoct.
Becoming a writer put me in the enviable position of being the magician that captures the audience and transports them to worlds beyond the book or e-reader in their hands. But how does one go from reader to writer, you ask? Well, that’s the trick, isn’t it? But it isn’t a magic trick. It’s hard work. It’s storyboards that shift and warp from one day to the next. It’s multiple drafts and long night on the laptop. It’s page after page in the trash bin when you think your writing sucks . . .and it probably does in the beginning. It’s taking words and ideas and creating a world of people and places that carry the readers away to that magic place only you could build for them. It all boils down to a labor of love.
Words and ideas have certainly changed my world. I hope you enjoy this weeks edition of Nerd Girl. Thank you to the Nerd Girls for being such gracious hostesses. I hope to return and spread more literary love in the future.
****Q&A with Cat Miller*****
Q. When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?
I started writing in 2010. I’ve always been an avid reader and I would say things to my kids like, ‘One day I’m going to write a novel.’ but one day never came. It was my daughter’s 17th birthday and I was telling her she had her whole life ahead of her and she could do anything she wanted if she was willing to work for it.
My daughter turned to me and asked, “Mom, if you can do anything, why haven’t you written that novel?”
It was a clear challenge. It was time to put up or shut up. So I put up. I started writing the next day.
I’m not sure about the inspiration for my first book. I was in a vampire reading kick at the time so that’s where I started. Looking at my daughter’s I think I wanted to tell a story about a young woman learning to accept herself just as she was, and struggle to reach that point.
Q. What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?
This one is tough. I’ve so much that it’s hard to point specific influences. I believe Jane Austin was a huge influence. So was a writer ahead of her time. Jane wrote strong female characters in a time when woman were seen as the weaker sexy in every way. I think she also wrote about the family dynamic incredibly well. There is a level of character development there that I aspire to reach.
Q. Tell us about your characters and how they came to be? Have they been in your head for a long time?
Many of my characters are named for people in my life. It’s funny when I go to signings and readers get to meet those people. My characters are not superheroes. They tend to be flawed people who learn and grow as the story moves along. They make big mistakes and they learn from them, sometimes the hard way. I wanted my characters to be human . . . as human as vampire can be, anyway. I love good strong female character, but I wanted to write about what it takes to become that person.
Q. What motivates you to write?
Deadlines motivate me to write! LOL! I thinks it’s really just a need that hits you and have to do it. You get an idea and that leads to a story that lives in your heart. Like that constant beating it’s something that just needs to happen. It’s harder when you need to finish something and you just aren’t in the mood. But writers will write . . . eventually.
Q. What is the hardest part of writing?
For me the hardest thing about writing is finding the time to do it. Also, being edited is painful. It’s a totally necessary evil that’s akin to having someone look at one of your children and find them lacking. Yeah. It hurts at first. But you grow as a writer each time and it gets easier.
Q. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I’ve learn better time management from writing my book. I’ve also learned how to survive on coffee, chocolate, and two hours of sleep.
Q. Where do you get your ideas?
In the shower usually. That’s not a joke! Many author will tell you the best ideas come in the shower. There’s just something about water that calms you and allows the ideas to flow.
Q. What does your family think of your writing?
My kids think it’s cool to have characters named after them and they’re proud of me for achieving a goal, but to them I’m just mom. I won’t let either of them actually read my writing though. They don’t need to know what goes through their mother’s mind. LOL! It would likely scar them forever.
I don’t think the rest of my family takes it very seriously. It’s like, “Oh, you’re still doing that writing thing? Good for you.” I read a very funny article recently that said unless you’re on the NYT or USA Today bestsellers list no one cares about your writing. When it comes to friends and family that is totally true.
Q. What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?
I advise aspiring author to write what they enjoy reading. It’s a good way to start. Don’t try to predict the next trend. Write what makes you happy. For example, when Stephanie Meyer wrote Twilight vampires were not all the rage. If you don’t feel it, your reader won’t feel it. So start with what’s in your heart. Dang. That was so mushy. Also, all good writers read, a lot. So read, read, read!
Q. What book are you reading now?
When I’m writing I can’t read anything new. I don’t know why. It’s just too much of a distraction. I get into the story and it interferes with my writing process. I pick books I’ve already read and love to reread. I’m currently rereading the New Species Series by Lauranne Dohner. I love everything that woman writes. Last night I finished Brawn . . . again.
Cat Miller’s Links
www.catmillerbooks.com * www.facebook.com/catmillerwriter * @catmillerauthor
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Blogger, Reviewer, Promoter extraordinaire, I don’t think you will find ANYONE that loves books more than her. Gladys will read anything but prefers paranormal and fantasy. She likes historical and some contemporary ….. as long as its not predictable.
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