Author Interview With Maryann Miller


A diverse writer of columns, feature stories, short fiction, novels, screenplays and stage plays, Maryann Miller has won numerous awards including being a semi-finalist at the Sundance Institute for her screenplay, A Question Of Honor. Her work has appeared in regional and national publications, and the Rosen Publishing Group in New York has published her non-fiction books for teens, including the award-winning Coping with Weapons and Violence In School and On Your Streets.

A romantic suspense One Small Victory is a June 08 release in hardback from Five Star Publishing, and Play It Again, Sam is a July 08 release from Uncial Press as an e-book. Other experience includes extensive work as a PR consultant, a script doctor, and an editor. She is currently the Managing Editor for WinnsboroToday.com, an Online community magazine, as well as a reviewer for ForeWord Magazine and BloggerNews.net.

One Small Victory Synopsis:

Life can change in just an instant. That’s the harsh reality that Jenny Jasik faces when her son is killed in an automobile accident, but never in her wildest dreams did she ever expect to be working undercover as a member of a drug task force. She is, after all, just a Mom. But a Mom can do amazing things when she puts her mind to it and a lot is at stake.

Author Interview With Maryann Miller, author of One Small Victory:

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Maryann Miller: When I was about ten years old I decided I wanted to be a writer. I had just finished reading one of the Lassie series and was enthralled with the story, the setting, and everything about the book. I wanted to someday write a book that someone would love just as much.

Tell us a little bit about your book/s.

Maryann Miller: I have a number of nonfiction books published by The Rosen Publishing Group in New York. The books are part of a number of series Rosen offers that deal with life issues that teens and pre-teens face, such as drugs and violence. Coping With Weapons and Violence in School and On Your Streets has gone into its third printing and was named a Best Book for Teens by the New York Public Library. Play it Again, Sam, was just re-released as an e-book from Uncial Press. It was originally written as part of a series Kensington was doing about fifteen years ago. That line closed just before the book was released. The story features an older heroine who must make life and love work again after her husband of 25 years dumps her.

One Small Victory has recently come out in hardback from Five Star Gale/Cengage. This book was inspired by a true story about a woman who infiltrated a drug ring and helped bring down the main distributor in a rural town. When I read the news story, I just knew I had to write about this incredible woman. I don’t know that I can pick a favorite between these two books. They both showcase women who discover great inner strength in the face of adversity, and I admire them both.

Are you currently working on any writing projects our readers should watch for release soon?

Maryann Miller: I’m working on a mystery series that I hope Five Star will publish. I am waiting to hear from them and the waiting is not easy. 🙂 The series starts with Open Season and features two women homicide detectives in Dallas, one white and one black. Think Lethal Weapon in Dallas.

Have you ever won any writing awards? If so, what?

Maryann Miller: When I was twelve I won an award in the Detroit News Scholastic Writing Awards Contest. Pretty heady stuff for a young girl. Since then I have won a Golden Pen Award for a short story at the Southwest Writer’s Conference at the University of Houston, and also won the Golden Pen for a screenplay the following year. I have been a semi-finalist at Sundance and the Chesterfield Film Project with my screenplays. In addition, I won the Page Edwards Short Fiction Award from the University of Florida.

What about your family? Do you have children, married, siblings, parents? Has your family been supportive of your writing?

Maryann Miller: I have six adult children and they are all supportive of my writing. Some of them help with keeping my computer running so I can keep writing. My youngest daughter designed my Web site, as well as the new cover for Play It Again, Sam. My oldest son helped with the research for One Small Victory, as well as for the new mystery series. My husband has always been a great supporter of my efforts, and his encouragement has kept me going at times when I wanted to quit. My parents and extended family are also great supporters. When my mother read an early version of Open Season she asked if I had saved up all the dirty words she had told me not to say and put them in the book. One of the central characters, Sarah, has a mouth on her.

The main characters of your stories – do you find that you put a little of yourself into each of them or do you create them to be completely different from you?

Maryann Miller: I’d have to tell my mother that Sarah is nothing like me.

Do you have any pets? What are they? Tell us about them.

Maryann Miller: I have lots of pets. A horse, two goats, three cats and two dogs. My husband and I live on some acreage in the Piney Woods of East Texas where I happily play “farmer.” My horse is named Banjo, and he is half Welsh pony and half Quarter horse. Depending on which breeder I talk to, they blame the other lineage for his stub
bo
rnness. The cats, Little John, Misty and Orca, rule the house – as all cats seem to do. They have even intimidated one of the dogs, a border collie/Australian shepherd mix. It’s funny to watch her and the cats have a stare-down. The other dog is part Pekinese and part we’re-not-sure. She was a city dog and came with us to the farm six years ago. I worried that she would not adapt, but she had done great.

Is there any lesson or moral you hope your story might reveal to those who read it?

Maryann Miller: Since I like to write about social issues, I hope readers come away thinking more about those issues and how they impact their own lives. Maybe they can even find courage to make changes if needed. Sometimes we think we are powerless, and I try to show how much power we have that we might not even be aware of.

Anything else you want your readers to know?

Maryann Miller: First I want to thank you for hosting me on this blog. I do so appreciate the opportunity. Then I want to thank all the readers out there who keep us in business. We who write would be lost without you.

One Small Victory can be ordered through most bookstores and online. It is also marketed heavily to the library market, so folks can request their local library to order it. Play it Again, Sam is available as an e-book from Uncial Press.

My website is: http://www.maryannwrites.com

My blogs are http://themanyfacesofgrief.blogspot.com/ and http://its-not-all-gravy.blogspot.com/ To check out my day job, folks can access it here: http://www.winnsborotoday.com

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