Interview with Jeffrey Miska

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first book that I recall reading and really making a difference in my life was called "A Wrinkle in Time". I suppose it's no wonder I maintain the topic of time as a key element in my own stories. I remember that it was the first book that truly made me feel disappointed every time I had to take a break from reading it. The characters seemed so real. It was a very memorable experience.
How do you approach cover design?
I suppose I try to either use key elements of the story or use a color scheme that matches the emotional qualities in the book. Photoshop has made such a difference in my ability to create exactly what I want.
Describe your desk
My desk is usually immaculate. The way my brain works, distraction is never a good thing and for me it can come in any form. A paper clip to sculpt into a "work of art" or a to do list taunting me can cause immense problems in my ability to focus. You have to consider that even in a dark quiet room, my mind is seeking creative ways to distract itself. Outside stimuli can therefore be crippling.
Q: Are you being serious?
A: Sadly yes.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up near Chicago and spent most of my summers in Michigan . My good fortune was to have one of the Great Lakes within twenty minutes of me at all times. This may sound odd for someone who has a singular scientific view of life, but I truly feel a deep connection to the Great Lakes in a way that is very personal. That connection influences many of my writings profoundly.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I've started to work on the second in the "Time Spirits Series" called "Faith in Science". I wanted to work on some short stories that were hanging around in my brain and took a short break from the novels. Rest assured, the readers who enjoyed "To Whatever End" should be happy I'm back on track.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My head makes up stories that seem so real at times, I feel the need for other people to hear them. It's that simple.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords helped me see how self publishing was possible. It's not easy writing, editing and publishing your own work. Besides the endless tasks that face all authors, publishing and editing is very time consuming. Using Smashwords a lot of that nightmare away. It's easy to use and provided you follow the Style Guide to avoid making formatting errors, it's quick. I would recommend it to anyone.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy is meeting, talking to and hearing from readers. It's hard to articulate the joy I feel when people connect with the characters and events in my stories. I think most authors have a very personal connection to the characters they create and are indirectly describing themselves in many ways. When I speak with readers who talk about the characters in my books as though they're beloved and real, I feel an unspoken bond that can be life changing. It's a bit like revealing an intimate secret about yourself and hearing someone say the words, "I love that about you".
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I never need inspiration to get out of bed. I need inspiration to sleep and thus far have not found it. I have a passion for experiencing life that sleep only hinders and at most I get about 5 hours a night. If I had my way I wouldn't sleep at all. That doesn't mean I don't like to relax, I just don't find joy in being unconscious as I pass through time.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Making music. My entire family has some musical ability and both my brothers were union musicians through most of their twenties. I've played piano since I was three, guitar since age fifteen and I love to sing. Music and writing both give me the same ability to express myself. You can touch a person so deeply through story or song, they may be changed forever. What better way to spend my time than that?
How do you write your stories?
I would have to say that the novels are far more difficult than the short stories. I do a lot of research to make sure the novels are scientifically and historically accurate and they are harder to manage in my distracted brain. The short stories come to me as though a narrator read them off to me in my head. They come fully formed from beginning to end. It's funny because sometimes I feel that my only job when I create is editor.
Published 2014-01-05.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Decisions in Darkness
Price: Free! Words: 9,850. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories, Fiction » Erotica » Romance
(4.80 from 5 reviews)
The story begins with the chance encounter of Larry and Ginny. Their friendly casual greeting in a local restaurant conceals a hidden and deeply intimate past. Now it seems the improbability of this universe has offered them a once in a life time gift to bring closure to their shared pain of lost love. Still, as with any of us offered a gift, we may either accept it or not.
The Nocturnal Voice
Price: Free! Words: 10,190. Language: English. Published: June 24, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
This short story is the third in a series. Unique to the others, the inspiration and story line follows Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung's theory of synchronicity. The story opens in a mental institution just as a group therapy session is about to begin. It is the moment when Daryl, an intelligent and eccentric young man finds the purpose behind a haunting voice speaking to him in his dreams.
Insane Possibilities
Price: Free! Words: 15,280. Language: English. Published: May 22, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
(4.83 from 6 reviews)
A short story about a vivacious young physicist and mathematician named Kristine, who has devoted her life to science. Hallucinations cause her to seek help from a social worker named Paul and she's terrified when she hears a questionable diagnosis of schizophrenia. Her path leads her to a place where perspective is all that's real, and sanity is nothing more than the limit of what we believe.
The Last Letter
Price: Free! Words: 4,630. Language: English. Published: March 22, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Family
(4.89 from 9 reviews)
Marie is a college student living in Laval Quebec. An unexpected tragedy brings her to a turning point in her love life. Little did she know that the voice of a young girl sharing her name and her pain, would give her the answer she was looking for.
Deux Semaines (Two Weeks)
Price: Free! Words: 20,020. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
(4.67 from 6 reviews)
"Deux Semaines" is the story of Jay, a middle aged man who decides to seek the advice of a therapist after losing the love of his life. The terror of falling into a mid-life psychosis compels him to reveal his story in it's most intimate detail. The passion that burns within the memories of his concealed pain will take him back to her, and to his friends as if he traveled back in time.