Interview with Don Miller

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle Fire 7 and also a Kindle Paperwhite.
What do you read for pleasure?
Stephen King for his mysteries and dark fiction checking for writing technique. Agatha Christie for formulating mysteries.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Bradley Communications, rated A+ for the BBB, and its Bestseller Blueprint Program and hitting Facebook and Twitter. Bestseller Blueprint was created by Jack Canfield (author of The Success Principles and the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series) and Steve Harrison, co-owner of Bradley Communications.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I have had epilepsy for 42 years and have been through some hellish experiences growing up, I've always idolized Stephen King because the man could always scare the Jeepers Creepers out of me. I decided early on, 1979 or so, that one day I'd become a professional writer. In 2002 I started my literary journey, I am a published writer in 2014, with 2 epilepsy memoirs: Detour: A 40-Year Epilepsy Memoir, available in large print, regular print, and e-book. Also Epilepsy Memoir: My 40-Year Detour in large print, regular print, and e-book. All my past bad experiences has effected my writing productivity and In 2015 I published Death is Not the End: Unholy Resurrections Volume 1: large print, regular print, and e-book. Detour: A 40-Year Detour is now available as an audio-book on Amazon; Audible; and iTunes. I've lived in Stillwater, Minnesota; Hammond, Wisconsin; Hudson, Wisconsin; Somerset, Wisconsin; Siren, Wisconsin; and finally in Grantsburg, Wisconsin.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first poem in 3rd grade, that would be 1971, I've written off and on over the years since, composed Christian alternative songs from 1995 to 2001, in 2002 I got serious about it. In 2005 I joined Northwest Wisconsin Writers Group, also in 2005 through 2006 I was part of a respected writing critique group called Yarn-Spinners; 2006 I started my first novel, 2015 I completed it. In 2014 I published 2 versions of the same epilepsy memoir: Detour: A 40-Year Epilepsy Memoir & Epilepsy Memoir: My 40-Year Detour. My writing path is diverging from writing dark fiction to writing mysteries.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It is titled Unholy Resurrections 2: Psychic Gift With a Price. Ginnie Dexter-Lund, in 2024, at a cousin reunion has a stress-induced series of convulsions and died. She was brought back from the dead by a life-giving kiss of antimatter laden air in CPR. She came back in intense pain and experienced her first psychic vision.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I wanted to educate people about epilepsy and advocate for the chronic neurological condition that 6 million people in the USA; 139 million people worldwide have.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is my life, it is my love and true passion from compostion, first draft, second draft, editing,researching, I love it all.
What do your fans mean to you?
They are my support team and help to show there is a demand for what I write.
What are you working on next?
Currently I'm completing Volume 2 in the Unholy Resurrections series: Unholy Resurrections 2: Psychic Gift With a Price, shortly though I'll finish work on a mystery series: The Hickerson County Homicides. First in the series is The Brotherhood: A Secret Small-town Steroids Society.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King; Joe Hill; Barry Eisler; and Agatha Christie
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I get out of bed so I can do what I can do, that's write
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
There's a site called Bookbub that sometimes has great discounts on ebook and Googling an author's name I might find interesting.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
That would be Friday, the Thirteenth.
What is your writing process?
Research, composition, first draft, editing, second draft, editing, final editing and finally master draft. I use Word for Windows and Scrivener, Wordweb for a dictionary/thesaurus.
How do you approach cover design?
DIY from beginning to end from great concept, colors that attract the eye. I am considering having the graphic done on Fiverr.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Mr Mercedes; Finders Keepers; Salem's Lot; The Stand: Uncut; and Under the Dome, King wrote them.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Well, Mr. Coker has yet to help out but I am veering off my dark fiction fantasy for a time and will be trying my hand at mysteries and hopefully be able to publish and distribute my ebooks other than the big A that as I understand is a competitor. I became a published non-fiction writer in 2014 with 2 epilepsy memoirs and in 2015, a published fiction writer with one novel, It is my intention to pull Death is Not the End off of Kindle Select and try a hand at distributing and publishing it here. My books thus far are available in LARGE PRINT; regular print; and Kindle.The Unholy Resurrections is a quadralogy or whatever a 4 book series is called. I feel that LARGE PRINT offers much less competition than regular print. Kindle has monster competition though there has been demand for both P-book and E-book of my book titles. Hopefully Mister Coker and I can work together and make both of us some cash.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Walking; fitness; eating at the local cafe and Subway Restaurant; North West Wisconsin Regional Writers; I have a couple guitars, guitar amp; 4-track recorder; and studio mike but I haven't composed a song in over a decades; I also belong to book club. There are a couple Chinese restaurants I attend quite frequently, as frequently as I can because I don't have a driver's license, never had one, and the restaurants are 10 and 45 minutes away from Grantsburg, WI. I hope to become more involved in community epilepsy education and plan on talking to Kristina, the head of the Grantsburg Wisconsin Public Library about doing a speaking gig at the new addition they added to the library within the past 2 years, this speaking gig would be for free and experience and hopefully I could make a career of it like Chicken Soup's Jack Canfield.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Story, no, it was probably Curious George or some such nonsensical book. The following happened in 3rd grade, I'd read through all the children's books appropriate for my age in the basement, the children's part of the Stillwater, MN Public Library so they said I could graduate to the adult section even though it was many years too early. It was there that I was introduced to this wonderful man named JRR Tolkien and read The Hobbit and I found it literature of the highest order. I was really impressed with Middle Earth and the world and language and good and evil designed solely with one man's mind. It was there that I realized that you could create an alternate reality with writing and it could take you anywhere you chose to go. I opted to go to Northern Wisconsin, part of Michigan, part of Minnesota, and part of Canada, to the Iron Range to Iron County and the small town of Iron Belt. In my novels Iron Belt became the fictitious Atherton, WI; other cities: Edgerton; Jefferson; Lakeview; and Rylander, all names gleaned from County Platte maps, a county road map, and a couple curious trips to the local cemetery, I believe The River View Cemetery. It was there that I discovered the grave of Joel Hickerson, and I thought that would be a great County name so Hickerson County was born. On another cemetery trip I checked out the grave of Big Gus: Anders Gustaf Anderson who stood 7 feet 6 inches tall.
What are you working on next?
I am diverging from my dark fiction fantasy and am trying my hand at writing mysteries. I entered Camp Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month), write a 50,000 word novel in the month of July, they also have Nanowrimo in the month of November. Currently I am over 35,000 words in The Brotherhood: A Secret Small-town Steroids Society and it is only the 19th of July. In all likelihood I won't finish it this month as can you actually write a quality novel at 50,000 words in one month? I am attempting to finish the 2nd volume in the Unholy Resurrections series: Psychic Gift With a Price: The Power of the Icy Flames before August 1st, I hope to report that it is on the market on big A at my next neurologist appointment on 8-9. I am going to repeat that it is of the essence to save your work frequently on multiple flash drives as well as your hard drive. I had my desktop go on the fritz, lost my hard drive with a complete Volume 2 manuscript that I should have had out by Easter of this year. I was consistently saving my manuscripts to 2 2 GB flash drives and they went corrupt on me, I, just out of force of habit do a control-A; control-C and then open up Notepad and save a text copy. This technique is recommended by Mr. Coker for stripping away formatting. All I know is that this gives you a base copy to work with should push come to shove as it were. Back up frequently, save text file copies of your manuscript just in case. The Brotherhood is a mystery novel and should be out in time for the first day of school: September 1.
Describe your desk
One of those triangular corner ones oak veneer, a hutch on top for DVD-R; CD-R; 2 external hard drives (one 640 GB & one 500 GB) making it 100 GB over one Terabyte. High speed modem; assorted Western junk paraphernalia; spare pairs of glasses; Brother laser printer, and of course my Dell desktop with a puny 74.5 GB hard drive (Win 7 64-bit); 17-inch flat-screen monitor. That's my optional desk, my master desk is actually a former sewing machine cabinet, slide out drawer for wireless mouse; 24" Benq flat screen monitor.
What sort of computing beasts do you use?
An HP desktop with a 2 TB hard drive and Win 10; Dell desktop with 74.5 GB hard drive and Win 7 64-bit; Lenovo 3000 N200 laptop with XP and 100 GB hard drive.
Published 2016-12-04.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.