Interview with HL Miller

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love writing my characters into a corner. Let's tie my lead character up in bed with his arm tied to a shotgun. If he moves his arm he will pull the trigger on the shotgun. He's suffering from a massive hangover and having trouble thinking straight. Now, let's sit back and watch him figure his way out of the jam. This makes the character come alive, which is the coolest thing about writing.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I just finished Book 2 of the PT Thomas Adventures, Off to Search for BigFoot. I grew up in the 70's during the Bigfoot craze. Every hunter has been alone in the woods and at some point in time felt eyes on them. I tried to think of the most dangerous animal known to man, then have my characters PT Thomas and Hugh John, hunters extraordinaire, encounter this animal deep in the wilderness of Alaska. For PT Thomas the most dangerous animal is a beautiful woman. Think about it, you're out in the woods, it's getting dark and you encounter a beautiful naked woman. Scary right? I'd rather face down a rabid wolverine, at least I'd know how to handle it.
What are you working on next?
My next book I'm working on is Off to Find a Killer. We've all been there, you're starting out on a hunting trip or returning from one. You're armed with a sidearm and a hunting rifle when you stop somewhere for gas. We've all had the thought, it would be some poor dipshit's unlucky day to be robbing the gas station right now. PT Thomas and Hugh John did stumble into a gas station robbery and this book details the sequence of events that follow after the robbery.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I wanted to write books my way. The hero's in my books are hunters, not a popular pastime in some circles. I didn't want to change my stories or water them down to make them more palatable for a larger audience. Being an indie author allows me to spend more time writing and less time searching for a publisher. It lets me get my books out to my target audience, guys just like me. Guys that like to hunt and fish, who occasionally sip a beverage and read a book.
Who are your favorite authors?
This list spans my life. Louis L'Amour (Any Sackett novel), James Webb (Fields of Fire), Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan or John Carter), Mark Twain (Roughing It), Max Evans (Rounders 3), J. R. R. Tolkien (Everything), Dean Koontz (Odd Thomas), Michael E. Moon (John Medicinewolf). Fred Gipson (Savage Sam), Patricia A. McKillip (The Riddle-Master of Hed). The list goes on and on and on. These are just the ones that come to mind right now.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My wife who alternately keeps me sane and drives me bug eyed crazy. My two little girls who I love more than life itself. The thought of finding a quiet hour where I can write, but I'll settle for sitting on the couch, typing on my laptop while keeping an eye on the girls.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work, I watch my girls, and I wrestle with the old lady occasionally between the sheets. I prepare to go hunting or fishing. I hunt, I fish. I look at a lot of hunting gear I wish I had in magazines. I read myself to sleep. Repeat.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I look for books from my favorite authors. I look at what people also purchased who bought books from my favorite authors. I talk with friends and ask them what they are reading.
Describe your desk
My desk is my laptop. It goes with me everywhere and I write everywhere. On the couch in the living room, on the love seat in my Dead Animal room downstairs. Sitting at Grandma's table during the weekend visit. This last fall while elk hunting I sat in the front seat of my Ford with the laptop plugged into the DC outlet writing a chapter before turning in for the night in my tent. I have a weekly quota of words, the laptop stays with me until I make my quota.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in rural western Montana. To survive in rural Montana you had to have some rugged individualism in you mixed with a touch of crazy or you packed up and moved back to California. This meant I grew up around some unique individuals, learning how to hunt, fish and take care of myself. I've always heard you write what you know. I know a little bit about hunting, a little about being out in the woods, a little about guns and a lot of interesting characters.
When did you first start writing?
I have always written stories in my head at night before falling asleep. I have written several novels in my head that I never put on paper. I finally realized that life is short and that it's not writing until you put it in a format that you can share with other people. I wish I had come to this realization years sooner.
How do you approach cover design?
My approach to cover design. The best thing for me to do would be to hire someone to do it for me. But, I'm a bull headed do it yourselfer. I hate to pay someone to do something and then when they're done go, "I could have done that." For example, I hate building fence but I have never hired anyone to do it for me and I never will. I have experience with image editing, so hopefully the covers don't turn out too bad. My basic approach, KISS, keep it simple stupid. Make sure everyone can read the title, author's name and hopefully get some idea of what the book is about from looking at the cover.
Published 2014-07-27.
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