Interview with Jennifer Millikin

What are you working on next?
I'm working on another women's fiction novel about a girl who goes home to Iowa to care for her beloved ailing grandmother. Once there, she faces the pain of watching her hero be overtaken by disease and deal with the reasons she left home in the first place.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My desire to write for a few precious minutes before my small children are awake and demanding food, attention, love, etc.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Taking care of my home and kids, taking them to school, picking them up from school, exercising, cooking, cleaning. What most people spend time doing!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Oh, yes. I was in fifth grade and it was titled, "A Gust of Wind and He Was Gone." I don't really remember what it was about, but it sounds very dramatic. Which is fitting, because I watched soap opera's with my stepmom.
How do you approach cover design?
I hand it off to Dane at ebooklaunch.com. We discuss my vision, and he takes it from there.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I'm still learning about all the methods. I don't know with certainty which are most effective. I wish I did. Trying to connect with my target audience is hard, because their attention is vied for so fiercely.
Describe your desk
I wish it were prettier. I share it with my husband. Right now there are three computer screens, papers everywhere, post-it reminders for The Day He Went Away book launch, and lists of Lego sets my kids want (written in 6 year old handwriting-very cute).
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Phoenix, AZ. That's where The Day He Went Away is set, and it made it so easy to describe setting. I'm learning a lot about Iowa right now for my current work, and I wish I knew firsthand what the smells are really like. I drove through the entire state once, but we didn't stop to experience it.
When did you first start writing?
As soon as I could string sentences together. Growing up I was a voracious reader. My dad loves to tell people about how he was pulled in for a parent teacher conference when I was little and told that I was disruptive to other students because I finished my work early. He took me to the library and then sent me to school with my Babysitter's Club and Sweet Valley books and nobody heard a peep from me after that. Then everyone started calling me bookworm.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The one I'm writing currently is personal because my wonderful, amazing grandma has Alzheimers and so does the woman in the book. It's my way of expressing my sadness over watching my grandma deteriorate.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Have you ever tried to get the attention of an agent? It's depressing and full of rejection on a good day. On bad days, it will make you question your sanity. Enter the wonderful, exhilarating world of indie writing and self-publishing.
Published 2016-10-30.
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