Interview with Monica Koldyke Miller

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I remember writing a story that had mystery as well as a 'boy meets girl' element to it. I believe I was around 14 years old. The one thing that stands out about it, was my main character's name was Amanda. Coincidentally, that was the name I chose when I wrote Threads of Betrayal.
What is your writing process?
I usually have a very basic idea of a storyline in mind. I decide on the ending first, always working toward that scenario. I also create an outline to keep my story moving forward. I describe my writing as writing in layers. Every day, I'll reread what I wrote from the day before, making changes as I go and then pushing forward into new territory. The next day, I'll repeat the process, and once I get to the point I stop making changes, I'll begin that process further down the story. Once my first draft is done, and I've written my complete story, I'll begin editing. It's not uncommon to do several drafts before I'm satisfied.
What made you decide to become a writer?
I was a shy 11 year old when my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Rindfusz said to me, "You write the most interesting sentences!" Now, I'd just moved to a new school. I felt like an outcast, like I didn't fit in. Her words gave me my first indication I might have a talent in some area. That was the day I decided to become a writer.
What do you read for pleasure?
I enjoy reading authors in my genre. It gives me an idea of how other authors write. It also helps with my own writing process. If I enjoyed certain elements of their story, it inspires me to find or create similar elements in my own stories.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I developed an Author Presentation titled: One Writer's Journey/Lessons in Perseverance. I give it to any group/club/library that likes to have guest speakers. In it, I talk about how I got into writing, who my early influences were and who mentored me along the way. I also speak about the lessons and symbolism I put in my writing. I give a two sentence description of my first book and read a shortened version of chapter 19 which touches on escaping slaves along the Underground Railroad. I bring many of the research/historical materials I used in writing and have a Q & A afterward. I have copies of my books available for signing. A secondary thing, are my Writing and Publishing Workshops. I do not charge for my Author Presentations, and my workshops are charged what my cost is. It's my way of paying back those who helped me along the way, when I couldn't afford their services.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My early years were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana. My family moved to a farm outside Columbia City, when I was ten years old. I'm the third of eleven children. Having experiences with animals and a horse definitely made me comfortable writing about the Civil War era. I'd have to say the biggest influences to my writing were two teachers. One, my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Rindfusz, and Laurie Steill, my high school, Creative Writing teacher. When I decided to take up writing as an adult, I contacted Laurie Steill, and sent her my first, raw chapters of White Wine and Red Roses, which was later renamed Threads of Betrayal.
When did you first start writing?
I began with poetry around age eleven, and began writing stories between thirteen and fourteen. My first attempt writing a full length novel was from age 18 through 22, titled White Wine and Red Roses. I shelved it until the birth of my fourth child, where I dusted it off and decided to write again.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm currently working on two books. One, is the final installment of the Betrayal Series. (The first: Threads of Betrayal and the sequel, Winds of Betrayal) It's titled Sons of Betrayal. However, what I'm going to be finishing first, is a complete departure from historical romance books. It's a book on spiritual experiences and revelations. I'm writing true stories of people who've had a spiritual experience that changed their lives. They are extremely varied stories, ranging from a man losing his daughter through a supposed suicide, to a demon infested home, to a man having found God in prison and having a near death experience. I'm very excited about this book. My goal is to uplift and encourage others and show how God is still active in our everyday lives.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I tried for five years to become published through a traditional publisher. After listening to an author speak candidly about the difficulty in getting publishers to take a chance on unknown authors, I decided to go indie.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Hearing from my readers! When someone writes a positive review or takes time to contact me, telling me how much they enjoyed my books, it's the greatest feeling in the world. I go to great lengths with research to make my stories authentic as possible, and when readers notice that, it's worth all the work I've put into it.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My husband and I live on a farm, with two of our four children, a dog and two barn cats. When not writing, I'm giving my Author Presentation titled: One Writer's Journey/Lessons in Perseverance, or giving Writing and/or Publishing Workshops. I also haul grain during harvest and enjoy canning.
Published 2016-10-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Winds of Betrayal
Series: The Betrayal, Second in the series. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 87,120. Language: English. Published: October 14, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Victorian
Reagan Burnsfield receives a cryptic letter stirring old memories of a phantom lover. What begins as a quest for truth, twists into a high stakes game of cat and mouse between him, a scoundrel and a man bent on revenge.
Threads of Betrayal
Series: The Betrayal, First in the series. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 136,760. Language: English. Published: October 14, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
On the brink of Civil War, lumberman Reagan Burnsfield tries saving the family business by marrying the beautiful debutante Amanda Bruester. Instead, his actions plunge him into the hidden world of the Underground Railroad, pitting him against rival suitors, secret lovers, bounty hunters, and a false murder accusation.