Interview with Howard Mills

What are your five favorite books, and why?
Ooh, my five favorite books. Let me see. First, Sandra Browns' Envy. I mean, if you ever wanted to write a book where the main character takes you on a roller coaster you must READ THAT novel. I read the book over a decade ago, still I remember the plot. The novel was about a guy whose best friend takes his creativity, makes a fortune and tries to kill him, thus the title Envy. I don't want to say too much, and blow the story. Let's just say it is a damn good read. Next book on my fave list is Terry Good kind Wizard's First Rule. This is the first installment for the Sword of Truth series, also known as, Lord Richard Raul. I've read the entire series and loved every moment. The way Terry Good kind pull you into his world is unbelievable. Honestly, I love ALL the story, however I have to pick the first book for my favorite because it is here Richard began his journey to meeting Kahlan the confessor. Then there's Stephen Kings Dark tower series, Wizard and Glass. Now I know this is the fourth book however it's the first one I read. After reading this book I cried. There was a scene where a character died, and the way Stephen King articulated his words blew me away. Actually, many of his works inspired me to write. Like Dreamcatcher, The Stand, The Girl who loved Tom Gordon and Hearts in Atlantis. I have read a lot of his earlier novels. He is by far one of the greatest storytellers of our time. Now my fourth favorite book is a classic to me. It's Jackie Collins American Star. I remember reading this book, the paperback edition, to page 205 and discovered missing pages. I could not find a copy of her novel anywhere. So, I left the book alone, never finding out what happened to the characters. Years later a friend of mine purchased the book for me from Barnes and Nobles. I tore through that book like it was dinner. American star was a story about two crossed-star lovers separated by a horrific storm that swept through their town. Thinking that the other was dead, you follow their struggles in life, until one day they meet. Oh, it's a wonderful story, a great twist on a love story. My last favorite, I would have to pick is Ron L Hubbard Battlefield earth. If you read the book then you, like me, hate the movie. I mean the paperback was thousands of pages long can I could not get enough of it. Battlefield Earth takes place after alien race conquers earth and transforms humans into slaves. The detail of historical places like, the white house in Washington D.C. made me think if Ron L. Hubbard know the future. The book felt real.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was in prison... called "Divided." It was a medieval fantasy story about a young man named Merritt who lived in this kingdom called New Celeste. He had committed a pointless crime robbing a local bakery for food, and the High king sentenced him to a year of royal service at his palace cleaning garbage. Ha-ha. Well, during his time working at the grand palace, Merritt encounters many people and some he befriends, like the princess whose name I cannot remember for the life of me. Okay, here's the intriguing part. One fateful night, while serving guests at a royal ceremony, he discovers that someone has kidnapped the princess and rushes to save her. Merritt struggles against the men, one of the kidnappers stabs the princess and threatens to kill him. Torn between fleeing and death at her side, Merritt chooses death. This is when something magical happens. His act of bravery conjures an ancient force that allows the princesses dying soul to grant him the power of the Divine. In short, her soul becomes his strength, and Merritt vanquishes his enemies as if they were bugs. Now using this power comes with a price. Every time Merritt uses his new-found power, he loses the princess's essence within him. Believing that his daughter was murder by Merritt, the High King sends his Royal guards to kill him. There's more to the story. I will save the rest for later.
What is your writing process?
Usually, I begin with writing the ending first. I know it's common for writers to start beginning, middle and then end; however I have found jotting down a great ending leads to a better first sentence. Many of my ideas came from scenes where the ending, whether good or bad, sparked questions on "how did this happen?" So, try writing backwards, if you can.Listening to music while you write is another great way to influence your storytelling. The lyrics or rhythm puts you into a trance, and allows you to think without being your own critic.
Published 2016-11-03.
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Books by This Author

Inside My Mind
Price: $5.00 USD. Words: 3,030. Language: English. Published: May 22, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Literary collections » American / African American
Inside My Mind by H.J. Mills is a flash fiction collection of fantasy, romance, and mystery pieces. There are three short stories and each several hundred words in length. All evoking shock, intrigue or an element of wonder that introduces readers to a fresh new voice they never heard.