Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Interview with Christian Romance Author Ann Lee Miller

Ann became a writer the year she discovered Sister Sheila had hair. She was in fifth grade at St. Hugh’s Catholic School in Miami, knee deep in nouns and verbs, when Sister Sheila walked through the door in a new habit that showed two inches of mouse brown hair threaded with silver. Thanks to Sister’s jump-start, Ann went on to earn a BA in Creative Writing from Ashland University, Ohio. Kicking Eternity won First Place, Long Contemporary in the 2009 Romance Writers of America Touched By Love Contest.

Ann Lee Miller writes stories straight from the heart with characters who'll become friends, remaining with you long after you turn that final page. You won't want to miss Kicking Eternity!”- Jenny B. Jones, Author

Hello Ann! Author Lynn Rush said, “I've lost hours of sleep reading Ann Lee Miller's work due to her uncanny ability to yank me into a story with authentic, lovable, yet challenging characters.” I’m excited to hear more about your book.

Kicking Eternity is all about chasing dreams—our dreams, God’s dreams, and the mixed-up tangle of both. Here’s a blurb about the book: Stuck in sleepy New Smyrna Beach one last summer, Raine socks away her camp pay checks, worries about her druggy brother, and ignores trouble: Cal Koomer. She’s a plane ticket away from teaching orphans in Africa, and not even Cal’s surfer six-pack and the chinks she spies in his rebel armor will derail her.

The artist in Cal begs to paint Raine’s ivory skin, high cheekbones, and internal sparklers behind her eyes, but falling for her would caterwaul him into his parents’ lives. No thanks. The girl was self-righteous waiting to happen. Mom served sanctimony like vegetables, three servings a day, and he had a gut full.

Rec Director Drew taunts her with “Rainey” and calls her an enabler. He is so infernally there like a horsefly—till he buzzes back to his ex. Raine’s brother tweaks. Her dream of Africa dies small deaths. Will she figure out what to fight for and what to free before it’s too late?

You’ve got my interest! Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

A close family friend fell in love with a young man and felt strongly that God told her to marry him. When the guy broke off the engagement, she was devastated on multiple levels. In Kicking Eternity the hero has to come to terms with the same dilemma. My friend healed over the course of a couple of years and later married. She is now a happy new mother.

Wow! What a dilemma! What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

Much of this novel is born out of growing up on the east coast of Florida and thirty plus years of summer camp. I studied meth addiction, regulations on campfires on the beach, attended an African children’s choir concert, visited New Smyrna Beach and took pictures of every scene setting in the book.

I love hearing about an author’s research. Thanks. What does your family think about your writing?

My husband, Jim, once sold the family minivan to send me to a writers’ conference, works two jobs so I can write full-time, reads me, edits me, believes in me, and loves me. My daughter reads all my books and helps me brainstorm when I get stuck. My three sons are always dreaming up marketing ideas for me.

Now that’s what I call real family support. Wow! Selling your minivan so you could get a bit more education? That’s so awesome. That’s dedicated love! Okay, it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

My father spent several years building a forty-foot sailboat in our backyard in Miami, Florida. We launched it in the Miami River and lived aboard at Dinner Key Marina when I was eleven. At the time I didn’t realize how unusual it was to live on a boat and ride my bicycle down the dock each morning to attend school. All my friends at the marina did the same. After school every day, I tossed my books onto my bunk, shimmied into a swimsuit, and jumped overboard. Sailboats show up in all my books thus far. In addition to Kicking Eternity, The Art of My Life debuts in September, Avra’s God in December, and Tattered Innocence next March.

Thank you, Ann, for this wonderful interview. Now we know the real you! The author who has sailboats in her blood, because of living in one while growing up!


Wall-to-wall books said...

Well I think this sounds like a real nice book! I also think my daughter (23 yrs. old) would love it!
Nice cover too.
There are so many different parts of this book that we wouls both love - the summer camp, Africa (my daughter has always wanted to go on a mission trip to Africa), and on the cover she is carrying a guitar, I don't know how this fits into the story but my daughter plays the guitar! See perfect!
I will have to add it to my wish list if I don't win a copy.

Thanks for the giveaway Linda!
forevereading at gmail dot com

Emmalee Clark said...

This sounds like an amazing book! Its one of those novels that you just read a blurb and then you cant help but wanting it! I love the name the name choices too. The characters sound very interesting and I can't wait to read about them (hopefully;) )! Thanks for this Awesome giveaway!!

Michelle said...

I love clean romances & this sounds like an interesting twist on love. Thanks for the giveaway.

Michelle said...

oops - I forgot to add my email address! - michelle (at) momscholar (dot) net

Thanks again!!

Claire Taylor said...

Sounds like a great book, and the interview was good


Thanks for the giveaway

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Ann,
Congratulations on your new book. It sounds like an interesting story with lots of internal conflict.
I enjoyed your interview and think it's wonderful you have such great family support for your writing.

Anonymous said...

Linda and Ann,

Fun interview!

Would love a copy of this book - I've seen it popping up here and there and I added it to my wishlist a few weeks ago... now here it is!

Thanks for your generosity!


Darlene said...

I'd love to read more about Raine and Cal! Thanks for the giveaway!

darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

Lola said...

Enjoyed reading the interview. For the giveaway my email is lolaconley at cox dot net.
Thanks so much. Lola

bn100 said...

Very nice interview. The book sounds fascinating.


Ann Lee Miller said...

Thank you all for stopping by! I sort of got lost yesterday and posted I-don't-know-where, but I woke up this morning and saw you all had started the party without me. Ha! Well, better late than never.

Tell your friends to stop by for a free book. The more the merrier. :)

Tamera Westhoff said...

Sounds great! I'm in!




Ann Lee Miller said...

I sent you all the link for your free book. Let me know if it didn't arrive. :) Happy reading!

Cheryl said...

Wow! What a great interview. I'm thrilled you have so much support for your writing from your family. Your book sounds wonderful.

Wishing you the best,



JHS said...

Lovely! I look forward to reading the book.


jhsmail at comcast dot net

Ann Lee Miller said...

Thanks for commenting, Cheryl and JHS.:) I'm really blessed. I heard a country song today about taking stock of the good things I have. Thanks for reinforcing the thought. :)

Dianne said...

I enjoyed reading your interview and also the blurb about the book. It sounds very intriguing!!



Ann Lee Miller said...

Good morning, Dianne! I'll send your book right out. :)

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a book I would really enjoy reading.


ruthhill74 said...

This sounds like a book that is definitely worth checking out. Thanks!

Ann Lee Miller said...

I'm having so much fun giving books away on Linda's blog! Tell your friends to come get their free book. I don't want anyone to get left out. :)Linda is letting me stick around until June 26!

Aline Tobing said...

Hi, Linda!
Thanks for hosting the giveaway..

The book blurb sounds wonderful :)


AmelArmeliana said...

Hi, the story sounds great. It's a wonderful story. Looking forward to reading it. And I'm enjoying the interview too. Success for both of you. Have a nice weekend :)


Ann Lee Miller said...

Aline and Amel,

Thanks for stopping by! Linda is extra busy this week, and I'm holding down the fort. Such fun. :)

Kim Reid said...

Great interview and I would love a chance to read Kicking Eternity!
Thank you :)
kimberlybreid at hotmail dot com

Ana Maria said...

I would love to read this book. Thank you!
cristeaanamaria (at) yahoo (dot) com

Ann Lee Miller said...

Hi Kim and Ana Maria,

Nice to cyber-meet you. Happy Sunday! A good day to rest and relax. You have my permission!

Ann Lee Miller said...

If anyone missed the giveaway and would still like a free e-copy of Kicking Eternity, just contact me at AnnLeeMiller.com. :)

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, everyone! I hope you enjoy the ebooks that Ann has sent you. She was so gracious in giving each of you an ebook. I know you'll enjoy it.