Monday, January 28, 2013

Interview with Christian Author Ann Lee Miller


Ann Lee Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University and writes full-time in Phoenix, but left her heart in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she grew up. She loves speaking to young adults and guest lectures on writing at several Arizona colleges. When she isn’t writing or muddling through some crisis—real or imagined—you’ll find her hiking in the Superstition Mountains with her husband or “meddling in her kids’ lives.”

Welcome back to my blog, Ann. Please tell us about your new book, Avra's God.

In the tradition of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, four friends navigate college and the drama churned up by their Florida beach band to cement friendship and more.

Avra wants love, but drummer Cisco—self-medicating from his parents’ divorce with intoxicants—is a poor choice. Cisco hungers for fresh-baked cookies and the scent of family he finds at Avra’s.

Kallie shares her classically trained voice only with lead vocalist Jesse and fights to keep her heart safe. Jesse feeds on fame and hides more than insecurity beneath his guitar. The friends surf ego, betrayal, and ambition and head for wipeout.  But somehow, when they're not looking, Avra’s God changes them all. 

Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

Often my books grow out of long-time prayer burdens. In this case I had been praying for a man to reconcile with his wife after he had strayed. Unfortunately, in real life, the marriage did not survive. But in fiction, the relationship healed. My characters are single, but the process of forgiveness and rebuilding trust are the same.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I visited New Smyrna Beach, Florida where the book is set—and where I lived as a teen and young adult—to make sure I had all the locations and details correct. Because many scenes take place on the Daytona State College campus, I corresponded with several people who worked at or attended the college. The marketing director even offered to read the book to catch my flubs. My other research was more mundane—having my oil changed at Walmart, camping out on Google maps to determine where all my characters lived, and quizzing musical family members on music details.

I love it when authors add real life situations to their stories. Do you ever put real experiences in your books?

This contains many of my experiences as a teen and young adult, though altered for the purposes of the story.

Thank you, Ann, for a lovely interview. Your book sounds like one that will help the youth make better choices in their lives. To learn more about Ann, visit her website at: www.AnnLeeMiller.com

33 comments:

Cheryl said...

I have to say I am intrigued. This is a different setting than I usually find for the books I read. I am anxious to see how these characters turn to God for support. Ann Lee Miller is a new author to me. It sounds like she has an interesting perspective. I am looking forward to reading her work.

Thanks!!!
Cheryl

Ann Miller said...

Nice to meet you, Cheryl. Thanks for stopping by to say hello. Who doesn't like the beach? :)

Amber said...

Can't wait to check out Avra's God! :)

Ann Miller said...

Hi Amber! :) Nice to meet you, sweetie.

Charissa said...

Kicking Eternity was great. Excited for her new books.

Ann Miller said...

Thanks Char! I appreciate your vote of confidence so much. :)

Annalea said...

I came over from GoodReads. These sound like great stories. Thanks for the giveaway!

Ann Miller said...

Hi Annalea,

Very cool name! Welcome. :) Even if you don't win Avra's God, I'm giving Kicking Eternity away at AnnLeeMiller.com. So, everybody gets a prize. My kind of contest!

Zara Secker said...

Hi Anne,

I've been on the hunt recently for some good Christian books. I have felt that God has been steering me more and more towards Christian books. I hope I can get to read one of your books soon.

Ann Miller said...

Hi Zara,

In that case, I have three books you might enjoy--and a fourth due out March 1. Feel free to skate on over to AnnLeeMiller.com and snag a free copy of Kicking Eternity to get you started.

Unknown said...

Can't wait to read all the books. God bless your work!

Anonymous said...

Hi Anne,
I like the age group that you're targeting, as well as the issues. My youngest reads faith self-help books, but I want to show her the delight of Christian fiction. I hope to win! lol
Karla

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Ann,
It sounds like you have another great book out. I like the setting and the subject. Congratulations!

Ann Lee Miller said...

Hi Ms. Unknown, Karla, and Gail,

Nice to cyber-see you girls! Thanks for all your enthusiasm. You are such a blessing to me. :)

Meghan said...

Thanks for the interview and giveaway. I think this book looks really interesting.

mestith@gmail.com

Ann Lee Miller said...

Hi there, Meghan! Good luck, sweetie. :)

Mary Preston said...

I always imagine the research to be interesting. I think I would tend to go off on all sorts of tangents.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Karla said...

I'd love for my daughters to read this one! karla - karlab612@yahoo.com

beemama said...

Forgiveness and healing are so important in a marriage. I'm so sorry about your friend's marriage, but God is in charge even when we don't understand.
I can't wait to read your new release.
Shirley
beekeeper5(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Anonymous said...

We are very familiar with Ann's writings. We would love to add this book to our collection.
e-mail: worleybird10@live.com

Ann Lee Miller said...

Hi Mary,

I enjoy the writing much more than the research, so this keeps me from chasing rabbit trails. :)

Ann Lee Miller said...

Hi Shirley,

Yes, forgiveness is such a difficult mountain to climb, but so very worth it. When we can't forgive, God steps in and gives us the strength.

Ann Lee Miller said...

Karla,

Thanks for popping in. I'd love for your daughters to read my books, too! :)

XXXOOO

Gretab said...

I've never read any of Ann Lee Miller's book, but if they are all as interesting as Avra's God sounds, she will be on my "look out for new books" list in the future.

beckie said...

Not only would I like my 17 year old daughter to read this, it sounds like it would a interesting book for me as well.
rebeccalyn73@hotmail.com

Ann Lee Miller said...

Hi Greta and Rebecca,

Nice to meet you gals. :) Be sure to snag your free copy of Kicking Eternity at AnnLeeMiller.com while you're waiting for the contest to end. :)

I'm so tickled that Avra's God struck your interest!

Happy reading to you and your daughters.

LAWonder said...

I would love to read your book Ann. It sounds very interesting. It is the type I and my kids share. I would love to win.
worley.la@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I love this kind of book to read.
I would love to win it.
This is a book I could probably recommend to our local library..
ridenthewave@gmail.com

Ann Lee Miller said...

Hi LA Wonder,

My daughter and I read some of the same books, too. :) I love discussing books with her.

Happy reading and talking about books with your daughters!

Ann Lee Miller said...

Hi there, Ridin' The Wave,

I think it's a great idea to suggest my books to your library! Please do. :)

Thanks for thinking of it!

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, Beckie! You are the winner of this awesome book. If anyone wants Kicking Eternity as an ebook, contact the author on her website AnnLeeMiller.com.

Dena McMurdie said...

This book sounds so sweet. I would love to read it.

denamcmurdiestudios(at)gmail(dot)com

Ann Lee Miller said...

Thanks for dropping in Worley Bird and Dena! Nice to meet you. So fun to have you join the party. :) :) :)