Friday Spotlight: Melissa Miller

What projects are you currently working on?
I’m always working on something 🙂 
My next book won’t be out until next year sometime. I have it started but I have to find the time to finish it. 🙂 
People are always asking me, “What genre are you writing now?”  because I switch back and forth between romance and paranormal romance. 🙂 
Well my next book has a hint of mystery in it. It’s called My Vampire Savior.  I like where it’s going right now, but who knows. By the time I’m done with it I may have gone in a different direction. 
When I start a book I really don’t know where I’m going with it. I may start out writing a mainstream romance, but before I’m done  my main character has turned into a witch and demons and vampires show up 🙂
I have no rhyme or reason to my writing. I just write what ever I’m thinking at the time. 
Everyone has their own method to writing. I’ve been asked how I do it. Well,  for me, I  don’t use pen and paper. I sit down at my computer and I start typing. I just  let my fingers work their magic 🙂   
When I’m done it goes off to an editor to rip it to shreds for me. Even as the owner of a publishing company, it’s good to get somebody else to read your work. Even if you are an editor and edit other books you need to let somebody else do yours. 
That’s my advice to authors 🙂 You’re too close to your own work. What you think is perfect can always be improved. 🙂 It’s good to have a second set of eyes look at it.

Thursday Spotlight: Melissa Miller

How to handle negative criticism.
 My advice would be  don’t let the negative reviews and things bother you. Just write because you enjoy writing. 
 You have to be thick-skinned to be an author 🙂  Keep in mind that somebody reading your book could have had a bad day and decided to take it out on your book. I’ve had it happen to me.
I’ve received 4 and 5 star reviews and then all of the sudden I’ll get a bad review. I just laugh at what they say and move on. You can’t let it bother you and never give up just because one person didn’t like your book. You will find a handful of others who simply love the book.
Keep in mind the old phrase “You can’t please them all” and you will do fine in this business. 🙂 
I remember this one time in particular, one of my books received several reviews. One was a 5, one was a 4, one was a 4.5, and then all of the sudden a review site, which I won’t mention, gave me a 2 and said I wrote worse than a child in elementary school. LOL. I just laughed and didn’t let it bother me. 
Then that night I got a call from my mom. She said, “I just saw this review; are you ok?”
I laughed and said, “Oh yeah, I don’t let that stuff bother me.”
That brings me back to my point about people having a bad day and taking it out on your book. You can’t get consistently good reviews and then one that tells you that you can’t write and let that one bother you. You just read it and move on. No big deal.
If you let it bother you then you will be bummed for the whole day. 🙂 

Wednesday Spotlight: Melissa Miller

My advice for writers would be: Write because you love to write. Don’t think that when you get a book published that you are suddenly going to be rich and famous. Don’t take the fun out of it. 🙂 
If you are one of the lucky ones that gets rich and famous that’s great, but write because you love to write. Then if you get rich and famous it would be a nice bonus 🙂 
The best way to get sales on your book is to get your name out there. I come across this every day. Authors sign a contract and they think they are done now. 🙂 Wrong, The fun has just begun 🙂 
When you get your book published now the work begins.  Join as many  yahoo groups as you can, send your book off for reviews, and guest blog. The ideas are endless. People can only buy a book if they know it’s for sale.
Another question I’m always asked is, “What do I look for in a book?”  For me a story must have a good plot, great characters. A book needs to grab my attention in the first couple of pages or I’m going to put it down. It has to make me wonder what is going to happen from the beginning. I don’t like slow starting books that get great at the end. I like them to be great all the way through. I want to feel a connection to the characters. I want to fall in love with them and not want to put the book down.

Tuesday Spotlight: Melissa Miller

Where Do Ideas Come From
This is a great question. I have people ask me that all the time. 
Ideas come from everywhere. I can be driving down the road in my car listening to the radio and  a song comes on I really like. They think they told so much in three minutes but there is so much more I could tell about that story. 🙂 My mind gets to turning and I end up writing a book. I think, “What happened next?”
I listen to country music so there is always some story in a song. 🙂 I can take 3 minutes and turn it into a 200 page book :).
Ideas come from all over. I can look through stock photos, take one look at a photo, create my cover and title and then write the story. I know that is the backwards way to do it :), but as I look at the cover all these ideas start flowing. I like to start with a title, then an outline. I may not stick to the outline exactly but it gives me an idea to start with anyway. 
I think as an author you just have all kind of ideas running wild in your head.

Monday Spotlight: Melissa Miller

Hello, My name is Melissa Miller, and I’m  the owner of Solstice Publishing. I’ve been writing for several  years and recently decided to challenge myself. I created my  pen name “Lizzy Stevens” and wrote my Snow Hollow Series. “Secrets Of Snow Hollow”is “The Witches Of Snow Hollow” minus any inappropriate paragraphs.  I  decided to make it a little more young adult friendly.  🙂 It’s a great series, and I  thought teens would love it. So a few deleted scenes later and “Secrets Of Snow Hollow” was created.

I’m  married to a wonderful man and I’m the mother of two great boys. Both of my boys have asthma, and that is a very scary thing to deal with. My boys are getting older now, and I’m hoping they will out grow some of it. They are 6 and 9 and my pride and joy 🙂
People always want to know, “How do you find time to write?” I have a full schedule. I work full time and have an awesome family. Finding time to write just seems to happen. The day to day schedule just works its way out. It’s mainly the weekends when writing gets to take the front burner. My family is very understanding and they give me some quiet time to sit at my computer and write. My boys will come up to me and say, “Are you working on a book?” They are proud of my writing. One day my oldest boy came home and told me that his teacher asked him who his favorite author was and he said, “My Mom.” I thought I would cry. 🙂

I enjoy writing, but I’m used to sitting down at my computer and getting up and getting snacks for the kids and drinks and reading a question on the DS for my 6 year old. As a mother you just find a way to work it out. 🙂

My advice to anyone wanting to be an author would be write because you love to write. Don’t do it because you think you will be a millionaire if you write your first book. Maybe that could happen :), but do because it’s your passion and you love it.