That would probably be skydiving. Something about it scares the bejeebies out of me, but something also appeals to the adventurous spirit inside of me. My husband wants to take me white water rafting before the summer is out. The Arkansas has had a lot of snow melts this year, so it's flowing high and fast. *gulp*
2. What is the best gift you have ever recieved besides the gift of salvation?
Hmm, it would have to be my engagement ring, as Stuart took me completely by surprise on the time and place he chose to propose. We were already unofficially engaged and only 10 weeks from the wedding, but he went all out for the actual proposal with the ring.
Other than that, it would be my iPod Nano Stu bought for our 9-month anniversary. :)
3. What themes do you like to explore most in your writing?
I don't know that I limit myself to any particular themes. When I write, I don't set out to convey a specific theme; rather, the themes develop as I write. Oftentimes, I don't even know the themes when I begin a book. However, trust, faith and hope would likely top the list. If readers don't feel uplifted by the end of one of my books, I don't feel I've succeeded in writing a good one.
4. With all of the roads that are traveled to reach publication was yours smooth or did you hit many pot holes before reaching your goal?
My road was probably smoother than most. I'd known for years that I wanted to write for Heartsong Presents. The opportunity presented itself in Houston in 2003 when I spoke with Jim Peterson about an idea I had for a historical series. The setting was unique and hadn't yet been pitched to the HP line, and Jim was excited about the possibilities from the books. He asked to see a proposal, which I sent about a year later after all of the research. Seven months later, he asked for the full, which I sent about 1 month after he requested it. When I went back to inquire about the status, he said he had never received it. So, I sent it again. By now, it was 2006. By the summer, he had passed on his recommendation and Barbour agreed to publish it. Only I didn't receive word until December, as the company was undergoing a change of editors at the time. So, it took about 3 years from initial pitch to contract. Perhaps a little slower than usual, but it seemed fast to me!
5. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
To quote a great friend and fellow author, Linda Windsor, "Rejections are footprints in the sands of your career. If you're not getting them, you're not moving.” Another is, "You have to read in order to write. Immerse yourself in a wide variety of writing styles, find your own voice and stick to it. Then, write, write, write." I don’t know who it was that said that, though. Somehow, I managed to save it without jotting down the originator.
And finally, writing is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of hard work, determination, patience, perseverance and faith. And it won't happen overnight. You have to maintain a teachable spirit and be open to constructive criticism, no matter how far along in your writing journey you get. In the end, the rewards far outweigh all the sweat and tears you shed along the way. Most importantly, if you feel this is the path for you, never give up!
6. What is a typical day in the life of Amber Miller like?
Well, since I also run a web design business from home, I don't have a 'typical' day, per se…unless I'm on a deadline, of course! Then, almost everything else takes a back seat or gets shoved to the back burner. However, I rise early (most days) with my husband and send him off to work by 8am, sometimes earlier. Then, I sit down at my computer and go through any email, respond and take care of business, make any updates to client web sites or work on design elements that are pressing in nature, and finally get to my writing.
My primary writing time is afternoon or later at night after supper as a way to unwind after a long day. These days are usually busy until about 8pm. It all depends on the inspiration or the motivation that strikes. On days that I remain home with nowhere to go, I try to set a page count minimum and stick to it. And I usually end up doing marketing work, watching a movie or playing a computer game to break up the day as I write. My errands, email replies and client work are usually run first thing in the morning.
7. When you are not writing, what kind of books do you find yourself curled up with?
Primarily, I read historical fiction, although I also love a good contemporary romantic comedy or a romantic western setting. I don't usually go for 1st person novels, but if it's tight 3rd person POV, I might give it a try.
8. What are you currently working on? Can readers expect any other books in the near future?
Right now, I'm finishing up my 4th book for a July 15th deadline. It's the first in another 3-book series, only this one is set in Detroit, Michigan during the Industrial Revolution. All 3 are scheduled to release in 2009, along with the repackaging of the first 3 books in an anthology entitled, Delaware Brides. Other than that, I have 2 full-length historical novels and 2 contemporaries that I'm attempting to sell.
9. Where can readers reach you?
You can always reach me through my web site. I have a contact form there as well as a blog on the main page, where you can comment on any post to leave me a message.
Thank you, Donna, for having me on your blog. It's great having you as part of the tour.
Has God forsaken Raelene?
What kind of God would take a girl's family and leave her alone in a wild land where women have no voice? When Gustaf Hanssen promises Raelene's dying father that he will take care of her, he finds himself bound to her happiness, her success, and her well-being in ways he never imagined. To keep his word, must Gustaf really oversee all of Raelene's affairs, find her a husband, and maintain her farm, while she does nothing but scorn him? Can God reach through Raelene's pain and self-centeredness and give her the love that awaits, if only she will accept His will?
Innocence paired with wisdom beyond her years--
With these traits, Elanna Hanssen unwittingly captures the attentions of Major Madison Scott. Her honest desire to understand the war fascinates him, and he resolves to get to know this perspicacious young lady better. When he is called away to fight the French and the Indians, they begin a correspondence, cautiously baring their hearts to one another. Elanna has never known emotions like these before, but she is drawn to the integrity she sees in her major. When a writer for the first newspaper in the colony questions the major's credentials and activities, however, will she allow her heart or her head to rule? Can true love grow over such distance and around such obstacles?
Shirley Connolly (July month-long feature) - http://apenforyourthoughts.blogspot.com/
July 7 - Margaret Daley (bio) http://margaretdaly.blogspot.com/
July 7 - Dawn Kinzer at From Dawn til Dusk, Musings of a Night Owl http://dawnkinzer.blogspot.com/
July 8 - Donna Moore at Write by Faith http://writebyfaith.blogspot.com/
July 8 - Kim Woodhouse at God's Grace, Love & Forgiveness http://www.kimberleywoodhouse.com/
July 9 - Margaret Daley (interview) http://margaretdaley.blogspot.com/
July 9 - Amy Riley at The Friendly Book Nook http://thefriendlybooknook.com/
July 10 - Jenny Blake at Come Meet AusJenny http://ausjenny.blogspot.com/
July 11 - Rose McCauley http://rosemccauley.blogspot.com/
July 11 - Shauna Sturge at The Coffee Stop http://shaunasturge.blogspot.com/; Long and Short Reviews http://longandshortreviews.blogspot.com/
July 12 - Carolyn Strawder at Quiet Time with Carolyn http://www.quiettimewithcarolyn.com/Serenity
July 14-19 - CAN! blog spotlight http://canblog.typepad.com/canbookmarketing
July 14 - Martha Rogers at Martha Writes http://marthasbooks.blogspot.com/
July 15 - Leslie Sowell at A Little Bit of Sunlight http://www.footprintsinthesand.us/blog
July 16 - Novel Journey / Novel Reviews http://noveljourney.blogspot.com/ / http://novelreviews.blogspot.com/
July 17 - Eileen Astels at A Christian Romance Writer's Journey http://eileenastels.blogspot.com/
July 17 - Cheryl Wyatt at Squirrel's Treehouse http://scrollsquirrel.blogspot.com/
July 18 - Cara Putman at Cara's Musings http://carasmusings.blogspot.com/
July 18 - Tyora Moody at CB Reviews http://www.faithwebbin.net/cbreviews
July 19 - Stacy Johnson at Vader's Mom http://jeffstacyandvader.blogspot.com
July 21 - CFBA blog tour date (various blogs) http://christianfictionblogalliance.blogspot.com
July 21 - Camy Tang at Camy's Loft http://camytang.blogspot.com/
July 21 - Jennifer AlLee at Musings on This, That & The Other Thing - http://jenniferallee.blogspot.com/
July 21 - Trish Perry (interview) http://www.trishperry.com
July 22 - CFBA blog tour date (various blogs) http://christianfictionblogalliance.blogspot.com
July 22 - Cindy Woodsmall at the Plain Talk Blog http://www.cindywoodsmall.com/category/plain-talk/
July 23 - CFBA blog tour date (various blogs) http://christianfictionblogalliance.blogspot.com/
July 23 - Delia Latham at The Melody Within (review/interview) http://themelodywithin.blogspot.com
July 24 - Margaret Chind at Creative Madness http://cherryblossommj.blogspot.com/
July 25 - Delia Latham at The Melody Within (guest blogger) http://themelodywithin.blogspot.com/
July 25 - Christa Allan at Fictionary http://cballan.wordpress.com/
July 26 - Paula Moldenhauer at Grace Reign http://gracereign.blogspot.com/