Thursday, December 13, 2012

All in the Family: Mark Miller talks about writing with his daughter

Author Mark Miller graciously invited me to participate in Authors in the Park, an event taking place this Sunday, December 16th, in lovely Mount Dora, Florida. He and another author, Janet Beasley, organized it and have been working tirelessly to promote it. I invited them to visit my blog to talk about their writing. I hope you enjoy this short interview with Mark. Next up, Janet.

Julie: What's the title of your most recent book?

Mark: I’ve got so much going on right now, it’s almost hard to pick. From my epic fantasy series, The Empyrical Tales, Book III: The Secret Queen is the most recent. I also wrote an eBook adaptation of a  Christian-themed movie called Daniel’s Lot. The paperback is coming out this month. Probably the one that is most special to me is the novel I completed with my 10-year-old daughter. We started writing it together when she was eight and it is called Sons of the King. It is a science-fiction/fantasy story about three brothers finding their destiny.

Tell us more about Sons of the Kings?

Sons of the King tells of three brothers on the planet Kaskaya. They lose their father, the King, under mysterious circumstances and are forced to go their separate ways. The story has strong Christian elements and is about their growth and change over five years. They eventually have to return home to face their destiny. While I did the majority of the writing, my daughter Olivia was responsible for all of the creativity. She named the characters and places. She helped with plotting. At her age, she already has a strong voice. Much of what she wrote went in unchanged. She has a unique sense for word choice and I wanted that to poke through as much as possible. I sometimes found myself adapting my style to match hers.

Who do you see as your audience?

I think Sons of the King does well at spanning the age groups. It is clean with a positive message for younger people, but mature enough for an adult audience. There is a Christian message to it, but it is not heavy-handed or “preachy,” so anybody who enjoys a good adventure will like this. I would say it falls somewhere between Star Wars and Chronicles of Narnia.

Why do you write?

Why? I have a passion for it. Like a baseball player gets in the zone, I can spend hours at the keyboard. My imagination is on 24 hours a day. I have done quite a few different things in my life. Aside from being a husband and father, nothing else gives me the joy and satisfaction of writing. A close second is working with kids. The time I spent in the classroom was some of my best spent time. I love the response I get from kids when I share my stories. So, I guess I write for them mostly. I write for my own children. I try to have a positive message and create good role models. When I say I write for kids, I am also including the kid-at-heart variety, too!

What is the most important piece of advice you'd give other writers, particularly those who might just be starting to write?

I used to tell people to keep writing. I feel that practice every day, like the athlete or musician, is important. Now, I also say learn patience. Everything takes time and you will only improve with age and experience. So, keep at it, but don’t rush it.

Thank you for having me on your blog today! I appreciate the opportunity and would love to hear any feedback from your readers.

Julie's note: You can connect with Mark on Facebook or visit his website to learn more: