An Interview with Kori Miller
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you’re currently working on or promoting.
I write, and publish, sinfully scandalous mysteries for adults, and create memorable adventures for young people. Currently, I’m revising “Hush,” the first full-length novel for my private investigator, Dezeray Jackson, from the Deadly Sins series.
If you could have a conversation with one person living or dead who would it be?
I would love to talk with family members who’ve died. There are so many lost stories I wish I could capture.
Pirates or ninjas, and why?
I am a ninja. Just kidding! I’m actually a hapkidoist, so definitely going with ninja on this one. Pirates are fun and have lots of adventures, though. I don’t know. Maybe both, depending on the day.
Have you had to make sacrifices for your writing, and if so, what are they?
To be honest, my writing is what got sacrificed for many years. Now, I’m focused on it, and my family understands and supports me.
What is your number one pet peeve when it comes to writing/reading books?
I get a bit annoyed when I realize that the author isn’t interested in their story anymore. I’m talking specifically about series writing. To me, if the writer doesn’t enjoy what they’re writing, then it’s time for them to write something new. If they’re bored with their main character, and the supporting cast, then as I read their book, I’m bored, too.
Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?
The creation of each book teaches me something. Being an indie author means handling every aspect of your writing career. That’s one reason I love doing it. When I wrote and published my first book, I had no clue how to self-publish or format a book. I’ve come a long way since 2011. There are an amazing amount of resources (free and paid) for indie authors. If your audience, for example, hops over to www.koridmiller.com, they can get a free copy of my favorite WordPress plugins.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always been a writer, but I never considered myself an author until three things happened: 1) My work began being published in Fine Lines Literary Journal (and I received fan mail), 2) I won first place in a flash fiction writing contest (that I didn’t realize I’d entered), and 3) two women tracked me down in a parking lot to ask me about my first book (My Life in Black and White: A Book of Experiences). More recently, I was speaking with a person via the phone about something unrelated to my writing, and she asked, “Are you Kori Miller, the author?” That felt pretty good.
Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers?
I write genre fiction, not literary fiction, so for me, it’s all about crafting a story that’s a fun, not too serious, read. I might include serious themes, but my approach via my characters, makes the material less threatening.
Would you rather have one giant bestseller or a long string of moderate sellers?
I’m not really an either/or kind of person. It’s possible to experience both. A best seller is awesome, but then what? And, moderate sellers are cool, and might pay the bills, but there’s no movie deal, right? I’d love to see Dezeray Jackson on the big screen, and I’d get a kick out of my two MGs going that direction, too. It’s all good. Why not embrace every possibility?
Would you rather read a book that is poorly written but has an excellent story, or read one with weak content, but is well written?
If poorly written translates as, “several mistakes on every other page,” then I won’t read the book, but I also won’t read something that either bores me, or doesn’t give me what I want.
Do you think a writer should write every day?
I think a writer needs to figure out what works best for their style and goals. I write, at least, five days/week, but I’m not always working on a manuscript. I learned that writing in the morning works best for me, regardless of the project, so I tend to complete non-writing tasks during afternoon hours (marketing, PR, sock puppet-making, presentations, etc.)
What five words would you use to describe yourself?
Tenacious, Honest, Enthusiastic, Empathetic, Focused
Tell us something about yourself that few people know.
I can learn just about anything, and then teach it to other people within the same day. Mathematics excluded. I spent ten years in training & development. Part of my job was to learn other people’s jobs well enough to take over, and then to train the staff, including whoever would eventually replace me. I’m geeky about learning new things and being an entrepreneur fits my personality well.
Give us one piece of sage advice on writing, relationships, or life in general.
I’m not the first to write this, and I’m sure I won’t be the last: Do what you love and the rest will follow.
Please tell us about your show Back Porch Writer.
The show, now with two years of live programming behind it, is for writers, about writers, and writing. The goal of the program is to bring the writing conference to you, via author interviews and subject matter experts, in a variety of areas. BPW airs every Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. CDT, and Scribe Talk airs three Sundays, each month, at 5:30 p.m. CDT. Follow the show, become a fan, and support it. Back Porch Writer also offers affordable advertising opportunities for authors. If you want more information about that, visit www.backporchwriter.com.
Please share your social media links with us, including where the book(s) may be purchased:
Tweet with me @KMillerWrites and @backporchwriter
Google+: Kori Miller and Back Porch Writer
LinkedIn: Kori Miller
Smashwords (Distributes my books to all major online retailers, including KOBO and Barnes & Noble)
Thanks so much for joining us today, Kori! Please keep us posted on your latest developments.
Deadly Sins I: A Dezeray Jackson Mini-Series ** Excerpt **
I opted to walk the four blocks from my apartment to the New York City office of Tracer International. It was my last day. By this time tomorrow, I’d be heading to Omaha, NE. A free house was an offer I couldn’t refuse. And, Omaha would be a welcome change of pace.
“Dez.” Sam Walters greeted me as I stepped out of the elevator on the 20th floor.
“Sam.” I kept walking. He tagged along. The office was like every other place I’d worked. The elevator door opened and the reception desk was all you saw. To the right, a door led to the back offices and cubicles for entry-and mid-level investigators. That was me. I waved my ID in front of the sensor. There was a click, and the lock released.
“You’ve got one more assignment. Becker dropped it on your desk an hour ago.”
I checked my watch. It was 7:30 a.m.
“He said I should go along with you.”
I stopped at my desk. A file rested in the center. I’d cleaned everything else out last night, not that it amounted to much after two years. It all fit in a shoebox. I opened the file.
“It’s a stolen-property case. The client doesn’t want the police involved. I’m not sure why.” Sam plopped down in a chair next to my desk. He was an entry-level investigator.
“Sasha Alexander? Why do I know that name?” I asked more to myself than to Sam, but he spoke up anyway.
“Socialite. She owns a gallery in SOHO.” He twirled a pencil between his fingers.
“Wait a minute! Not that gallery?”
“One and the same.” He grinned.
“Christ.” I dropped the file. “Let’s go.”
We grabbed a taxi. Screw the trains. It was my last day. Company-paid expenses are a privilege I’d be without in about 24 hours.
Alexander’s gallery fit in perfectly with all the others in SOHO until you walked through the doors. I paused on the street in front and took a deep breath.
“Let’s go!” Sam, always the eager one, reached for the handle. People pushed past me on the sidewalk. I followed Sam through large, ornately-carved wood doors into a small alcove. Heavy, plush, red drapes hung from the ceiling, blocking our view.
Sam pulled one of the drapes aside, allowing me to enter the gallery.
“Oy,” I mumbled, and took it all in at once. Some things can’t be unseen.
“Wow” was all Sam could manage to say.