March 9, 2014
Primarily you must be in love with writing. Like most love affairs, it will have its difficulties. You will laugh, cry, starve yourself, and lose sleep over writing. You must also watch your temper when you receive your edits back. They are necessary to improve, not slander, your work. I feel for the brave souls who write their butts off, work day (or night) jobs, and rise raise families.
A bit about Minnie E. Miller, the writer: I have self-published three books (2 of them novels). I do not have an agent. I only shopped my first manuscript and received 10 rejections out of 30 queries. It was clear to me that at age 56, I could not wait for a publisher.
My first book consists of three short stories titled “Catharsis” (published March 2003). One reviewer was woeful, but congratulated me on the clean, clear writing. She said I had a “voice.” Damn, I thought. Guess that’s good to know. There is so much emphasis put on finding “your voice.”
The first story in “Catharsis” is about two vampires rescuing slaves from plantations. Of course, Moses is the name I gave the driver of the horse and wagon delivering escaped slaves to the Underground Railroad. Most readers enjoyed it and wanted more. The second, a vampire love story–uh-huh, they love too –, and the third a paranormal contemporary love story. Many said the love story is also too short. As I said, this was my first self-published book. I have had a professional editor from the beginning of my writing career; IMO, this is very important.
My second novel is “The Seduction of Mr. Bradley” (published November 29, 2006). I tried writing it from a female POV, but Mr. Bradley was not having it. He stole the show with his struggle to change his lifestyle after he meets and falls in love with a straight, beautiful lady. Yet, he still loved his paramour/father image. He straddles the so-called fence, not sure if he wants to change. If you name your books according to your feelings about them, I call this one, My Baby. Allow me to brag here. I believe this novel was before its time.
Mr. Bradley was not an easy story to write. I felt the need to get into his head and heart at the same time. A lot of research went into bisexual men. When I asked to interview them for this story, none came forward. Most of the information came from gay men and my personal experience. (That’s another book.) During my research, I learned bisexuals deal with pressure from both sides of the lifestyle – some women generally felt they are simply cheaters. Gay men said bisexuals are gay, just in the so-called closet. Interesting thought, there are many bisexual career men, CEOs.
“The Seduction of Mr. Bradley” is also an eBook.
The third novel, “Whispers from the Mirror” (published 11/29/2006), is also close to my heart and contain streams of my life. It, however, is not a tell-all. I believe all writers have a bit of their lives mixed in their stories. It’s only natural — most everyone has lived through a wealth of experiences that sit in their subconscious. Most waiting for a word or a thought to attach to a story. For me, that’s one of the pleasures of writing — bringing alive those subconscious thoughts.
The protagonist in “Whispers,” Brianna, is an activist hiding behind a mask of feminism. She realizes at age 52 that she has been living in her mother’s shadow for years and needs to know more about the older Brianna. “The Mirror” in her bathroom shows Brianna her life, insists she must change. She must open her heart to love or she will die a lonely woman.
My writing career includes fiction, essays, and highly political articles. Moreover, when I feel it necessary, I send emails to President Obama, my Senator, and U.S. Representative in Congress. You might say I am a lobbyist for children and the poor. Nevertheless, I do not pay for political help, nor am I paid for my activism.
I cannot express strongly enough how important it is to keep writing; anything, anywhere, and about anything (but not in the bathtub, that doesn’t work too well), if you have chosen writing as a career. Write with value and purpose. Keep up with the literary world and our Nation – always have your say in both worlds.
After running from city-to-city and outside the United States, trying to shake a deeply painful relationship, I returned to Chicago, Illinois, aged and wiser. Now my days are devoted to writing and reading. Oh, and trying to understand this thing called aging.
Minnie E Miller
Writer, Essayist, and Humanist