Amy Miller

Today, I have the pleasure to be talking with Amy Miller, who uses the nickname AEM to sign her books. She is the author of the Endeavor Series and other random literature. Most of the time she’s spotted with her nose in a book or clicking away on a laptop. Her main fantasy series, based in Oklahoma, blends old and new magical creatures and themes. Currently she’s working on book 5, Fervent Desolation.

Could you tell us about yourself?

I am a crazy book lady. I am also the author of the Endeavor Series, a set of magical books based in Oklahoma and around the United States. I have 4 books in the series ready to read, with a 5th coming soon. I also write Random Literature that you can find on my blog, and wrote a short book, Poetry for Writers, as well as a book about living with big boobs, Booby Trapped.

It’s rumored that I am a homeschooling mother of four children ages 12-6, as well as the wife of an IT guy. I love to cook, exercise, be involved in the community, sing off key loudly, write terrible poetry and songs to annoy my children, and hide in bed on a rainy day with a book. I also make art, which was a complete surprise to me. I was a very geeky girl growing up, and my artistic side was right there waiting for me to wake up. So today I’m a very geeky/artsy person.

When did you first decide to write and what got you started?

I remember reading a book about a little girl who loved to daydream and read. At some point in her story, she understood that she was a writer, It lit a spark in me. I recognized that I was a writer, and I must write. I was a young girl at this point. I don’t remember the specific age, but I do remember thinking that I wished I had recognized it earlier. I mean, I had missed out on on years of storytelling and it bummed me out. I was one serious 5-7 year old.

Our gallery

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Do you have any inspirations for you writing? Other authors / people / events?

I’m a method writer. The characters and settings show up and my door and whisk me away. I run after trying to type things down as well as I can.

I am driven, however, by many things. There’s a need in fantasy for more female writers, characters, and perspectives. I also want to have books with more diversity, which is why I introduce a faun with prosthetic legs in Malignant Transfiguration, book 2 of my Endeavor Series. And my gals have curves. Not all of them do, but a lot of them. And they don’t exercise them off and then gain happiness. They are rocking their mattocks and their curves.

I am also driven by balance. Fantasy books used to be nearly all guy driven with macho guy characters and dude situations. That’s great, but the world isn’t made up of only men running around exploding volcanoes with shiny biceps and bloody swords saving the weak females. The next stage of development was hard, cold, fantasy women who rip and shred and are surrounded by pitiful men. It’s a step forward, but still out of focus.

I try my hardest to have both men and women who are tough. I also have lots of different types of male and female characters. Some of my girls are hard, some are softer, and some are in between. Same for the boys. There’s also a lot of play between old and new. I try to give a nod to the old in fantasy, while also giving ground for the new.

What is the best part about writing, and the worst?

The best part is writing. All of it. The worst part, especially since I am an introvert and lack confidence, is getting myself out there. But I’m learning and getting better at that part. Someday I plan on writing a book about confidence. Because, seriously, I have it set in my head that I am a horrid writer. Everyday I have to set that feeling aside and write.

Can you tell us about one of, or your most recent book?

Currently, I’m working on Fervent Desolation, book 5 of my series. Each of my books, after the first, focuses on a specific magical creature in the United States. Where they live, how they function as a society within the greater magical society, what their roots are. Some of my magical creatures are native to the United States, while others immigrated, and others are a combination of the two. Book 5 is about the centaurs, and I’ve crazy excited to write their story! (Isn’t it cool that they let me, a two legged human with a laptop, try to keep up with them?)

It’s a mid way book for the 9 book arc. I plan on having 3 stand alone books come after. Because, seriously, what happens after? I always wanted to know that as a reader, and so I’m going to do that as an author. Probably everything I do as a writer is a response to a question I had as a reader.

But anyway, book 5 is going to be a shift in the series to darker, harder days. I can’t wait, ya’ll. My entire series is a bit of a reverse fairy tale. Everything is lighter and softer in the beginning. And then it goes downhill.

I hope to release Fervent Desolation by Christmas 2018.

Favourite authors and novels that you would recommend?

Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, is my all time favorite book as an adult. As a kid, Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell, was my favorite.

Other favorite books/writers are: The Physician, Moby Dick, Don Quixote, Anna Karenina, Watership Down, Gone with the Wind, Anne of Green Gables, Christy, The Secret Garden, Vincent Van Gogh (He was a writer. He letters are fab.), Marcel Proust (He made divine sentences.), George MacDonald, Juliet Marillier, Mercedes Lackey, Robin McKinley, Tamora Pierce, Madeleine L’Engle, Terry Pratchett, E. Nesbit, Lois Lowry, Shakespeare, J.M. Barrie, Avi, Edgar Allen Poe, Jean M. Auel, Walt Whitman, Bronte x3, Mark Twain, Jack Prelutsky, Bill Waterson, Louisa May Alcott, Hemingway, Shel Silverstein, Jean Craighead George, Joseph Campbell, C. S. Lewis, and Tolkien.

And the list goes on and on! I just scratched the surface.

Which of your books would you like most to be made into a movie?

Wait, they aren’t movies? Then what did I just watch? That’s rotten. I guess the checks aren’t lost in the mail after all.

Film casting – which actors would you choose as your main characters?

I’m terrible at the actor thing, sorry. Can we go back to talking about Marcel Proust and his sentences?

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Read and write as much as you can. Always remember that nobody else can tell you how you are going to be a writer. You will have to just do it and find out. You make the rules, lovey. Own it.

How important do you think social media is for an author?

I think it’s a handy tool for all writers. You just have to find your own balance, and with every tool, you need to have a proper respect for what it can and cannot do.

What do you feel are the greatest challenges facing any writer at the present time?

I think the challenge was, is, and will be the same. Writers and artists are tasked with shining light on life, on exposing the reality of humanity, on saying the things everybody else is afraid to admit.

If you could invite three people from history to a dinner party. Who would you invite and why?

Yes, I’d like to order the Van Gogh, pizza and beer, back of a truck on a starry, country night experience. Thank you so much.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing, marketing, or being involved with your book business? Do you have any hobbies?

I like to sleep when I’m not busy. Or lie around being perfectly lazy.

Any fun facts about you that you would like to share?

I adore editing and revising. I equally adore run on sentences and way too many commas.

I can not wait to write book 10 of my series, the first stand alone. I’m writing all the other books just to get to book 10. And then there’s the closet scene in book 12 that I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to write. But I have to get book 11 out of the way first. I’m going to cry throughout book 11. Somebody check on me while I’m writing that one.

Also, I want to end this with a shout out to my readers, and to my writer friends. I’m crying right now as I’m writing this because I really appreciate your support. Thank you for the time you have spent reading my books, the reviews, the support in other ways, and the relationships. Thank you for cheering me on when I had nothing to go on, and being there when I was a pain in the ass. Thank you for everything!

Thanks, Amy, for taking the time to talk to me today.  Good luck with your books and your plans for your story arc.

You can find all of Amy’s books on Amazon and catch up with her on her WEBSITE or on social media.

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