Saturday, February 18, 2012
I am proud to host Heidi Ruby Miller who writes her own brand of sci fi, mixing it with healthy doses of romance and suspense. She has a brand new release and you can win it - please keep reading - simply by leaving a comment below. Heidi also hosts her own blog with the really cool title: "Just a Girl."
But read on and you'll see she is anything but.
I started out writing Science Fiction—that was my intent at least when I entered Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program. So imagine my surprise when, during my first residency, I'm sitting anxiously waiting for the critique group to tell me what they thought of the first chapter of Ambasadora and several people ask if this was meant to be a futuristic romance.
I thought they were joking.
As I listened to suggestions from the SF crowd to make it more SF and suggestions from the Romance contingency to make it more Romance, I was left wondering what in the hell did I write? Okay, so maybe some of my characters, or - all - of my characters thought about their attraction to other characters much more than in a typical SF novel. And maybe the multiple POVs and interweaving plotlines were more reminiscent of a thriller than a typical Romance novel, but this was exactly the kind of book I wanted to read.
In fact, my reading influences were all over. I'm a diverse reader, therefore it would stand to reason that I'm also a diverse storyteller. A list of my favorite books says it all: Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, Preston and Child's Relic, Sara Creasy's Children of Scarabaeus, Wouk's Don’t Stop the Carnival, Max Brooks' World War Z. The list of the eclectic goes on and on.
All writers take their personal schema with them into their writing world, including everything they've read, watched, or experienced. And, I believe that's part of what drives the creative process. We play upon derivatives and weave them into our own unique story. And we often cross barriers, whether in something as complex as ideology or as simple as my blending of genres.
But as that first critique session taught me, we should be open to the possibilities, to see our words from others' perspectives while maintaining our own vision. Sometimes readers can show you aspects of your story that you never considered. I find that delightful, and it's one of the reasons I keep writing.
-- Heidi Ruby Miller has been putting too much sex in her Science Fiction since 2005 because the relationship is as important as the adventure. She loves high-heeled shoes, action movies, Chanel, intense music, and video games. And she has a column called Geek Girl Underground on IMJ. Heidi also teaches creative writing at Seton Hill University, where she graduated from their renowned Writing Popular Fiction graduate program. The writing guide Many Genres, One Craft, which she co-edited with Michael A. Arnzen, is based on the Seton Hill program and her novel Ambasadora was her thesis there. Her second novel in the Ambasadora-verse is Greenshift.
She is a member of The Authors Guild, Pennwriters, Broad Universe, SFR Brigade, and SFPA.
Greenshift is a novel set in the Ambasadora-verse one month before Ambasadora begins.
DESCRIPTION: David Anlow, a fleet captain forced into early retirement and jaded by an ex-lover, now spends his lonely days shuttling around a group of scientists for hire.
Boston Maribu, Mari to her friends, is one of his passengers, a young botanist who is as beautiful as she is naïve and innocent.
When Mari asks David to teach her about more than just piloting the Bard, nights on their ship heat up and their feelings for each other mature into a relationship neither expects. But a suspicious new client shows up with wicked plans for Mari, and the soldier inside David comes alive, ready to fight for the young woman who stole his heart.
To be in the drawing to win your choice of an e-bundle of AMBASADORA/GREENSHIFT or just GREENSHIFT, please leave a comment letting us know what you're reading now or have read recently and if you'd like the single book or the bundle, please post your email address disguised something like this heidirubymiller AT gmail. The contest ends on Thursday, March 1, 2012. Winner will be notified on Friday, March 2, 2012.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
First, I’d like to say thanks to Gary for having me as his guest blogger. I’ve been fortunate enough to have read several of his books and enjoyed each one!
Second, as part of the requirements for my Honors in English program, I had to write a Bachelor’s Essay on a well-known author. At the time, I was fascinated with the American Romantics, so I chose Nathaniel Hawthorne. While I admired his writing a great deal, I was at the same time slightly sickened by the end of my veneration of him and his writing knowing that he didn’t exactly favor strong female characters. Had I fully realized this from the get-go, I might have chosen someone like Margaret Fuller to write my Bachelor’s Essay on and venerate. Anyway, I ended up titling my 73-page Bachelor’s Essay Hawthorne and His Problem with Strong-Willed Women. Basically, the problem to me was that he oftentimes either killed them off, or they ended up living less-than-desirable lives. Long story short, I vowed to create many strong-willed heroines who thrived, more or less, by contrast. And, lived to tell about it most of the time. Well, more accurately, I made lots of my dark heroines, oftentimes female vampyres, thrive as best as they could in an undead existence kind of way.
Third, I used to think in my many jobs over the years, apart from writing, that I’d incorporate as many real-life circumstances and observations as I could into my fiction one day for a greater feeling of verisimilitude in a kind of truth of the human heart way, even though I knew I’d be writing fiction---at least at first. So my many jobs from Counter Manager for Chanel Cosmetics, Counter Manager for Lancôme Cosmetics, brief stints working in the Markets of Downtown Charleston, South Carolina, etc. proved to not only provide great backdrops for my The Vampire Vignettes Series but also so many interactions with other people proved invaluable in creating many of my composite characters. For example, I remember thinking one time early on in my cosmetic career, working for a different company than the aforementioned, that because we were on commission, we often swooped down on customers in our dark flowing dresses much like vamps swoop down on their prey.
Forth, it really has to be said at this point I feel that you shouldn’t waste your time or money on my first attempts at writing fiction. I loved cutting my teeth (fangs?) on them, so they were useful for that, but I’d never had any creative writing classes, and it showed! Fortunately, my first attempt titled THE VAMPIRE VIGNETTES is now out-of-print, and though my other two books titled V2:B4 and V3 are still available, they were revamped into my first traditionally published book titled V XXX: SPECIAL EDITION COMPENDIUM. V XXX: SPECIAL EDITION COMPENDIUM came out in 2009 and was a reworked version of my first three attempts. I tell everyone to start with V XXX (which you may have guessed from the title is an adult read). Even though it’s definitely adult, there were graphic-novel-like adaptations included for fun as Books Two and Three within V XXX. Book One of V XXX contains the main storyline.
Fifth, even though I was elated to be traditionally published with V XXX (through Alexandrian Archives), I have to admit that my personal favorite of my vamp books is a nontraditionally published one: V4: WATER VAMPS (A YOUNG ADULT NOVELLA). It fits thematically with my other vampire books, but it’s also a stand-alone read. I like it best for several reasons; I like the way my young female heroine turned out.
Sixth, realizing that my own creative writing could use some polishing, etc., I decided to start self-teaching myself the craft in a sense by really studying and reviewing other fine writers’ works. To me, it was the perfect win/win situation, as not only did I hopefully end up honing my own craft more, but as a fan girl at heart in many ways, I got to read some really great books and write for some really wonderful publications like Target Audience Magazine, Infernal Dreams, MetaCreative Magazine, Autoeroticasphyxium, P.T.I., etc.
In closing, it’s been a pleasure to share my journey here, and anyone that would like to read the PDF of my V4: WATER VAMPS (A YOUNG ADULT NOVELLA) for free is welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll e-mail you a copy of it.
Yours in dark delight,