Thank you for joining me for this special Author Spotlight!
First, a bit about Naomi…
This is what Naomi feels like when her deadline approaches…
As a new author, Naomi keeps not one, but two physical calendars going at all times — current year and following year, plus calendar sheets for the next five years.
If you plan to make a career of writing, you must plan ahead. I had no idea of the timeframes involved, with first drafts, revisions, conferences, events, book signings, blog tours, cover reveals, promoting, … the list goes on and on.
But I’m happier now than I’ve ever been! I love writing! I love interacting with my readers! And yes, I love opening a box and pulling out copies of my book!
Naomi is the author of two Amish books, with a rough draft of the third book just completed. Her latest release, Christmas Cookie Mystery, is the second novel in the Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series.
Naomi is currently working on a collaboration with speculative/dystopian fiction author JC Morrows, merging their genres in a new series. For updates, be sure to sign up for Naomi’s newsletter.
A Tennessee native, Naomi is a graduate of Bellevue University in Nebraska, completing a bachelor’s degree in Networking, then a master’s degree in Security Management. She has been an employee of the State of Tennessee for almost fifteen years, and plans to retire in the next few years, to write full-time and enjoy a more flexible schedule. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and hopes to become more involved in all ACFW has to offer in the near future.
Naomi also enjoys traveling with her family, singing inspirational/gospel music, taking a daily walk, and witnessing to others of the amazing grace of Jesus Christ. In her spare time, she likes to relax, while crocheting or knitting — and always has time to read new releases from her favorite authors.
A spotlight with Naomi Miller . . . today on Donna’s BookShelf. – Tweet this!
And here is my interview:
Have you always wanted to write? Do you use an outline for your stories?
Yes! I’ve always wanted to write, but I didn’t think it was a career I could actually choose to do. I actually began a contemporary novel in 1990, but eventually it ended up in a drawer. I still have it . . . someday I may finish it, but for now, I’m compelled to write Amish fiction.
I don’t use an outline. I write down 5-6 short sentences – each sentence representing an idea of a chapter. Sometimes the chapter follows the idea; sometimes it goes a completely different direction. I’ve learned to let my story guide me. Many times I have no idea how it’s even going to end!
How does it feel being a published author? Have you encountered any surprises along the way to being published?
I love it! Being published feels really great! I love watching a story develop on the page, from beginning to end. Of course, it’s not all fun, but overall it’s the most fulfilling thing I’ve done. And it’s such a blessing to see how my book impacts the lives of others.
Do you have a folder or a file where you keep future ideas for stories or do you just come up with ideas after a suggestion from your editor, agent, or friends?
I don’t keep a physical file or folder, but I have folders on my laptop, where I keep a few word documents with story ideas. Most of the time, I don’t begin a new book, until I’ve prayed about it for awhile. My usual habit is to wake early and spend time with God, asking Him what I should write. And when the ideas come, I write down a few sentences – one for each chapter; and that’s where I start.
Have you attended any writer retreats, conferences, and the like? Do you think they are necessary for your writing?
YES! I was advised by several author friends to make time for retreats, workshops and conferences . . . not only have the workshops and classes been worth every minute spent, but the friendships I’ve made have been invaluable!
How often do you travel? Where do you go? Who do you travel with? What is your favorite vacation spot?
I want to travel, but until I retire, I’m limited to a few workshops and book events each year! My favorite vacation spot is Myrtle Beach, which also happens to be the favorite vacation spot of my grandchildren. I love listening to the sound of the ocean and watching my family playing in the waves.
What are you working on now? Is there another genre you are interested in writing?
I’m currently working on books 3 and 4 in my Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series. Book two was just released this month, so I have a few weeks before book three is due to my publisher for editing while book four is being written.
And now for a few favorites:
Favorite color – Purple (although I love all colors)
Favorite food/drink – That’s a tough question. I love cheeseburgers, but my favorite snacks are peaches, blueberries, and watermelon. My favorite drink is sweet tea (hey, I’m from the south).
Favorite time of year – I love fall, winter and spring. I love watching it snow, but I’m not a fan of the cold weather anymore.
Favorite hobbies – Writing, reading, crocheting/knitting, and working puzzles (sudoku, solitaire, freecell).
Favorite holiday – Christmas. I love the Christmas songs, the decorations and the wonderful idea of giving gifts to those you love.
Favorite dessert – Sweet Potato Pie. My daughter makes an awesome homemade sweet potato pie! She makes one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas.
THANK YOU for joining me for this AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!
Interview © 2016 DJ Mynatt