Max W. Miller is an African American, Southern author living in Raleigh, North Carolina who creates award-winning science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal worlds within the pages of her book series. Max W. Miller books are available on amazon.com and we are looking forward to talking with her about her books and her life as an author.
I understand you write science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal books in series, how do you know the first book will be part of a series?
For me, every story begins with a thought triggered by something either seen naturally, through a dream or vision, or perhaps both. I write down the characteristics of my protagonist (leading character), his or her back story, the story I want to tell and the one I’ll tell next. And then I’ll find more than one antagonist whose job is to stop my hero. A strong protagonist will have a back story and unfinished business moving forward at the end of Book 1.
Define Young Adult, New Adult and Paranormal?
My Young Adult readers range from age thirteen to eighteen as far as I am concerned, although I’ve seen recommended number starting at nine. My Sadie Mae Stevens Series and The I Take Series I’ve completed the manuscript on could very well be read by at least a ten-year-old; however, that will not apply to Dream Boyfriend when it is released next year.
New Adult addresses ‘The College Age’ where the protagonist is leaving the confines of mommy and daddy and is faced with learning to sort out problems on their own. I would not recommend this genre for young teens because it is a time of added sexual freedom, frat parties and learning how to deal with young adulthood. Andof course with me, the entry into the kingdom of adulthood will have troubled waters through aliens, ghosts or one bizarre event after another.
The word Paranormal has various meanings for different authors; we would probably all list occurrences such as bizarre folklores, ghosts and hauntings, phenoniums unexplained by science as in my Monster Mates series, Spending Christmas With A Yeti. Personally, I group undefined events of Speculative fiction and the metaphysical under this heading as well.
What allows you to create such unique characters, settings, and storylines for each series?
My ideas come from many sources. I believe that an author’s childhood environment holds many keys to endless memories and way to spin an adventure. I was around five when I had my first visitation from a beautiful realm—floating rainbows coming to comfort me. My creative imagination, along with personal and family dreams and visions formed the basis for ideas to jot down. It is good for a writer to keep a pad and pencil on the nightside table. I have found that a good idea must be captured fast before it is forgotten.
What is your writing process?
The past few years have taught me that having a balanced life, in general, is a huge part of my success. I have a family clamoring for my attention and since I am a knight owl, the quietness of a sleeping house works for me. As I mentioned earlier, jot down important points whenever they come—even if the story is unknown at that time.
When did you begin writing and how did you know that you are a true writer?
I’d always been the go-to family member for writing slogans, naming businesses and Through marriage, moving to another state, child-rearing, and careers, my expression of words always came to uplift my happy moments and quench my anxieties. I always knew that writing would remain a part of inner being.
What makes your work unique?
I build on snatches of information I receive about worlds similar to ones I’ve seen through dreams, visions or my imagination. When I’m fleshing out a character, I imitate voice, mannerism, and motive, whether protagonist or antagonist, They have to go through the same process to come to life. I Understand that even a villain has a reason for what he/she does. It is important to humanize my characters and their settings and then the reader can see them standing before them.
What do readers say after they read your books?
Here are a few comments from Amazon:
The Gordite Witch – Book 1 of The Legacy Of Sadie Mae Stevens Series
I can't wait till the next one I love this story concept it's different from anything I have ever read and the author traps you in the story and paints such a vivid picture I got lost in the life of Sadie Mae and I loved ever minute of it good work Max W. Miller keep it up!
Return – Book 1 of The Egyptian Moon Series
Once you start reading, you won't want to stop as it captures your imagination, curiosity and wonder. I will be continuing this series. I need to know more!
My readers love extraordinarily crafted fantasy worlds with elements of science poured into the mix. Bizarre character names and odd powers are exciting to them. Also, my readers enjoy the Paranormal aspect along with Speculative fiction and Metaphysical. They are enthralled by strong protagonists who don’t always listen to sound advice and gets themselves into perilous situations with seemingly no way out. They love to hear about ghosts exacting revenge or even coming back to help. Monsters don't bother them and justice for an abuser relieves their anxiety.
Are there any writers your work has been compared to?
You have said you have an ancestral gift allowing you to have dreams and visions. Explain this.
From centuries past, family members are able to access and locate ancestral traits and gifts that are handed down from generations to generations. On my mother’s side, strong giftings in the area of dreams and visions are prevalent in an astounding display to bring spiritual insight, warnings or guidance in certain situations. I am my mother’s child.
Do your dreams and visions come out in your work?
My dreams and visions as well as what I glean through meditation has a profound effect on my stories. Every story begins with a thought triggers by something seen naturally, through a dream or vision, or perhaps both.
What is the most common misconception about those who have dreams and visions?
I’m not sure what others may believe about dreams and visions, but I believe that every human has had a few—whether they are willing to admit it or not. Another important point for me is that my dreams and visions or intuitive nature are gifts not subject to my will (the receiver), but to the will of the Giver, whom I know as God. I question those who at all times and with all people, knows, sees, and understand. That’s just my belief.
Since this gift is inherited, do others in your family share your gift?
My mother, along with myself and several of my eight siblings are strong with giftings of intuition, dreams, and visions.
What is the over-reaching theme that ties all of your series' together?
Fighting to rise beyond the level of the unique mission placed squarely upon a specific Life is for giving more of what’s inside, not holding back. In the end, freedom comes when living out the legacy while saving many from destruction.
If I said, You should read Max W. Miller books because _______, what would you say to fill in the blank?
Strong stories mixed with truth have the ability to empower lives with a sense of hope and
As an African American Southern writer, what do you bring to your books culturally that other writers cannot?
My books are multicultural in nature reaching beyond the border of Earth into worlds layered inside of worlds where people of any race can see a ghost or even be a ghost or a dark skinned, red-headed teen can be a superhero and make a decision to risk her life to save Earth. Inside the realms of dreams, visions, and intuitive thinking an unparalleled journey take place where a family of death angels finds themselves caught between where imagination meet truth.
Tell me about a couple of your characters.
Since Book 2 of the Legacy Of Sadie Mae Stevens, Teen Superhero Series is scheduled for release in 2016, here a couple of interesting characters from Book 1
Protagonist – Sadie Mae Stevens – Thirteen-years-old in Book 1– African American
A force to be reckoned with!
Sadie Mae Stevens is a full-blooded Dylanian (it’s all in the way her DNA are arranged. Her two brothers have the same earthly father, but have not shown any Dylanian tendency; they appear to be like their father (human), and Sadie is like her mother – ALIEN. But due to her mother’s death, Sadie have to grow up faster than she wants to. No Daughter of the Seas had their legacy passed on when they were as young as Sadie—and without her mother’s training.
Heathcliff Brimm – Handsome-geek with dark green eyes, Genius, inventor, scientist, medical Sadie affectionately refers to him as the mad scientist, and she is not far from the truth—his brain is wired for discovering fascination genetics and inventions. In truth, he wants to be an undercover alien and many times put science before people. His wife, Suzanna is his saving grace.
Pigwaller - Monsters with the ability to take on human form. Pigwallers serve the Tetradyne by entering human homes mainly as children and controlling the minds and actions so that the family accepts them. Afterward, Pigwaller slowly infests the family causing them to commit crimes, kill each other or even suicide.
Tetradyne Rulers considered life imprisonment as an eternal insult and spewed hatred on the Dylanians, vowing to escape and destroy them. To carry out their threat, the Tetradyne Rulers banded with the lower form, Pigwallers and unlawfully bored a massive hole through the sea floor.
What would you say to other authors starting out?
Diligence. Work toward a well-crafted story that has undergone drafts, beta readers, and then first round editing. Afterward, put the manuscript away for a week or two before reading it again. Maybe by then, you might be ready for another round of editing.
What is your latest book?
Where can we find your books?
What is your website?