Tonight, I’d like to talk with Minnie E. Miller, author of The Seduction of Mr. Bradley, Forever My Love, and Catharsis. Having worked for San Francisco’s Mayor, Atlanta’s City Council, and Chicago’s WMAQ TV’s newsroom, Minnie has acquired a strong interest in politics which blends in with the fiction / fantasy on her printed page. Mr. Bradley has earned several 4 and 5-star reviews. I’ve had the pleasure of reading her books and found them entertaining and at the same time thought-provoking. Minnie will be discussing her books and marketing strategies, so let’s hear what she has to say.
BARBARA: What motivated your writing of The Seduction of Mr. Bradley? Can you give a brief summary?
MINNIE: I had a conversation with a gay man about alternative lifestyles (because I’m nosy) and in thinking back, discovered I knew a man who was bisexual and put what I understood in the novel. I did not interview the man. Bisexuals will not publicly admit their lifestyle.
Bill Bradley is adopted and mentored by Ted Grassley from high school to manhood. Ted is a CEO with deep pockets. Although married for forty years, he is bisexual. Bill, caught in the throws of Ted’s lifestyle, complicates matters when he meets Jina Cook, a straight, attractive young lady. The two feel an instant attraction toward each other, but both try to pretend it is not happening. Finally, Jina makes the first move, and Bill knows he can’t live without the woman. Unfortunately, Bill has a big secret; he is bisexual and finds himself torn between Jina and Ted – his male lover and father figure. This spontaneous and deeply gratifying tryst throws him off balance. When Mr. Bradley reveals his bisexuality to the only woman he’s ever loved, an emotional war erupts.
BARBARA: You’ve done so well with your characterization in Mr. Bradley and Catharsis. Where did you get your ideas for some of these characters?
MINNIE: I answered where my my idea for Mr. Bradley came from in question 1, above. Also I started writing Mr. Bradley from a female POV, but when his voice became stronger, I switched the protagonist to Bill. I also researched bisexuality and visited many Bi sites. The novel does not bash alternative lifestyles; it’s about love and humankind.
Catharsis, three short stories, was my first book ever. Looking back, I think it came about because I was angry about slavery and with corporate America – corporations are one group listed under vampires! The last short story in Catharsis, “Connecting,” was taken from another MS I was working on and came from my heart.
BARBARA: Could you talk a little about your forthcoming releases?
MINNIE: Whispers From The Mirror is a paranormal novel. Protagonist Brianna Deville is a feminist/activist. Mother Belle raises her to be a strong, independent woman. In deference to her mother, she lives most of her life hiding behind the mask of a feminist until she learns mother abandoned her for a career she tethers Brianna to. She hears her biological clock ticking and knows she is at a crossroad in her life. Mirror-lady, an apparition, counsels Brianna and tells her the truth about her role as a feminist and how it has inhibitedÂ her. The ghost is a strong sub-character who nearly steals the story. She has quite a sense of humor.
I’m rewriting “Forever My Love” into a novel. It’s an Amazon Short and still available online. Vampire Lucien is lonely and searches the world, looking for his soul mate. He finds Christina in an opera house in California and mentally seduces her. During their many visits together, she is unaware that he is a vampire and falls in love with him. Unbeknown to her, he stalks her, enters her bedroom in the night and telepathically plants his lovemaking into her mind. Christina has no idea what awaits her. Lucien vows to have her at any cost.
I would like to release both novels in mid-2010.
BARBARA: You’ve talked about editing on your blog and website. What tips can you give on how an author should approach an editor?
MINNIE: Areas of expertise, price, and schedule are all-important in choosing an editor.Â Learn how the editor charges and compare it with your budget. I think it important that you discuss your plot. Some editors will not work on certain stories. Also, ask about their clients – most will put their client list on their website. Ask friends for references. IMO, an editor is very important to your work and I won’t slack on the cost, but I demand the best results for my work.
BARBARA: The economy has had a big effect on publishing houses – staff cutbacks and the like. Do you think that more and more authors will opt for self-publishing?
MINNIE: I’ve seen this happening. I’m even looking at e-Publishing, but haven’t found the connection yet. However I publish, I’ll use three avenues: paperbacks, eBooks and reading machines like Kindle. When publishing houses come out of their tortoise shell – understand that publishing is a business that requires a profit – like the turtle, they will be slow in taking on new authors. They more than likely will work from their “A and B list” and new authors are rarely on these lists.
BARBARA: Have you given any thoughts to e-Book publishing? As the economy changes, will e-Books become the wave of the future?
MINNIE: No doubt e-Books are now. The future is now. I’m going to look into it.
BARBARA: What advice would you give an author hoping to market their books?
MINNIE: Get a website; a blog would also help. Work within social net sites. I would save enough money to hire a public relations person unless you’re good with marketing. You will need a book distributor; they are expensive but necessary. Get on online talk shows; there are hundreds out there! I don’t do too many book signings unless they are in my city. Rarely will a book signing cover the cost of table, transportation and hotel room. You could spend as much as $1,200 and sell maybe five books. That said, try to make at least one book fair a year so that people get to know the face connected with the book. Make your book information and website a permanent part of your e-mail, a tag line.
BARBARA: What would you consider to be the most challenging part of your writing?
MINNIE: Personal editing and rewriting after a professional edit. Understand that you cannot see your errors, but you can try to clean up the MS before sending it to a professional editor. I use two editors: developmental and proofreader. It would work well if you could find an editor who will copy edit and proofread. Your next challenge is marketing – it’s your job regardless as to how your book is published. Publishers WILL NOT market your book for you. Yeah, they’ll put you on their list of authors but beyond that, it’s your job to push your novel.
BARBARA: Do you have any signings or radio interviews coming up?Â When?
MINNIE: A friend has asked me to have a book signing of Mr. Bradley at her boutique this September. Her boutique is seven blocks from my apartment. Ha! I also plan to have two online radio interviews when my new books drop in 2010.
BARBARA: Where may people get copies of your books?
MINNIE: As of this year, The Seduction of Mr. Bradley is no longer available on www.amazon.com, and Catharsis is not carried on B&N any longer. I have copies of both books in my apartment. Contact me by email at email@example.com or http://www.millerscribs.com. I accept PayPal payments or money orders.
Wow Ms. Miller let me start by saying congrats to you I am a big fan of your work as well as your writings. You have done an amazing job once again, I take my hat off to you. This was a very insightful interview and I can’t wait to read of what you have written!
Minnie, I enjoyed your interview and I agree, it was a very insightful read. I know you will find a place to publish your books that will work for you.
Besides being a fine writer, Minnie Miller is a treasure trove of sage advice. I reviewed Catharsis and am currently reading Mr. Bradley. I enjoy her style and her love of writing shines through.
When she talks about editing, believe me, she knows of what she peaks.
Wonderful wonderful interview.. Ms. Minnie I am really looking forward to your next book. Congratulations! 🙂
I really enjoyed your interview. And I am looking forward to your upcoming paranormal novel.
And has already been mentioned – Ms. Minnie is a wonderful lady that shares all of her wonderful knowledge with all.
Barbara, let me be the first to say you did a great job with my interview and I so appreciate the opportunity.
Very insightful interview, Minnie! I enjoy reading different writerâ€™s prospective on the publishing industry.