Wednesday 2 October 2013

Interview with Kara Leigh Miller

Sliding in under the wire today to bring you an interesting interview with Kara Leigh Miller, author of THE GEORGIA CORBINS, a YA contemporary romance. 

Hello, Kara! Welcome to We Do Write! Tell us a bit about yourself. 

Hi! Thanks for letting me stop by today. I’m a rather boring person in all honesty. I’m a stay-at-home mom to five children. All of them are in school full day, so I spend a lot of time alone. During the day, I write and edit for Entranced Publishing. In the evenings I help my kids with homework (not math because I’m horrible at it) and clean up after my husband. Lol. I enjoy the simple things: reading a good book, watching a movie – the scarier the better – and hanging out with my friends.  

I hear you on the math thing, for sure. How long have you been writing?

 I’ve dabbled with writing my whole life, taking all the extra English classes I could in both high school and college. But it wasn’t until 2010 that I decided it was time to get serious about it. I really hunkered down and studied novel writing and the publishing industry. I joined a weekly critique group and found a critique partner. 


On the very simplest level, it’s a love triangle. Ali Philips has been teased most of her life. Her only two friends are the Corbin boys: Levi and Tucker. At the start of high school, the boys are forced to move away. THE GEORGIA CORBINS starts during Ali’s junior year, on the day the Corbins return to Haldeen. It’s the first time she’s seen or talked to them in three years, so, needless to say, it was a shock to see them. She quickly learns that they came back with one thing on their minds: winning her heart. Now she’s faced with the impossible decision of trying to choose between her two best friends.

Sounds like a fun read! I can feel Ali's confusion already. How did the idea of the story come to you?

The inspiration came in the form of a picture on the television. My husband had turned on one of those all music all the time channels on cable. I don’t remember what song was playing, but there was a still photograph of a tractor in the middle of a hay field with a man leaning up against it and a women staring at him. As it often does, my mind began to wander and I started asking questions. Why was the man in the field? What’s with the tractor? Why was the woman watching him? Did they know each other? Were they lovers? Friends? Family? What were they doing? Talking? Having an argument? Breaking-up? The longer I stared at that picture, the more questions I had. And I knew there was only one way to get all the answers…I had to tell a story. 

That's an awesome way to get story ideas. I might have to "watch" more music on TV. 
Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I do a lot of self-editing, but that only goes so far. I have a critique group, a critique partner, and beta readers. It’s great to get so many perspectives on my work. It allows me to take all the suggestions, analyze them, and decide which is best for my story. I can’t tell you how many times an observation or suggestion by one of my critique buddies has spiraled into a whole new sub-plot.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? 

I am a panster to a fault. I enjoy the freedom it allows. The thrill of experiencing the story with my characters is amazing. I've tried to plot a novel from beginning to end and once I did, I felt like I'd already told the story so there was no reason to actually write it. That particular novel still remains unfinished to this day.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you? 

Staying focused. I tend to write a little then jump on the internet to check emails and social media, which spirals into hours of wasted time. I tend to do this a lot when I’m struggling with a scene or chapter. 

Ah yes, those dreaded demons, Distraction and Procrastination. I know them well... 
What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing? 

A pen, a notebook, a bottle of Pepsi, something to snack on (usually Kit Kats), the TV remote, and my phone. It never fails – when I get into a good writing groove, the phone will ring or something stupid will come on the TV and I’ll have to stop, get up, look for what I need…by the time I’m done, the groove is gone. It’s so much easier to just have it all right next to me. 

If you could have any super power, what would it be? 

I’d love to have the power to automatically adjust peoples’ attitudes – especially that of my teenaged daughter. Lol. Seriously, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to just snap your fingers and have the person whose being a jerk turn into the nicest person in the world? 

Yes! And I would use it on my teenage daughter, as well. Lol! 
What's the weirdest thing you've Googled? 

Huh…wow…well, not for this book, but for another one I once Googled drugs that would cause paralysis, but were safe for a pregnant woman. 

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: corner, justify, and cupcake. 

The only way she could justify eating that calorie-ridden cupcake was to run to the corner and back several hundred times. 

Ha! Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...  

Reading or plotting. 

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs. 

My husband. He’s full of useful knowledge and I’m always asking him weird questions. He’s stopped asking why and now just assumes it’s for a new book.

Giovanni Valentino, my wonderful critique partner and unofficial manager. He makes me laugh on a daily basis.

The entire staff at Entranced Publishing – before I found them, I was starting to feel pretty hopeless about getting this book published. Entranced is a Godsend. They’ve opened their virtual arms and welcomed me into their family. I couldn’t be happier about that. 

Misty Williams, my awesome publicist who doesn’t get annoyed when I spam her with emails with all of my crazy ideas. Or if she does get annoyed, she hasn’t told me. 

The CNY Writers Haven – the best critique group in the world. I really look forward to our weekly, Wednesday meetings. We have a lot of fun. 

And finally, where can people find you and your books online?

All of my books are listed (with buy links) on my website. They’re also available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 
You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. I’m also on Google+, but I have no idea how to use it yet, so I don’t know what my link is. lol

Thanks for joining us, Kara! It was a pleasure to have you.

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Misty Williams said...

LOL. Spam away, Kara! I love it!! :)

Dorothy Dreyer said...

I'm so with you on the changing people's attitudes. That would be very handy!

Misty Williams said...

I totally agree on the attitudes!