Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
Well let's see. My name is Robin Leigh Miller, I'm a mother of three wonderful if not trying children, two boys one girl. I have a fantastic husband that I've shared the last nineteen years with and my biggest supporter in my writing career. Let's turn to some unique things about me. When I was sixteen I began a six year career driving dirt track stock cars, micro sprint cars, (funny little cars with wings on the top) and a little dune buggy racing.
This is how I met my husband. We raced against each other in the same division. It took five years for us to speak to one another, but three months after our first date we were engaged, seven months later we were married. He tells everyone he finally caught me after years of chasing me around the track. Six years later, we welcomed our first child.
I love reading, devouring fiction books like my life depends on it. One day out of the blue a notion hit me; why not try writing one myself. I took writing courses, began rereading books and studying the formats, and a year later I'm published. Now I divide my time between my children, husband, business and writing. Writing is my escape from the day-to-day turmoil I may encounter.
I'm an adrenaline junky and this carries into my stories. Action and adventure are sure to be found within my plots. I'm a believer that women are stronger than they think, this too can be found in my books. Eleanor Roosevelt said it best, "Women are like tea bags, and you never know how strong they are until you get them into hot water."
Let's not forget the softer side of women; I like to stress that as well. Kick ass women are great, but they too like doors opened for them, a nice back rub, flowers and simple romance. I try to combine all those aspects into my characters.
I love reading and writing and if someone else finds enjoyment in my stories then I'm happy. Making others happy is what I'm about.
What's your favorite genre to read?
Paranormal romance is my all time favorite genre. For me romance stories have to have a kick. Something strange, out of the ordinary, wild has to be going on to keep my interest up. When I read I want to be taken away from the real world. Let's face it that's why we read right?
Who or what influences you when you write?
Influences come from everywhere for me. It could be a statement made by someone I'm talking to, something I hear on the news, a flicker of an idea I get from watching a program on TV. I start with an idea and build around it until it takes on a life of its own. All it takes is the smallest idea and my imagination runs wild. Sometimes when the book is finished, it doesn't resemble the original idea in the least. But, that's okay, the idea got me started. Now I'm finding people offering ideas and that makes me smile.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
There are times when my creative juices slow, but they haven't come to a full stop, not yet. When things do slow for me, I go for a walk, play soccer with my kids, pop on some music anything to take my mind as far away from the story as possible. When I come back, I'm fresh. Sometimes I write for ten to fifteen minutes walk away for an hour and return. I've found this a great way to keep from becoming bogged down so to speak. Then of course, there are those days that I write for hours nonstop. My family is great about that. They leave me alone so I can get it out of my system. Just a simple change of scenery can work wonders and sometime inspire me.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
I've signed my third contract with Cerridwen Press for my latest book Running Blind. I've always been fascinated with psychics, especially those that help solve crimes. But, I wondered if any ever became the target of the criminal they were seeking? During some research I found the answer to be yes. Well, that's all it took for me. My heroin Jessica has worked with police to find a killer. An over zealous reporter leaks the information along with her name and she finds herself one of his targets. The only way for her to be safe is to run. Her fleeing literally crashes her into a man that prefers to be alone. Now he's forced to nurse this beautiful, yet odd woman back to health so she can leave and he can return to his peaceful life. He didn't count on her worming her way into his heart. Now it's up to him to keep her alive, and himself.
What do you do for inspiration?
If I'm in the need for inspiration I go among the masses. Getting out around people is always good for me. I'm a people person. I like talking, laughing and hearing personal stories. You never know when that spark will flare into a full-blown idea.
Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
When I decided to take that ultimate step and submit my work it was when the manuscript for Black Smoke was finished. I felt good about the story. I spent weeks searching for the right places to submit it. Then I sat. My husband encouraged me on a daily basis. This is what you want, go for it he'd say until I did it. If it weren't for his encouragement it may still be sitting in my computer.
What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
I've never received any bad advice, at least none that I can remember. If I did I blocked it out. The best advice I've ever gotten would be from my husband. When I decided to give writing a shot and find someone to publish my work I was scared. I spent a year researching, almost every day. You know, how do I go about finding someone to look at what I've done? What are the procedures I have to follow, that sort of thing. Once I had a list of places to submit to I procrastinated. He finally said to me, If you don't take a chance you'll always wonder what if. What's the worst they can say, no? Will the world end if they do? At least you'll have your answer. He's a pretty cool guy!
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
Oh yes, I outline. If I don't the story takes off in twenty different directions and doesn't make a lick of sense in the end. Outlining keeps me on track. I don't get in depth with the outline, I highlight what I need to have happen within the story and where it should take place, filling in the rest around it. It's a great process for me and works well. Most of the time the outline changes. I have dozens of notebooks around, some in the car for those evenings when I'm sitting at soccer practice and an idea hits. I write it down, toss it in my purse and incorporate it into the story. Or late at night when I have a dream, I pick up the notebook and jot down the main points while it's fresh in my mind.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I belong to the greatest critique group. Wonderfully talented women that are brutally honest, which can only help. If it doesn't fly with them, I rethink and try again. I trust and value the advice they give. I can't say enough about how great this group is. I constantly learn from these women. If anyone has a chance to join a group, go for it.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
Black Smoke was my first published work from Cerridwen Press, released March 29, 2007.