May 2000's Author of the Month

Maryann Miller
(Chosen by reviewer, Pam Stone)

Impressive Author

Ms. Miller Tells All

Her Books

Reviews


Impressive Author

I first heard of Maryann Miller when she contacted me to review two books for her. Before I received them,  I decided to look up her bio and was very impressed with it, and that is why I chose her as May's Author! Author!  I read her books and was especially taken with the one called Open Season. An award winning journalist and author, Maryann Miller's articles and short stories have appeared in regional and national publications for over 20 years. Her non-fiction book Coping with Weapons and Violence in school and on your Streets was chosen as one of the top books for teens by the New York Public Library. Maryann has also written numerous screenplays and two other novels.

Here are some other awards Maryann has received:

New York Library Best Books
Sundance Film Festival / screenplay finalist

Golden Pen Writing Award / short story and  screenplay

Writer's Digest / screenplay

Chesterfield Film Company / screenplay semi-finalist.

Her Web Site


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Ms. Miller Tells All

 

PS:  Tell us a little about your life.

MM:  I grew up in Michigan and went to school there. Worked a variety of jobs: Trail Rider, Veterinarian assistant, a real live rollerskating car-hop ala Happy Days. Met my husband, married, had two children then moved to Texas. Was primarily a stay at home Mom and had three more children. Started my professional writing career with a weekly humor column about family life. Became known as the Erma Bombeck of Plano, Texas. Also started doing freelance articles for a variety of publications, regional and national. Moved to Omaha NE six years ago and in addition to writing, I work as a hospital Chaplain.
 

PS: How old were you when you got the writing bug?

MM:  About ten. I've always loved books and would rather read than breathe. I still remember the day I finished a particulary wonderful book and turned to my friend to say, "I want to write books like this." We both decided that writing was a wonderful idea. Little did we know that it took more than 'wanting' and dreaming of fame and fortune.
 

PS:  You have written quite a list of Non-Fiction books, How does it make you feel to know that those books have made a difference in someone's life?

MM: It was a wonderful experience one day when I'd gathered a group of students from a high school for an informal discussion and one of the girls said she'd read my book about destructive cults. She said her older sister had been in a cult and it had been a terible time for the family. The book helped her to see that what happened to her sister wasn't something the family should feel guilty about.
 

PS: Do you have any advice for the legion of aspiring writers out there?

MM: It's been said so much it's almost a cliche, but I have to say "Love what you write." If you have a real passion for the story or the book or the article, it's going to come across in the writing and make it better. The other advice is to never give up. It's an incredibly tough business to break into, but the only way it's going to happen is if you keep trying. Giving up should not be an option if you really want to be published. One of the first national sales I made was with an article that had been rejected at least 40 times. My young adult novel, FRIENDS FOREVER, had a similar history. I've even lost track of how many times it was rejected before New Concepts Publishing picked it up.
 

PS: Can you share your reading taste with us?

MM: Tough question. I read a lot of different types of books. For pure entertainment I enjoy mysteries,
thrillers, some romance, and mainstream. I also read a lot of nonfiction, especially when I'm researching a particular topic. A MUST every day is the newspaper, starting with the comics and editorials. The way I see it there's not much difference between the two.

 

PS: Do you have a favorite author?

MM: So many to choose from, so hard to decide. I can't say that I have one favorite. Zane Grey was my first love, along with Albert Terhune. Currently I enjoy Sue Grafton, John Grishom, Toni Morrison, Laura Parker, Jonathan Kellerman and Faye Kellerman.
 

PS: Do you feel that ebooks are the wave of the future?

MM:  Definitely. As an agent I know said recently, "New York shot itself in the foot ten years ago and is now bleeding to death." What the agent means is that the mid-list is shrinking so if you don't have a BIG name you can't sell a book. It's not enough to be a good writer, you have to be great or have a celebrity tie-in. Electronic publishing is stepping in to fill that market niche.

   It will take several more years for the industry and the readership to grow, but all indications are that both will. New technology is being developed  to make reading electronic books easier and a standard of quality will eventually be established that will assure readers that electronic books are just as viable as those on paper.

I'd like to thank Ms. Miller for taking the time to answer my questions.


Pam Stone

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Maryann Miller's Titles

Buy Them at Amazon.com
 

Her eBooks
 Friends Forever (Teen/Young Adult)
1999 New Concepts Publishing

Open Season  (Mystery)
1999 The Fiction Work

 

Non-Fiction Books

Coping With Weapons and Violence in School and on Your Streets 1999
Drugs and Date Rape  1995

Drugs and Gun Violence  1995

Drugs and Violent Crime  1996

Everything You Need to Know About Dealing With the Police 1995

Working Together Against Gun Violence 1997

Your Best Foot Forward; Winning Strategies for the Job Interview  1994

Careers Inside the  World of Homemaking and Parenting 1995

Coping With Weapons and Violence in your School and on your Streets 1996

Working Together Against Gun Violence  1994

Coping With a Bigoted Parent

Coping With Cults

 

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Pam's Reviews

OPEN SEASON by MaryAnn Miller (Police Mystery)
The Fiction Work  - 2000
ISBN 1581243707 - eBook Buy It Here

Reviewed by Pam Stone

Detective Sarah Kingsley gets a new partner, Detective Angel Johnson. Sarah and Angel feel that they were paired to ease racial tensions in the Dallas P.D, but they canít worry about that now as they have several murders to solve. A serial killer is murdering people in Dallas Malls. Sarah also has to contend with the fact that the press is hounding her and the police review board on the shooting of a 14 year-old Black boy who had shot her partner John. Put all this together and you have one heck of a good mystery. The author puts you in the characters mind and you feel the agony that Sarah felt when she saw that young boy laying on the ground, even though she knew it was justified shooting.

She has the police dialogue down perfectly. The story flowed smoothly and all questions were answered at the end. I would love to see a series of books about Sarah and Angel.  I must compliment Ms. Miller on her research of the book, I lived in Dallas for 15 years and her descriptions of the malls, landmarks even the tensions between the Dallas P.D. and the review board were right on the money.

 


FRIENDS FOREVER by Maryann Miller   (Teen / Young Adult)
New Concepts Publishing  - Sept. 1999
ISBN 1586080008 - eBook Buy It Here

Reviewed by Pam Stone

Friends Forever is about a 13 year-old girl named Debbie Webly who isbest friends with Laura---then Angie comes to town, Angie is beautiful, rich, and very popular, which makes Debbie feel like an outcast. Laura starts to include Angie in everything that she and Debbie used to do alone. Debbie gets very jealous as the friendship starts to go by the wayside. Laura just wants the three of them to be friends but Debbie will have none of it.

Ms. Miller captures the trials and tribulations of 13 year-olds very easily. She talks their lingo and keeps the book interesting with enough twists and surprises to keep younger readers turning the pages to the very end.

An award winning journalist and author, Maryann Miller's articles and short stories have appeared in regional and national publications for over 20 years. Her non-fiction book, Coping With Weapons and Violence In School And On your Streets, was chosen as one of the top books for teens by the New York Public Library.

2000's Honorary List

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