Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Author Uncovered: Kirsten Miller (Author Interview)

Hi guys! Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Kirsten Miller, the author of the ever so amazing The Eternal Ones!!! I, for one, loved it! Check out my review =) Thanks for stopping by Kirsten!

Who is your favorite character from The Eternal Ones?
I have to say my favorite character is Beau Decker, the protagonist’s best friend. He reminds me (in all ways but one) of my not so little brother who is an all-around excellent human being.

I also love the snake handling Frizzell family. They’re proof that, if we’re able to let go of our prejudices, we might find wisdom in unexpected places.

Why did you choose to use dressmaking as something that would keep Haven 'sane'?
I suppose I covet skills I’ve never possessed. I’ve always wanted to be able to whip up a gown or two on a moment’s notice, but I’m afraid my own fashion sense often leaves a great deal to be desired. (I should probably add that I’m a HUGE fan of Project Runway, which no doubt played a role when it came time to choose Haven’s special talent.)

Haven and Beau are only some of the very unique characters in The Eternal Ones. Are any of your characters based on somebody in real life?
I could get myself into a lot of trouble with this question. The short answer is yes. Ha.

I will admit that I “borrowed” parts of one key scene from a relative’s life. (When Beau takes a Barbie lunchbox to school.) The real person is someone I admire a great deal. He had more courage at the age of nine than most people are ever able to muster. (And a mean right hook from what I hear.) I hope he’s flattered if he reads the book.

Why did you choose for the setting to be in a southern town first, and then New York City? Both contrast each other and are completely different.
I grew up in a small southern town and moved to New York when I was seventeen years old, so Haven’s adventure mirrors my own in some ways. The mountains of North Carolina and Manhattan are two different worlds, there’s no doubt about it, but I love them both. My southern childhood provided fodder for more books than I’ll ever be able to write, while my life in New York has made it possible for me to earn a living concocting crazy stories.

(I should also add that my home town is nothing at all like Snope City.)

Do you believe in soul mates?
Yes, although I think each person may have more than one. And I don’t think soul mates are always of the romantic variety. I think there are people out there we’re supposed to find, even if they’re never meant to be more than our friends.

Which character do you resonate most with, in The Eternal Ones?
I resonate most with Haven. I know what it’s like to find yourself being forced to take steps into the unknown. (Everyone does, I suppose. It’s called being young.) Falling in love, for instance, is one of the biggest leaps of faith a person can make. Love is wonderful, but it’s also dangerous, and it can be terrifying to give your heart away for the first time. (Or the third, fourth, or tenth.)

Haven’s a strong girl. (I despise wimpy female characters.) But we all get a little flummoxed when it comes time to put our heart on the line.

What was the message that you tried to get across to your readers with The Eternal Ones?
I don’t think there’s one single message. It’s a big, strange book. But there’s a character who, when asked her thoughts on the subject of reincarnation, says, “My faith is big enough for all of God’s wonders.” I like that idea a lot. I’ve always believed it’s best to approach life with an open mind.

The premise of The Eternal Ones is quite unique. How did the idea bloom?
I’ve been interested in reincarnation for a very long time. I don’t know if I’m a believer, but I do think it could explain a number of life’s little mysteries—the sensation of déjà vu, phobias, unusual skills. And, of course, love at first sight.

I think that a lot of us grow up feeling like we belong somewhere else—in another place or with another family.

But I think the most interesting side of reincarnation is that it can offer an explanation for why we’re inexplicably drawn to some people we meet in our lives and why other people simply repel us. It’s that thought that gave birth to the book.

What would you have done if you were in Haven's place?
What would I have done if I had started having visions of another person’s life? I’d like to think I would have had the guts to hit the road and do a little detective work. But I’m glad I was never put to that test!

The cover is very beautiful. Did you have any input in it?
Thanks! My input was pretty much limited to, “I love it!” We went through a few covers to get to the one with the ouroboros (snake swallowing its own tail), but I knew the final cover was perfect the moment I saw it.

Also, I have both the old and the new ARC. Which cover do you favor more?
I liked the super romantic ARC, but the new cover with the ouroboros is more my personal cup of tea. The Eternal Ones can be read as a romance—or as a mystery. I think the new cover leaves that decision up to the reader.

What's the most interesting thing a reader has ever said to you?
Oh I’ve heard tons of interesting things. But I always love it when people send me drawings or stories or artwork or short movies, etc that feature the characters from my books. The idea that I’ve inspired others to go out and actually MAKE something? It’s the very, very best thing about writing.

What’s up next for you book-wise?
The still untitled sequel to The Eternal Ones will be finished soon. Then I’m back to the wonderful world of Kiki Strike to put the final touches on book number three, The Darkness Dwellers. When that is finished, I shall lie down and sleep for a hundred years.

Book you've faked reading:
Oh there are so many! I’ll go with Ulysses by James Joyce. I have a mental block when it comes to this particular book. I managed to get a degree in literature without reading it. Don’t tell anyone.

Book you've bought for the cover:
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. Totally worth it.

Book you're an evangelist for:
My all time favorite book: The Turn of the Screw. Best ghost story ever written, hands down.

Also, the romance “classics”: Jane Eyre, Rebecca, Wuthering Heights. I like my romances dark and dangerous. I also love Wilkie Collins, who isn’t as well known among the youth of today as he should be.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks! This was fun.

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Savannah July 21, 2010 at 10:18 AM  

Cool Interview. I need to get this book as soon as it is out!

Julie@My5monkeys July 21, 2010 at 8:53 PM  

just finished the book and good interview

Kris (Voracious YAppetite) July 22, 2010 at 12:37 PM  

Great questions! (And answers ;)) I love Kiersten's take on soul mates. Never thought of it that way before but it makes sense. Hmm and I'll have to look into Wilkie Collins' books.

Blueicegal ♥ July 23, 2010 at 7:23 AM  

i loved this interview she sounds lovely and her book is one im extremely looking forward to! :)

Mary not so Contrary July 28, 2010 at 12:28 AM  

Awesome interview!! I love her answer for soul mates! I totally agree. I think my best friend Becky is my "soul mate" in the best friends world. Thanks for the great insight!

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