Karen Miller is a best-selling Australian fantasy author. She brought back the duopoly (take that trilogies!) … then she wrote some trilogies, too, and they were awesome (take that, duopolies!). Her work includes the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker duopoly, the Godspeaker Trilogy, two Stargate SG1 tie-ins, three Star Wars novels (including Stealth, which has just gone for a third printing), and, as KE Mills, the Rogue Agent series. The Reluctant Mage is now available and the Orbit mass market edition of Wizard Squared is coming soon. She has a Masters in Children’s Literature, used to run her own sf/fantasy/mystery bookshop, and is a self-described ‘story junkie’. She is also very nice … and I don’t say that just because she answered my questions.
1. I first knew I was going to be a writer when …
Hmm. I don’t honestly know that I knew, as such. I know I knew I loved storytelling as far back as primary school, with all the composition exercises. And I know that when I performed the skit I wrote for the Year 12 farewell in high school I got a buzz from making an entire hall full of students laugh. And again, when a theatre full of patrons laughed at a one act play I wrote, I knew that touching people with my words was the thing I wanted to do most of all. So I always wanted it, but it wasn’t really until I got my first major contract in 2005 that I started to believe it could really happen. Five years and fifteen novels under my belt later, I still have some trouble believing it! I keep expecting to wake up.
2. Complete this sentence: Star Wars could only be improved by the addition of a ….
… definitive dvd release of the original version, because Han Shot First, dammit!!!!
3. What are your writing fetishes? i.e. what can’t you do without for writing purposes?
I need peace and quiet and darkness, which is why my preferred writing time is through the night. That gets tough with animals, so I have to do my best recreating the conditions with a small room with the windows covered and one low level lamp on. I also prefer soundtrack music playing. Can’t have words in it, I get distracted. Basically, because I’m so easily distracted, I need as much sensory deprivation as I can create. I have, in extremis, written in places like airport waiting lounges and hotel lobbies, but that is so not what I prefer.
4. How many rejection slips papered your walls?
None on the walls. Not so many at all, really. I think maybe 5 all up. I got very, very lucky, and pitched my first fantasy novel to the right person in the right place at the right time.
5. Donuts (or doughnuts) or danishes?
Neither! Coming from a diabetes-prone family, and being really carb sensitive, I have to forgo most yummy sweet treats. On rare occasions I’ll do some cheesecake, or a piece of pecan pie. I still have dreams about the pecan pie I ate once, in Chicago. If anyone’s ever in that great city track down Heaven on Seven. Great little restaurant with pecan pie to die for.
Karen’s website is here http://www.karenmiller.net/