Monday, May 28, 2012

Kicking Eternity by Ann Miller

 I've invited Ann here today to tell us a little about herself and to introduce her self-published novel, Kicking Eternity, about a girl striving to to be a missionary in Africa when life gets in the way.

Ann Lee Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University and writes full-time in Phoenix, but left her heart in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she grew up. She loves speaking to young adults and guest lectures on writing at several Arizona colleges. When she isn’t writing or muddling through some crisis—real or imagined—you’ll find her hiking in the Superstition Mountains with her husband or meddling in her kids’ lives.

Ann, who are your favorite authors, and what makes them special to you?
I’d rather read than eat, so I have a lot of favs. But Charles Martin is at the top of the heap. I love him because he exquisitely tells heart-rending stories of characters who live in my memory years after I close the book.
When did you decide you wanted to write?
Growing up on a sailboat, an aquaculture for mold and dysfunction, primed me—in lieu of therapy—to write.
I first thought of writing the year I discovered Sister Sheila had hair. I was in fifth grade at St. Hugh’s Catholic School in Miami, knee deep in nouns and verbs, when Sister Sheila walked through the door in a new habit that showed two inches of mouse brown hair threaded with silver. Thanks to Sister’s encouragement, I went on to earn a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University.
How do you prepare to write a book?
I detest plotting, but consider it a necessary evil. I plot every scene for the whole book before I actually write the book. It takes… forever.
Tell us a little about your book.
            Kicking Eternity is all about chasing dreams—our dreams, God’s dreams, and the mixed-up tangle of both. Here’s a blurb about the book:
Fresh from college, Raine scores a teaching job at New Smyrna Beach Surf and Sailing Camp. A crush on the camp rebel-art teacher threatens to derail her plans to teach orphans in Africa. The broody recreation director spots her brother's meth addiction and Raine's enabling. Raine believes she is helping her brother—until lives are threatened.

What is your Writing schedule like?
            Since I started my writing career in my forties, I feel fairly obsessed to accomplish what God created me to do. Think about how the hero in Sweet Home Alabama jammed lightning rods into the sand to make his beautiful glass. He did his work before the lightning struck. I jam a lot of words onto the page before lightning strikes and makes it beautiful.
Which are your favorite books on writing craft and why?
            I always have a craft book open. I tend to read them multiple times. Some, like Donald Maass’ The Fire in Fiction, I am wearing out, particularly Chapter 8 where he discusses creating micro-tension. I’m also a huge fan of Maass’ Wrtiting the Breakout Novel, Jack Bickham’s Scene and Structure, and Sol Stein’s Stein On Writing.
What do you do when you are not writing?
            I hike in the mountains with my husband, do zumba, and go to garage sales. This year I mentored three girls from my youth group. I’ve worked at teen church camp for more years than I care to reveal—thus the camp setting for Kicking Eternity.
Is there one secret weapon in your writing arsenal you’d be willing to share with other writers?
            Prayer. I have a prayer team of eighty people, who for reasons known only to them, said yes when I asked them to pray for my writing. I was inspired by Robin Lee Hatcher. Also, I pray through every aspect of a book. My days are peppered with mini-miracles.

You can connect with Ann at:
Twitter @AnnLeeMiller
Find Kicking Eternity on Amazon

Your Turn: Do you have any questions for Ann or comments on the interview? Anyone who leaves a comment with an e-mail address (JaneReader[at]msn[dot]com) will receive a free e-book copy of Kicking Eternity. If you do not want to leave an e-mail address, you may request your book at

Sandra Orchard lives in rural Ontario, Canada where inspiration abounds for her romantic suspense novels set in the fictional Niagara towns she creates as their backdrops. Sandra writes for Love Inspired Suspense and Revell Publishing. Married with three grown children, when not writing, she enjoys hanging out with family, brainstorming new stories with fellow writers, and hiking or kayaking in God's beautiful creation. Look for Sandra's latest release, Shades of Truth, in your favorite online stores.


  1. Good morning from Phoenix, Arizona, USA. I'm delighted to be visit with you all today! It's 5:30 a.m. here, and I'm going to sneak out for a quick walk before it gets too hot. Last week the thermometer hovered around 107 degrees Fahrenheit. Haze obscures the mountains this moring because two forest fires are burning an hour north of us.

    Please leave a comment. I'd love to chat!

  2. Hello Ann,

    It's nice to meet you. Your cover is beautiful and your story sounds great. I will check you out on fb. :)

    Sandra, thanks for hosting Ann. Always great to meet more Inspy Writers.

    Katy Lee

  3. Thanks, Katy Lee. :) My cover artist is Robin Roberts at He is working on my second cover right now and is a dream to work with.

    Have a great holiday!

  4. Hi Ann,

    I can't wait to read Kicking Eternity - I came second to your first place in Touched By Love 2010 so I'm so excited to get to read it ;)

    I'm going to buy it on Kindle though, can't let you give away too many or else you might not be able to publish the next one!


  5. Ha Ha, Kara, you're too sweet! My husband keeps telling me everyone isn't a cheapskate like me. Some people actually buy books instead of going to the library. Ha!

    Thanks for your support on multiple levels! :)

  6. Hi Ann,
    I love the title of your book. It made me open the blog and yet I still don't know what it means!
    I live in Brisbane, Australia so we are enjoying cooler weather! I would love to add your book to my 'to be read' pile! jowanmer(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. Hello Ann, I am glad for this opportunity. I want to ask if you have readers calling or writing you about their faith or spiritual needs? Is your writing also a Ministry? I am an aspiring Christian Romance writer and I am eager to know if writing romance as a Ministry is just a dream or if it is truly attainable.

    I really want my writing to count.

    P.S: Yes, please mail me Kicking Eternity by Anne Lee Miller cml_wa(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)uk


  8. Kicking Eternity...great title and cover. I'm looking forward to reading it on my Kindle app. Appreciated your interview with Sandra, nice to know I'm not the only one who takes forever to build a book.

    Janice Dick

  9. Jo,

    I'm so glad you like the title. I think you will realize why I chose it when you read the book.

    I thought you would be the first person from outside the US to read it, but someone from Canada reviewed it on Amazon today. Because the book is so heavily enmeshed in American culture, I wonder how readers from other countries will respond to the story.

    Thanks so much for your interest!


  10. Hello Cedar,

    Since Kicking Eternity is my debut and just officially launching June 1, I don't know if readers will seek my counsel. As a pastor's wife I've had a lot of experience in this area and enjoy it. So, it's possible.

    I feel like the most important thing we can do is pray through every aspect of our writing. I find that God delights to answer my writing-related prayers. It's my desire to write in concert with the Holy Spirit so that He can use my stories in readers' lives.

    God wrote romance on our hearts. I have to believe this is part of who He is. Your books and mine count because romance counts to God. Jesus often taught through stories just as we do.

    Write those books! Count in your readers' lives. :)


  11. Thanks for the compliments, Janice! All told, it takes me a year to plot, write, and polish. What about you?

    If you--or anyone else--would like a free e-copy of Kicking Eternity, just let me know at :)

    Write on!

  12. Enjoyed reading your post Ann Lee. Love the aspect of prayer as your secret arsenal.

  13. Thanks for reading, Dale. :)

    Pray on!


  14. Hi Ann, your book sounds like an interesting read :)

    narelle [at] narelleatkins [dot] com

  15. Hi Narelle,

    Thanks for having me on your blog! I've had a wonderful time with your blog friends. :) And thanks for your interest in Kicking Eternity! It's on it way half way across the world to you.