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Saturday, September 27, 2014

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How I Write by Marilyn Conner Miles

      An interviewer asked me how I got started in writing. I stated writing when I learned to print in first grade. I’d write stories and give them to my family and teachers. (Several years ago, my second grade teacher gave one back to a family friend several who then returned it to me. It was a kick). Then I showed a story I’d written to the librarian of our grade school and she showed the principal.

I illustrated all the stories too, and made “hardbacks” out of them by using the cardboard from my dad’s new white shirt packages. I used wire to attach the story to the “cover.”

Later, I took creative writing classes, in high school and college. I couldn’t figure out how I would use a degree in English. I just wanted to write! So I majored in advertising and minored in English and got a BA in Communications.

I worked in advertising, marketing, promotions and public relations and wrote tv and radio commercials, print ads for newspapers, catalogs and brochures.

I kept a journal for years but it wasn’t until I “retired” and began working from home, that I began to think about writing stories again. I’ve always had a voracious appetite for reading, and especially romance, which is why I write in that genre.

I also enjoy research, so when I wanted to write a flight scene, I took a flying lesson, and wrote down everything I could remember afterward.

Much of my writing comes from subjects I already know about and people I’ve met over the years. I think one of my family members likes to guess what person I’ve based my characters on. But often my hero or heroine is a combination of two or more people or their life experiences.

I’m not a fast writer like many authors I know. In the past year, I’ve had three stories published, and the first one I actually wrote thirty years ago. Of course, it needed updating to make it current and much rewriting. The second story was semi-written. But the third is all new and I was surprised when I sat down at the computer, and it just seemed to flow from my brain to my fingers…well, for awhile. I couldn’t type fast enough!

All three of my stories have been published by indie publisher, Books To Go Now: Acapulco Adventure, Holiday Heart and Perfect Pair. Holiday Heart is also in an anthology called Christmas Romance Volume 2.

I had fun with the titles on those three. Acapulco Adventure had the two word title, and when I named Holiday Heart that two word title thing just continued. However, I don’t plan to make a habit of it.

I also didn’t intend to make them a series, but they ended up being that way. The common character in all three is Brenda. I used my past career with the airlines as the setting in Acapulco Adventure and because of Brenda, flying is a major part of Holiday Heart too.

I have fun coming up with the right names for my characters. Since they are loosely based on people I knew, I try to use names similar to theirs. But because my characters are a combination of people I’ve known in the past and myself, I doubt that anyone would see themselves in these characters.

Currently, I am writing Saddle Up for Love, which will be part of The Pancake Club series with stories by authors Jennifer Conner, Jackie Marilla and JW Stacks.

A freelance editor, and author, Marilyn lives with her husband and cat in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in southwest Washington State, where she watches horses, deer, rabbits, hummingbirds and sometimes owls from her home office window.
Marilyn began writing as soon as she could print. Her first career was in the transportation industry, working for the airlines. Her second career was in advertising, marketing and promotions. Currently a freelance editor, Marilyn lives with her husband and cat in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in southwest Washington State, where she watches horses, deer, rabbits, hummingbirds and sometimes owls, from her home office window.
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  1. Enjoyed learning more about you Mare! Love your books :)

  2. Marilyn -
    Great interview. I love how you made real books with cardboard covers whrn you were a child. Destined to be a writer!

  3. Thanks you two! I didn't mention that I took that flying lesson when I was home from college for the weekend for my brother's wedding. I took the lesson in the morning and dashed back to get ready since I was in the wedding!