Sunday, February 19, 2012

Author Insides - N.P. Miller

N.P. Miller is a Baltimorean native currently residing in Winston Salem, North Carolina. His poetry has appeared in such publications as Twisted Tongue, Dark Gothic Resurrected, and Moon Washed Kisses.

His poetry was also published in the Autumn 2011 issue of The Battered Suitcase.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

Truth be told, I never really decided on becoming a writer, but more or less falling into it. I’ve always been writing stories and poems since I was in elementary school, so writing was just a natural, everyday thing for me. I couldn’t imagine pursuing anything else.

Why do you write?

I love entertaining people, and I think poetry is my best outlet for that. I get a rush when friends and family and complete strangers read my work. It’s invigorating, really.

Is being a writer/poet anything like you imagined it would be?

It’s actually more difficult than I thought it would be. The persistence of being a writer is probably the most complex aspect about it. It’s tough to find time to write every day, but if you love the craft, you’ll make time.

What do you think makes a good story?

I think well-developed characters are important, but it balances out with an interesting and engaging plot. I can’t say that one is more essential than the other. They kind of share the same space. Also, snappy dialogue – I’m a sucker for quick wit and sharp tongues between characters.

What's your favorite genre to read?

When I was younger, I was all about fantasy and horror stories, but these days I lean more towards the slice-of-life and coming of age genres. I enjoy reading stories about characters and situations I can relate to. There’s a comfort in that.

Who is your favorite author or poet?

I haven’t the fingers and toes to count them all, but if I had to save two a burning building it would have to be Edgar Allen Poe and Noah Cicero. I’ll read anything by these guys.

What books or stories have most influenced you the most as a writer?

In my freshman year of high school, our English class read “The Catcher in the Rye.” I have never been so entertained by a book before. I was so intrigued by the story; I went out and bought myself a copy a couple days after we finished it. I still have it on my bookshelf today.

What books or stories have most influenced you as a person?

“The Human War” by Noah Cicero was pretty influential for me in terms of how I viewed the world. The book taught me how there can be light in darkness, even when it’s small and speckled, and how one can still be an individual and not be an asshole about it.

Where/how do you find the most inspiration?

Here comes the strange part: I really don’t read that much. Most of my ideas come from music, film, or events that have happened in my life. I also love to travel and explore new places, which always help with my writing. If you discover a new place, you might discover a new you along with it.

What does your family think of your writing? 

They support me all the way, even though they’re not the biggest fans of poetry. They always have an attentive and honest ear when I want to read my work to them. I couldn’t ask for better critics.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I usually bring a notepad with me and jot down ideas while I’m really supposed to be working. They haven’t caught me yet, so it works out rather nicely. Other then that, I write after I get off work. Usually I’ll have some experiences from the workday that I can incorporate within my writing.

Do you have any writing quirks or rituals? 

I always have a pen or marker in my mouth while I’m writing. I’m a ritualistic pen-chewer. Guilty as charged. What can I say? It helps me think. I also light scented candles, especially vanilla. It really opens up my senses. Also – as stereotypical as this may seem – I usually write at night. I can’t focus well in the daytime when there’s all this activity going on.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Persistence is perhaps the most challenging part. Coming up with ideas can be difficult, as well, especially when considering a theme or topic for a poem.

What are your current projects?

Right now I’m writing a screenplay. I’m kind of putting everything else on hold and focusing on this project alone.

What are you planning for future projects?

Not quite sure just yet. Whatever it is, I’m certain it will involve two things: writing and a bunch of teeth-mangled pens and markers.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write for the sake of writing. Don't wait for the conditions, and don't rely on the prose fairies to swoop into your computer and pen your words for you. If you got a story, tell it, and then share it. The written word makes the world go 'round.

Where else can we find your work? 

I’ve been published in several online magazines such as Dark Gothic Resurrected, Moon Washed Kisses, and the UK e-zine Twisted Tongue. I don’t have a writing website or anything because I’m not that cool. I hope to have one up soon, though.