Christiana Miller – “Next Big Thing” Interview

Thanks to the very funny, multi-talented Doug Molitor, author of Memoirs of a Time Traveler, I have been tagged to participate in “The Next Big Thing” Interview Series, an expanding blog project of author interviews that spans the world. You can read more about Doug in his interview here: Doug Molitor Interview or at his website.

The way it works, is that I post my interview, and then tag five other writers, who will post their own interviews a week later.

 Picture of Christiana MillerAuthor: Christiana Miller

TNBT: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead is about Mara, a young witch, who inherits a cottage from her Aunt Tillie, only to learn that her aunt never moved out – she’s one cantankerous old lady, even post-mortem, and she blames Mara for her untimely demise.

TNBT: Where did the idea come from for the book? 

I was staying with my dad while he was dying from cancer, and I started dreaming scenes that would eventually wind up in the book. Also, I liked the idea of death not being the end for people, no matter how final that death seems at the time.

TNBT: What genre does your book fall under? 

Urban Fantasy. Chick Lit Paranormal. New Adult. Horror: Ghost Story. Supernatural Suspense.

TNBT: What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Mara would probably be played by Emily Barclay or Mae Whitman (Parenthood). Aunt Tillie would be played by Kathy Baker (Picket Fences). Gus would be Simon Amstell or Andrew Hayden-Smith or David Paisley or Aaron Johnson or Jamie Bell. Or, at least, going through headshots, that’s who I would call in to read for him. I’m not familiar enough with their work yet, to know for sure who I would cast.

TNBT: How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? 

LOL! Oh, my goodness. I think I’ve worked on it, off and on, for years. Way too many years! Mainly because I was writing it for myself really. I was also writing it to learn how to write a novel, since I had spent most of my life writing scripts. And I took a whole bunch of time off to have my daughter. Oddly enough, once she was born, I started writing like crazy again. I’d be nursing her with one arm and typing with the other. She’s definitely my little muse.

TNBT: Who or what inspired you to write this book? 

I wanted to write the kind of book I wanted to read. I wanted a more realistic blend of chick-lit character and witchcraft, instead of the fantasy-based stories that are out there. I wanted to ground the fantastical in as much reality as possible. I also wanted a fun, sassy, smart female lead character who was independent. I didn’t want her world, her life or her safety to revolve around a big, strong man stepping in to save her and sweep her off her feet. So, in Mara’s world, her #1 guy is her gay best friend and fellow witch, Gus, who is usually getting her into trouble. She does have a love interest in the story, (eventually), but after Mara accidentally gets him possessed by a demonic spirit, he’s keeping his distance.

TNBT: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The story has a lot of humor, mixed in with the witchcraft and supernatural chills. What may pique a reader’s interest is that the witchcraft in the book has been thoroughly researched and is fairly accurate. It’s based on a Northern Quarter Tradition system, not the more popular Golden Dawn system. However, the story also explores mature themes and is not suitable for children or teenagers.

If you want to know more about me, here are my links:

Christiana’s Website

Christiana’s Facebook Page

Christiana on Twitter

Finally, I am thrilled to introduce the following authors for next Wednesday’s “The Next Big Thing” interviews. Not only are they all super-talented, they’re also all incredibly nice people:

Aiden James

Barbra Annino

Emma Mills

Rachel Elizabeth Cole

Irving Belateche