Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Free E-book To Everyone Who Posts by Ann Lee Miller


Ann has graciously said she will give one free e-book of her book "The Art of My Life" to someone who leaves a comment. She will also give away an e-book of her first book "Kicking Eternity" to anyone who requests a copy. You don't want to miss out on this fantastic giveaway.

Interview with Author Ann Lee Miller

Giveaway: Anyone who leaves a comment with their e-mail address will receive a free e-copy of prequel: Kicking Eternity. Or you may request your free copy at AnnLeeMiller.com.

·         How much of your real life experiences show up in your fiction?
As a writer, I’m a vulture, feeding off the carcass of my life and other peoples’. Usually, it’s just bits and pieces—an experience here, a personality trait there, a deeply etched emotion, a pivotal relationship.
·         For example?
In The Art of My Life Henna shows up as a secondary character who grows pot in the back yard and has obviously smoked one doobie too many over the years. She is a loveable, comical character who fractures clichés much like my mother did in her waning years with Altzheimer’s. I use a funny story that actually happened. Mom insisted that while she was in the grocery store someone stole eighteen pair of her panties out of her laundry basket which was setting in the passenger seat of her car. And the would-be thief replaced her pristine grandmamma undies with eighteen ratty pair.
Starr, who has a more predominant role in the story is a repressed ballet teacher. I took ballet as a child to correct my inward-turning feet. I also struggle with repression. Starr and I rebelled from bohemian upbringings into conservatism. Starr’s hyper-critical attitude toward her son, however, I borrowed from my father’s personality. Both Starr and I heard from our fathers, “I’ll give you something to cry about,” when we cried.
Cal went to jail, had a love affair with marijuana. Close relatives have done the same. Aly fights my leftover Catholic guilt. Fish holds grudges like I do. Aly falls overboard like I did as a kid. Leaf and my late father were Willie Nelson look-alikes.
I, like my characters. have always inhabited the bottom rung of the middle class. We all drive beater cars my kids call POSes (Ahem, you’ll have to figure that one out yourself).
Because I am a spiritual person, my characters wrestle or refuse to wrestle with issues of faith.
·         Are there recurring themes from your life you revisit in fiction?
In The Art of My Life I focus on an adult child overcoming diminished self-esteem due to a critical parent, forgiving people who have deeply hurt us, overcoming self-condemnation when we breach our personal moral code—all issues I have dealt with.
·         The Art of My Life features a male main character. Where did you draw your insight from?
I’ve been surrounded by guys my whole life. My closest relationship growing up was with my father, toxic though it may have been. My only sibling is male. Three of my four children are guys. My husband grants me access to dive in and poke around in the male psyche. But I’m still learning. This year’s big discovery is that most guys could care less about matching—they don’t really give a flip whether they walk out the door with brown pants, brown shoes, and a coordinating shirt. Just last week my sons told me you have to “train” a beard. Who knew?
·         Tell us a little about The Art of My Life.
Here’s the back cover:
Cal walked out of jail and into a second chance at winning Aly with his grandma’s beater sailboat and a reclaimed dream of sailing charters.

Aly has the business smarts, strings to a startup loan, and heart he never should have broken. He’s got squat. Unless you count enough original art to stock a monster rummage sale and an affection for weed. 

But he’d only ever loved Aly. That had to count for something. Aly needed a guy who owned yard tools, tires worth rotating, and a voter’s registration card. He’d be that guy or die trying.

For anyone who’s ever struggled to measure up. And failed.
 Bio: 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.
Blog: http://the-art-of-my-life.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @AnnLeeMiller
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AnnLeeMillerAuthor
 Art of my Life Cover 800x600.jpg

Chapter 1

July 15
Ever have a painting you’ve stared at for years—and loved? Then, one day, you see something which alters the way you view the piece forever. And you have to decide whether the art has been irreparably marred or merely deepened.
Cal walked through the tinted glass jail doors into the loamy scent of Bermuda grass, pine bark, and freedom. The surf shorts and T-shirt he’d worn three months ago when the cop clamped metal on his wrists hung loosely, misshapen, like a life that no longer fit.
He scanned the weather-bleached asphalt, the smattering of cars roasting in the Daytona Beach summer. Sun glinted off the windshield of a silver Honda—Aly’s?—blinding his eyes, yanking her last words to him into the whiteness. I love you, John Calvin Koomer. Usually he blocked out Aly’s admission, but in jail the video had played over and over—the certainty in her eyes, the tremor in her voice.
He squinted at the Honda. Sweat slicked his armpits and tickled the side of his face.
Maybe he should have slept with Aly when she offered. He shook his head, dissolving the idea. No. It didn’t matter that protecting her from another guy taking what he wanted had earned him two and a half years of looking at the back of her head. It had been the right thing to do.
He’d smoked weed to forget her, crammed Evie into Aly’s place inside him, but going to jail had ripped away everything but the truth.
He loved Aly. Always had. Always would.
And it was time to do something about it.
The rumble of an engine pulling into the lot jerked his head around. His mother’s minivan puttered toward him, mowing down the stubble of his hope.
He glanced back at the Honda. No college graduation tassel dangled from the mirror. No silhouette of the Virgin Mary was rusted into the right front bumper.
The car was empty. Like he felt inside.
Mom angled into a parking space, her maneuvering as precise as everything she did.
His flip flops scraped the blacktop as he shuffled toward her. As his hand closed around the chrome door handle, heat branded his palm. He climbed into the stream of the air conditioning blowing from the dash, and the door clunked shut behind him.
Mom reached for him, and his breath stuttered.
When was the last time they’d touched?
She wrapped awkward arms around him. “I—I’ve wanted to hug you ever since the first day I visited you at jail.”
His hand lit on the fabric stretched across her dancer’s back. He sucked in gulps of human affection and the talcum scent of childhood while his mind tried to solve the puzzle of his mother. He coughed, searched for words to fill the silence, and found none. For a heartbeat he was ten with tears pricking the backs of his eyes.
To enter for the giveaway:
1) be a follower or become a follower
2) sign up to recieve blog post by email
3) Leave a comment about the interview and your email address
4) to recieve your copy of Ann's "Kicking Eternity" please email her directly and I'll pick a winner for "The Art of My Life"


  1. Sounds like a good read! Thanks for sharing. ladettek[at]gmail[dot]com

  2. thanks for the chance to read this wonderful novel

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  3. This sounds like a wonderful book. I would love to read it.

  4. My character, Aly Logan, hijacked my Google account, but I'm borrowing it back! Ann Lee Miller here.

    Hi Ladette, Karen, and Donna. :) Nice to cyber meet you! I'll send your books right out.


  5. Love your description and edgey flawed characters. Does my writing reflect who I am? Absolutely. I write children's books but my characters are so modeled on my own children and the students I work with. Love the sound of the new book.

  6. Lynne,

    Thanks for commenting. :) I think most writers would say they steal mercilessly from real life to pen their books.

  7. Sounds fascinating! I'd love to read it.Reminds me of someone I know who walked out of prison determined to be a winner and to make his mother proud of him again. Ann annknowles03@aol.com

  8. Wonderful, Ann!:) :) :)

    Ann Lee Miller

  9. I read the first three chapters of KICKING ETERNITY as a free sample. (I forget where I got it) Anyway, I was sorely disappointed when I couldn't keep on reading! I'd love a copy. the next book sounds great too

    1. You betcha, Tracy! I'm tickled pink you enjoyed the first three chapters.

      I was going to ask you for your e-mail address to send you the book, but I found it. :)

      Ann Lee Miller

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Thanks for sharing this interview! It was interesting to read about the real life experiences that you drew upon while writing The Art of My Life. I laughed at your comment "This year’s big discovery is that most guys could care less about matching". :) On occasion when I have questioned my spouse about certain color choices the response has often been "Why does it not match? It doesn't matter anyway, when I'm out I don't have to look at myself!" :)

    jswaks at gmail dot com

    P.S. I downloaded Kicking Eternity from Amazon so no need to send it. :)

  12. This sounds quite interesting. Would love to read it.


  13. Thanks, Jes & Jo for stopping by!

    Happy reading. You really should consider reading The Art of My Life after you finish the free book. I, ahem, am the heroine. I'm just sayin'....

    Aly Logan
    Character in The Art of My Life
    And blogger @ The-Art-Of-My-Life.blogspot.com

  14. Thank you all for stopping by. I started to count Aly in for the contest, but when I found out who she was I realized she did qualify. Sorry Aly.
    Deborah Malone