I first met Heidi Ruby Miller at Seton Hill University at some point during the two years I attended SHU’s Writing Popular Fiction program. My first thought was “Wow! Is she photogenic, or what?” and my second was “She’s working with Dr. Arnzen on a book? COOL!” That book became Many Genres, One Craft, through Headline Press, and is slated to become *the* book on genre writing. Many Genres, One Craft “gathers the voices of today’s top genre writers and writing instructors affiliated with Seton Hill University’s acclaimed MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction” which is the *only* genre creative writing program in the U.S. I had a lot of fun getting many of the contributors to autograph their article this past June at the Seton Hill University Alumni “In Your Write Mind” Annual Writer’s Workshop.
1. HOW DID YOU FIRST GET PUBLISHED?
My first big publication came in 2006 when my husband, Jason Jack Miller, and I received a contract from Avalon Travel Publishing to write a travel guide for their MOON imprint. This guide, aptly titled MOON Pennsylvania Camping provided a gateway to freelance travel and food writing for newspapers and magazines, membership in The Authors Guild, status as a Published Penn in the Pennwriters organization, and our first experience working with a major publisher.
2. WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT RELEASE ABOUT?
Ambasadora and its world has been my life for six years. It began as an idea before I entered Seton Hill’s Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in 2005 and became my thesis. Because I write about relationships within the framework of SF, it’s no surprise that the premise behind Ambasadora is about the philosophy of a world that doesn’t believe in love. In fact, I never use the word love throughout the entire book.
So in a society where everyone told you love wasn’t real, would you still be willing to die for it?
Sara Mendoza and Sean Cryer are.
In their multi-partner, caste-ruled society, love and jealousy are considered emotional fallacies, nothing more than fleeting moods and sentiments biased by hormones. Relationships and conceptions in this world obsessed with celebrity, beauty, and power are based on DNA and lineages…or should be. But not everyone believes in the ruling traditions of the all-powerful Embassy. A quiet rebellion prowls the dark underground of this shiny world where techno-militants calling themselves fraggers grow in numbers and bravado. The Embassy intends to silence the fragger movement before the heresy of equality spreads throughout the system.
Sara Mendoza is part of the Embassy’s plan. Captured, tortured, and falsely accused of treason, she is given a chance to win back her freedom. She only needs to charm information from one of the fragger leaders, then kill him. But by the time she figures out the Embassy’s intel is flawed and that Sean Cryer is her true mark, she’s already in love with him.
Sean knows why Sara is on his ship from the start, but as a lonely, anti-social doser, he doesn’t value his life, only his ideology within the fragger organization. Against his better judgment, he becomes her protector, each day caring more about a future he was always afraid to hope for.
3. WHO HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUPPORTER IN YOUR WRITING JOURNEY?
I am often asked whether it is a blessing or a curse to have a spouse who also writes. For me, Jason has been a blessing. Even during the years of non-stop rejections for both of us, we still encouraged one another, usually by asking the question, “If you could do anything you wanted to do and money wasn’t an issue, what would choose to spend your time doing?” The answers were always the same—traveling and writing. Since we were already doing both, it made sense just to keep living our dreams. If we found readers along the way, so much the better.
Thanks so much for being interviewed, Heidi! I loved your characters and inventive world in Ambasadora – see my review.