Maryann Miller is an author and a journalist, and has written many articles and short stories published on both a regional and national scale as well as screenplays and stage plays. She has written many non-fiction books and also a mystery novel, Doubletake, under the pseudonym Sutton Miller.
What is your favorite word and why?
Tenacity. Because it defines Jenny from One Small Victory and it is also one of the most important qualities a writer must have to succeed.
If you were stranded on an island, what 3 things would you take with you? (Assuming you have the bare necessities).
A book. A sketchpad. A pencil.
the guest blog:
CHOOSE YOUR AUDIENCE CAREFULLY
Part of the fun of being an author is going to bookstores and other places for talks and book signings. What could be better than talking about books to a group of people who love books?
Well, some venues can work better than others.
A couple of years ago I did a talk at a Senior Center in Michigan where the activities director had assured me that there were lots of avid readers among the residents, and they would love to meet an author. I was scheduled to follow the late-afternoon Bingo game when folks would already be assembled. And they would be willing to stay since dinner would immediately follow the talk.
That seemed like a good plan until half of the folks got up and left the minute the Bingo cards were picked up. But about twenty people stayed, so I thought they might be a good audience. They seemed to be watching me with interest as the activities director introduced me, so maybe she was right about them being happy to meet an author.
I started to tell them about my experiences as a writer when a gentleman sitting up front interrupted to ask if I was ever going to get the glass of water he’d requested an hour ago. Then three women got up and left, muttering loudly that they must be in the wrong place since dinner wasn’t coming yet and it was past time.
In an effort to salvage something – anything – I abandoned my prepared speech and tried to engage the rest of the audience on a more personal level. I asked if they liked to read. One woman said she couldn’t read but she liked to sing. I told her that was nice, and she asked if I’d like to hear something. Before I could respond, she launched into a lusty version of You Are My Sunshine.
The other residents cheered when she was finished, so I took the hint. We spent the rest of the hour in a sing-along.
Thanks Maryann! I hope you have better luck with your audiences in the future, and I look forward to reading One Small Victory soon.