Interview by Michelle Lynn.
An interview with author Miracle Austin.
What are the titles of your work and can you tell us a bit about them?
Doll is my debut YA Paranormal novel—it is story about mean girl (Pepper Fox) versus the outcasts, since junior high. Outcasts are now in high school and so fed up with Pepper and decide to seek help from the paranormal world to teach Pepper a good lesson, but will they get what they always wanted or something much more they never expected. Twists, spells, and social awareness issues breathe in this work.
Boundless will be my second release. It will be a very eclectic collection of micro and short stories (some less than 20 words while others are over 5,000 plus words) with many social awareness themes weaved in. Some works will be light, while others will be much darker…May need a flashlight for a few…Make sure you have extra batteries, just saying…
I’ve written various short stories and they have been traditionally published in anthologies or ezines. I love writing short stories and will continue…
Who’s your favorite character from your books?
This is hard one. I will confess Lisette from Doll is one because of her inner and outer mystery…she is more powerful than she actually realizes… Tomie (Toe-me) is also one of my faves because he has no idea what breathes inside of him…I have others, but will discuss another time.
Doll is quite the creepy book – that’s a complement by the way. Lol. Is it difficult to go from writing parts of the book to living your normal life? Difficult to get out of that frame-of-mind?
Thank you so much. I absolutely take that as a lovely compliment. It was not difficult at all to write. In fact, I rushed home each day to dive into Frost High and its related worlds—they were my escapes, in fact every time I write, I have a chance to enter the character’s worlds—love that!!
The heart of Doll is about getting back at bullies, whether they do so in the right way or not. What made you take on this topic?
I took on this topic because of what I witnessed in junior high/high school/college, being a past victim of bullying myself, and my awesome mom sharing a story with me that ignited me to write Doll.
If she had not shared that story, then Doll would never be. In fact, my mom (so appreciate her) is my biggest inspiration for writing my stories—she has shared some pretty amazing stories growing up in the 40s in Crawford, Texas, (a lot of secrets live in small country towns) and living in the 50s-today. I just use my fictional magic to bring one story at a time to life.
I love the New Orleans voodoo feel of Doll. What kind of research did you have to do to get this right?
I did very little research because my mom lived in the Louisiana area for a short time. I utilized her experiences, she was the majority of my research.
What authors have inspired you to write?
So many—R.L. Stine, Stephen King, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Octavia Butler, Shirley Jackson, William Shakespeare, and so many more….
What age were you when you started writing?
Probably around 13
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Sometimes—I will take a break, listen to some awesome music—classical, 60s love songs, or a little lite rock helps me find my way back to writing. I will also Netflix it or Hulu watch…I catch ideas from anywhere, which helps me write.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I do both, but now for longer works—the outline has become my writing/dance partner.
Do you ever get sad when you realize that the characters that you’ve created aren’t real?
No, because they are real to an extent. I know each character is a little part of me, others I know/observed, and/or mash-ups.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Short version–Doll was never supposed to be a novel, only a short story, maybe 10k words. It was only a distraction because Boundless was supposed to be published first. It met over 315 rejections. —I kept persevering.
I finally landed a small publisher and everything, but personal things in publisher’s life caused my rights to be returned back to me, which was a huge blessing in disguise. It sat untouched with the publisher for almost a year. After being inspired by other Indie authors, I decided to pursue self-publishing and BOOM for Doll!!
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
No, definitely self-pub all the way from what I had to endure for almost two years.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Not so nice reviews, but I’m okay with criticism, but there is a way to express it in a constructive way versus being, well you know the rest… I know that not everyone will love my works for various reasons, but I write what moves me, like many writers, and there will be others who will enjoy. Best compliment—Cannot wait to read more from you!!!
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
A few things I would share:
Never allow someone to tell you not to write what you feel in your soul.
Don’t rush your teen years—take the scenic route
Surround yourself with positive bees because there will always be negative bees who will try to steal your honeycombs.
“Pay attention to those who don’t clap for you…” not sure who said the last one—love it and so true.
Praise for Miracle Austin:
“The characters were well-realized, and Pepper was deliciously evil (and I couldn’t wait for her to be taken down!). And even though one might think the ending would be predictable, it wasn’t. There were plenty of twists that I wasn’t expecting.”
“This story is dark, and full of so many twists and turns and suspicious characters that I had no idea what to expect. There were moments that sent shivers down my spine. There were moments that made my heart skip a beat. This story has everything: magic, revenge, romance, suspense…”
“With a flawless plot, descriptions and style, this book is the perfect combination of horror, suspense and a little teenage drama and romance. A definitely must-read for this year!”