Interview: Kirsten Miller

NRR: Can you share with us how you got started in writing?

I don’t remember getting started. Long before I could hold a pen, I was telling strange little stories and forcing indulgent adults to act as my scribes. Until recently, my biggest challenge was finishing. I’m easily bored, extremely moody, and prone to self-loathing. (Wow. I sure sound great.) I would kick off a project with enthusiasm—only to euthanize it a few days later. Countless half-written short stories, books, and poems are now entombed in a storage facility in Queens, where they shall remain until my future grandchildren discover them and have a good chuckle at my expense. 

I finally got my act together in 2004, when I started writing Kiki Strike. I’m still amazed that I managed to finish the novel. (I was working 50+ hours a week in advertising at the time.
I spent every evening, weekend and vacation writing.) It was a grueling schedule, but I never got bored because there was something I wanted to say—a message that I wanted to get across. (The Kiki Strike books are “How To” manuals for “dangerous” young ladies.) When the book came out, I realized that it was the message as much as the story that appealed to readers. And I think epiphany was what finally made me a writer.

NRR: How were you inspired to write The Eternal Ones series?

It’s difficult to pinpoint a single moment of inspiration. But I do know that the series began with the idea of reincarnation. I just set my skepticism to the side and asked myself, What if we’ve lived other lives? The question opened a door to a parallel world. 

Suspend your disbelief for a moment, and you might see what I mean. Reincarnation offers an explanation for a remarkable number of life’s little mysteries. . . .Why do we feel instantly drawn to certain people—and repelled by others? Why do some of us long for places we’ve never visited? How can little children possess unusual talents or inexplicable phobias? Why do some people believe they were born into the wrong bodies? Why do we all experience déjà vu? 

One such question ended up at the heart of the series. Why do so many of us believe in love at first sight? I think my use of the term “soul mates” led many reviewers (and my publisher) to call The Eternal Ones a romance. I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate. I’ve always thought of The Eternal Ones as a thriller about the mystery of love. I can’t think of any quest that’s more dangerous (or exhilarating) than a person’s first search for the “one.” And you never know for sure if you’ve found him (or her). Love is a big, terrifying, wonderful leap into the unknown. That’s what both books in this series are really about.

NRR: What was the most challenging part of writing All You Desire?

The biggest challenge was writing All You Desire while the first book in the series (The Eternal Ones) was being released. That’s the risk that comes with penning a series. You’re often halfway through the second book when reviews of Book #1 start trickling in. 

It takes an almost super-human degree of determination to get up every morning and sit down in front of the computer. A great review can make it all seem worthwhile, but a single not-so-kind review (and there are always not-so-kind reviews) can kill your confidence and momentum. I received a great deal of fabulous feedback, but I still had to take a break from the Internet in order to finish the sequel.  

NRR: What is your guilty pleasure?

I’m afraid I have many. BBQ potato chips and hot dogs. Asian horror movies. The music of George Michael. (The man is a genius!) Any television show about “real life” hauntings. Cheese. (Literally any kind of cheese.) 

NRR: What is a day in the life of Kirsten Miller like?

My handsome young butler brings a tray of freshly-baked croissants and coffee to my room every morning at eight. I spend the next hour pondering big, important thoughts and texting my best friends Suzanne Collins, Cate Blanchett, and the Dalai Lama. Then I take a quick dip in my rooftop pool while my personal stylist . . . .

To be honest, it depends on how many weeks are left to my next deadline. If I’m not under the gun, I’ll set out and explore New York. (Which is an endless source of inspiration.) But there are months when it’s pretty much work from sun-up to sun-down. If I’m really into a project (as I am at the moment), I can write for eight or nine hours straight. My eating and bathing schedules often become rather erratic during these productive spurts. Fortunately, my husband pretends to not notice. 

NRR: Can you share with us the storyline to All You Desire?

Living blissfully in Rome with the man of her dreams, Haven Moore wants to believe that she’s escaped from the Ouroboros Society and left its diabolical leader an ocean away. But the mysterious disappearance of her best friend, Beau Decker, forces Haven and her beloved Iain to return once again to New York City. There, Haven is approached by a cabal of women known as the Horae who have spent centuries scheming to destroy Adam Rosier. According to the group’s leader, the clues Haven will need to rescue her friend can be found in one of the many past lives she and Beau have shared together. And only the Horae can help Haven remember what she needs to know. However, their assistance comes at a very high price. In order to save Beau, Haven must infiltrate the Ouroboros Society, charm Adam Rosier—and then lure him into a trap the Horae have set. It’s a plan the Horae believe may save the world—and one Haven and Iain fear may destroy the happiness they’ve been chasing for two thousand years.

NRR: What can fans expect to see from you next?

The third Kiki Strike book, The Darkness Dwellers, will be out next year. I can’t tell you how proud I am of that series—or how much fun it’s been to write. Right now, I’m finishing a super-secret project. It’s dark, brutal, extremely frightening, and occasionally quite funny. It also features the most touching love story I’ve ever written

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