Friday, November 23, 2012

Blog Ring of Power Present: Jason Jack Miller

Yes, I know you are as excited as I am!  No I'm not talking about almost to the end of NaNoWriMo, though I hope some of you have won, if not.  You're almost to the end! You can do it!!! Ok so it's Friday, and you all know that Friday means Blog Ring of Power Time!!!!

Let's get to it with Jason Jack Miller on Deck.
As always, this is a five part blog, make sure to check out the others
Part 1 at the wonderful T.W. site
Part 2, oh wait you're here, read this before you go on.
Part 3 is with the fabulous Sandra
Part 4 is hanging with the amazing Dean
Part 5 is with our leader, the awesome Terri

Ok ok, so let's get to it.

Jason Jack Miller hails from Fayette County, Pennsylvania, as in, "Circus freaks, temptation and the Fayette County Fair," made famous by The Clarks in the song, "Cigarette." He is a writer, photographer and musician. An outdoor travel guide he co-authored with his wife in 2006 jumpstarted his freelancing career; his work has since appeared in newspapers, magazines, literary journals, online, as part of a travel guide app for mobile phones, and in a regular column for Inveterate Media Junkies. He wrote the novels Hellbender and All Saints during his graduate studies at Seton Hill University, where he is now adjunct creative writing faculty. In 2011, he signed a multi-book deal with Raw Dog Screaming Press. When he isn't writing he's on his mountain bike or looking for his next favorite guitar. He is currently writing and recording the soundtracks to his novel, The Devil and Preston Black, and writing his next novel, The Revelations of Preston Black.

The Writing Life

BRoP: What is your writing process? 

JJ Miller: I spend so much time at Panera that I probably owe them rent. When I come home from the day job I have a tendency to only want to relax. So the only way to keep myself in a writing frame of mind is to 'go back to work.' This usually involves hitting Panera right after dinner, or first thing Saturday and Sunday morning. This is how I get my mind ready to work.
I believe Paul Bowles said something about a writing routine, and I can't remember—or find—the exact quote. Essentially, he said to write at the same time every day, in the same room, listening to the same music, eating the same food….  When I have my most productive days it's because I'm following his advice. I get to Panera, set-up, order coffee or a meal, and get into it.  

BRoP: How do you balance writing with other aspects of your life? 

JJ Miller:  There's no balance at all. And I don't mean that in a flippant, offhand comment kind of way even though it could easily sound as if I do. But when I accepted the idea that I would be writing professionally, I dove into it head first. During a good week, like the few I had in late August and early September when I finished a first draft of my new novel, I was putting in four or five hours a night after work, and another ten to fifteen on Saturday and Sunday. So thirty hours a week, easy.
I'm lucky to have a writer wife, and we learned to work on similar schedules. Date nights have become very important to us. We try to keep vacations work-free, but that doesn't happen very often. But I love writing, and can't think of much else I'd rather be doing, and the fact that I can look across the table and see my wife doing the same thing makes me very lucky.   

BRoP: What has been the most surprising reaction to something you’ve written? 

JJ Miller: Well, a woman in the U.K. named a cat after me. Seriously. I have pictures.

That was such a great tribute because it meant that I'd written something that impacted somebody enough to make them want a daily reminder of it. And it's a cute little bugger. Eats spaghetti and pizza. Just like me. 

BRoP:  What is the strongest criticism you’ve ever received as an author? The best compliment? 

JJ Miller: The worst were probably a pair of one star reviews on Goodreads. The reviewers shelved them as 'books-i-hate-too-much-to-finish' and 'quit-reading' respectively. And since neither reviewer finished the book it's hard to take them as genuine criticism. But still, they hurt. To the point where I wanted to Google their home addresses.

One of my more recent reviews for The Devil and Preston Black went so far into the other end of the spectrum that it totally validated everything I'd been doing. The reviewer gave an in-depth analysis of several Faustian elements of the novel to the point where his critique made me look at the book differently. "…I don't know if the author intended this or not, but I think the complexity of the novel can be deepened considerably if we consider the possibility that more than one devil incarnate and more than one Faustian bargain. I think that Preston, while the 'victim' of one bargain was the perpetrator of another. It jibes with the repeated idea that "a piece of the devil is inside me…." He'd spent a lot of time with his analysis, which meant he'd spent a great deal of time with his head in my book. To me, this care and thoughtfulness taken with something I'd created, is the greatest compliment I can receive.
Then just the other day I received a nice little review from a pretty popular website.
Who am I kidding? I got an amazing review from! Totally blew my mind. It was one of those things where I read it with goose bumps up and down my arms. And it wasn't so much that the reviewer loved the book. She talked a little about my personal publishing story. "Perhaps I’m making too much of this, but Hellbender may not be just another good book. I wonder if this book (and its author) represents a changing tide, a new trend in the way books, good books, move from writer to reader...."
Please check out the rest of the review here:  

BRoP: How do you deal with rejection and/or negative reviews?
I try to take the John Lennon approach—they obviously didn't get it. 

About Hellbender:
Although the Collins clan is steeped in Appalachian magic, Henry has never paid it much attention. But when his younger sister dies mysteriously Henry can’t shake the feeling that the decades-old feud between his family and another is to blame.

Strange things are happening at the edge of reality, deep in the forests and mountains of West Virginia. Let Jason Jack Miller take you to a place where love is forever even when death isn’t, where magic doesn’t have to be seen to be believed, where a song might be the only thing that saves your soul.

Jason Jack Miller’s Murder Ballads and Whiskey series is a unique blend of dark fiction, urban fantasy and horror. It’s Appalachian Gothic, Alt.Magical.Realism, Hillbilly Horror. It’s Justified with witches. It’s the Hatfields and McCoys with magic. It’s Johnny Cash with a fistful of
copperheads singing the devil right back to hell.

Here is where you can find Jason Jack Miller:

Facebook page:
Goodreads author page:

What format is your book(s) available in (print, e-book, audio book, etc.)?
Paperback and eBook


  1. Probably not a coincidence that we're reading this at Panera right now.... ;)

    Love that cat photo!!

    :) Heidi

  2. Thanks for the opportunity! It was a lot of fun.

  3. It was a fun interview. :D Thanks everyone for stopping by.