Q: Welcome! First off, if you could tell a little bit about yourself and what types of stories you enjoy writing as well as which genres you write in?
A: Hi Sara! Well, when I was about 4 years old, I discovered a TV show called “Shock Theater” which introduced me to all the Universal Studios classic monsters, and absolutely got hooked. It’s fair to say that I didn’t choose horror… horror chose me. I’ve been an avid reader all my life, but my creative focus was on music, as a songwriter and musician. When Ed Sullivan first introduced the Beatles, I felt I discovered what I wanted to do when I grew up. It wasn’t until after decades had passed and the onset of arthritis took away my ability to play that I decided to try my hand at writing fiction. In terms of my own work, my main influences would be Stephen King, Rod Serling’s original Twilight Zone, and the EC Comics line that were banned shortly before I was born (luckily, I had friends with older brothers whose collections I was able to read), so those would be the genres I write in and enjoy the most.
Q: I’d love to share a bit about your most recent work, if you could let our readers know about it?
A: My most recent work is a novella I published last October titled “The Shopkeeper: Curios, Curiosities and Rarities”. It’s a story about a writer who came across a rare old typewriter in a small antique shop run by a very odd individual and how that machine seemed to be a talisman that still has a profound effect on his family, even years beyond his passing. It’s available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback.
Q: I know that you’ve shared quite a bit of stories with Trembling With Fear over the years, what has drawn you to be so supportive of Horror Tree? Which of them was your favorite to include?
A: I took the writing plunge late in life, as you know, and as the stories started to form themselves and became completed, it dawned on me I’d need to find some way of presenting them to people to read. As I looked for a means to do that, I came across The Horror Tree, managed by Stuart Conover and Stephanie Ellis. They are an invaluable resource for information on calls for work from publishers all over the world, a treasure for new writers. When I learned that they were seeking short stories for their Trembling With Fear column, I gladly wrote a number of pieces specifically to send to them as a means of thanking them for all they do. Of all they’ve published, my favorite story is one titled “Twelve Forty-Five”, a piece very much influenced by The Twilight Zone. This is also a topic I feel strongly about and it can be found at https://horrortree.com/trembling-with-fear-twelve-forty-five/ for your readers who might like to have a look.
Q: Where were you born (and/or are you from) and how has that affected your work?
A: I grew up in New York and I think city life during such a turbulent period in the city’s history has added an interesting subtext to some of my work, and also provides a strong contrast to life in smaller towns in New England, where I reside now. The main characters in my novella, “Spirit Of The Dead”, are a good reflection of those times.
Q: What was your first story accepted by a publisher and where can we check it out?
A: That was a short story titled “Bequeath”, which was published in the premiere issue of Hinnom Magazine from Gehenna & Hinnom Publishers. Charles Dunphey, the publisher, was just starting his publishing venture, and told me I was the first author whose work he chose for his new magazine. That book, and his entire series, are also available at Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats.
Q: Of your stories that are in print, which is your favorite and where can we read it?
A: Wow, it’s hard to pick one story above the others. Given my background as a musician, I’ll offer one titled “Cursed At The Crossroads”, which is an alternate take on the old legend concerning master bluesman Robert Johnson, who was said to have sold his soul to the Devil at a crossroads in exchange for his brilliant skill on the guitar. That story has received some good reviews, and is included in a self-published collection of my short stories titled “Thirteen”, also available on Amazon.
Q: 2020 was a thorn in all of our sides, how did the pandemic affect your writing?
A: For most of the year, it actually allowed me to focus on the novella I was working on, but once that was completed and published, the weight of the global effects of the pandemic and the lack of decisive measures to combat it began to overshadow my thoughts, taking me away from creative endeavors.
Q: With it being a bright new year, has that changed your writing at all?
A: It has, but negatively so. Between the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and a particularly difficult stretch of rejections I encountered early this year, I felt I was in danger of revisiting depression, a condition I’d grappled with in the past. As a result, I chose to step away from the cycle of writing/submitting/hoping for acceptance and turned to the simple pleasures of capturing landscapes and nature with my camera. The mental health break is proving to be just what the doctor ordered, but at some point, I will need my Muse to revisit so I can dig back into my unfinished novella in hopes of a good completion, as this one is off to a strong start.
Q: What genres do you enjoy reading? Who is your go to author?
A: Well written horror (with story and substance as opposed to a simple gore fest), good mysteries or tales of intrigue. I have an affinity for Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, having started reading those even before Sean Connery first took the screen in 1962, as my father was a fan of his work. Stephen King would be my all-time go-to author, starting with the first (and my favorite) book of his I discovered in 1976, the first paperback printing of “Salem’s Lot”. There was a passage in that book that literally raised the hair on the back of my neck, a phenomenon that had never happened before, and has not happened since.
Q: What are you reading right now?
A: I’ve just started reading “Whitechapel Rising: A Supernatural Horror Thriller” by Anthony M. Strong, which is an interesting take on Jack the Ripper. The last book I finished was “Later” by Stephen King.
Q: When not reading or writing, what do you enjoy doing?
A: My wife and I are avid photographers, and we spend as much time as possible exploring the New England area, particularly the coastline. We often put our cameras in the car, point in a general direction, and just drive and see what we can discover along the way, which is much more fun than mapping and planning an outing. We’ve made some great discoveries that way that we’d otherwise have missed.
Q: Thanks again, do you have any teases of what you’re working on next that you could hint at?
A: I have an unfinished novella length tale about a Cambion in progress at the moment. A Cambion is a creature born of a demon father and a human mother. Legend says that Merlin the magician was such a creature, but the main character in this story is far less benevolent than Merlin was said to have been.
Finally, if there is anything else you would love to share with our readers, please do so here!
John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”, and this is so very true. I think the most important thing to remember is to try and keep as much of your youthful imagination alive as is possible as you journey through life, and take the time to enjoy expressing that imagination through whatever medium you choose. Your creativity will bring you joy and a satisfaction you won’t find elsewhere.
You can find G.A. Miller’s work on Amazon!