Sárka-Jonae Miller : Author Interview

Author Short Biography

Sarka Miller Author PhotoSárka-Jonae Miller is an award-winning novelist, publicist, and journalist, among other “ists.” Her novel writing career began with Between Boyfriends, an edgy chick-lit book for women who’ve been ‘between boyfriends,’ which is much cooler than being single.

Sárka-Jonae is a graduate of Syracuse University. Before writing full-time, she was a personal trainer and massage therapist, helping people tone up, slim down, and chill out. In her free time, SJ loves to dance in flash mobs, in music videos, on speakers, or at home in her underwear. She practices kung fu and yoga, was briefly a Buddhist nun, and travels extensively for “research.” She is also published under the name SJ Miller.

Author Interview with SJ Miller

It’s rare today to find an author who does nothing but write for a living. Do you have a ‘real’ job other than writing, and if so, what is it? What are some other jobs you’ve had in your life?

I’m blessed to be self-employed and have everything I do in some way relate to books and writing. In addition to my novels, I do freelance writing for websites mainly about health. I also act as a book marketing manager at my publishing house, Booktrope, and run a boutique PR company for authors called SJ Publicity.

What compelled you to write your first book?

The usual, a desire to change reality. That’s mostly a joke but not completely. I think a lot of authors write about things they can’t control in real life or wish were different. I knew people in college friends and acquaintances, who were boy crazy. They’d ditch me at bars or cancel plans last minute for a guy. They’d skip studying or miss work if a guy wanted their attention. They changed themselves for every new man that caught their fancy. It was hard to watch and I wished I could help them in some way, or at least get them to stop ditching me! Obviously you cannot control anyone but yourself, so I created a character who realized what she was doing and stopped. But then what…?

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Aching for You coverYes, though I also wanted to be a pop star, a veterinarian, and a music journalist. I always figured I’d start a career and write books when I was older. Then I asked, why wait?

Tell us a little bit about your book/s. What are their titles; which is your favorite if you have more than one, and briefly let us know what they are about. Pay particular attention to your most recent book and/or your first book:

I’ve written three chicklit/romantic comedy novels in the Between Boyfriends trilogy. I also have a spinoff series of erotic romances including Aching for You and Falling for You. The new series can be read independently of the Between Boyfriends books or afterward. The main character from Between Boyfriends is in college when we meet her. She has some hard lesson to learn about love, family, friendship, and herself. In the new books, Jan is approaching 30, has moved from San Diego to LA, and shares the POV with three other women.

Are you currently working on any writing projects our readers should watch for release soon?

I’m currently working on the third book in the All for You series and a fantasy novel I’d love to finish someday. I do not think I’ll release the latter soon but I hope to have my third erotic romance out this year.

Have you ever won any writing awards? If so, what?

Indie Author Land, now known as Reed Freely, had a contest to discover the 50 books worth reading from indie authors in 2013/14. After 50,000 votes, Between Boyfriends was named one of the 50!

How did you feel the day you held the copy of your first book in your hands?

Absolute joy.

What one thing are you the most proud of in your life?

Putting myself through college, working 30 hours a week while attending classes full time. It was four years of constant work, studying, and sleep deprivation (I worked every summer and on breaks too), but I got so much out of the experience.

Is there an established writer you admire and emulate in your own writing? Do you have a writing mentor?

Some of my favorite chicklit authors include Risa Green, Lani Diane Rich, Sophie Kinsella, and Lauren Weisberger. I’d say they inspire me, but I do not try to emulate anyone.

When growing up, did you have a favorite author, book series, or book?

Terry Brooks was my favorite author growing up. I read the Sword of Shannara series many times.

Location and life experience can sprinkle their influence in your writing. Tell us about where you grew up and a little about where you live now – city? Suburb? Country? Farm? If you could live anywhere you want to live, where would that be?

Between Boyfriends Booktrope CoverI grew up in San Diego and it shows in my writing. Locals have told me that my characters are “very San Diego.”

Do you have any pets? What are they? Tell us about them.

I have two dogs and a cat, all rescues. I love pets. They are my fur babies.

Do you watch television? If so, what are your favorite shows? Does television influence of inspire your writing?

My favorite shows on TV now are Pretty Little Liars, Game of Thrones, Revenge, Outlander, Nashville, and The Big Bang Theory. My favorite show of all time is Airwolf though I’m a big fan of Lost too. I love Airwolf so much that my protagonist Jan Michaela Weston is named for Jan-Michael Vincent, something she explains in the second chapter of Between Boyfriends. Throughout my Between Boyfriends books are jokes, references, and other tributes fans will catch, including a character named Marella who appears in my third book, Between Heartbreak and Happiness. Marella was played by Deborah Pratt, an amazing women whom I met recently when I invited her to join a book signing and author panel I helped organize at Barnes & Noble in La Mesa, CA. She signed copies of her paranormal romance novels Age of Eve and The Tempting. It was pretty thrilling for me.

What about movies? Same as above.

It’s funny, I sort of go through periods where I don’t watch any TV but I’ll rent movies and then times when I watch a few shows I love but never see any films. I’m in a TV zone right now.

Is there anyone you’d like to specifically acknowledge who has inspired, motivated, encouraged or supported your writing?

When I started writing my debut novel Between Boyfriends I had four friends who took a lot of time to provide feedback and ideas. They are Susan Hazel, Michael Kennedy, Siobhan Poncin, and Heather Coleman-Ibrahim. Other people were supportive and amazing too, but those four people made a huge effort to help me get started.

What is your main goal or purpose you would like to see accomplished by or with your writing?

My books are meant to entertain and inspire. I think the best way to get through to people is to make reading fun and inspire change by showing it through character development.

Is there any lesson or moral you hope your story might reveal to those who read it?

Mostly I want women, especially young women, to walk away inspired to be the best person they can be and not look for approval from their family, their relationships, or anyone who doesn’t love them for exactly who they are.

Do you have any book signings, tours or special events planned to promote your book that readers might be interested in attending? If so, when and where?

I’ll be at Warwick’s bookstore in La Jolla, CA with Juliette Sobanet on June 7, 2015.

Anything else you want your readers to know?

All five of my ebooks are available on Amazon. My paperbacks Between Boyfriends, Between the Sheets, and Between Heartbreak and Happiness are also available at the website for Barnes & Noble.

I am constantly on social media, my blog, and my website and I love interacting with fans whenever I can. Please come find me. Only a not of caution, most private messages and direct messages get lost, so please post on my Facebook page, send me a tweet, write a comment on my blog, or use the contact page on my website if you want to get a hold of me.

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