It’s time once again for Author to Author. Each month I sit down with an indie author and try find out what makes them tick.
This month, I have the honor and pleasure of introducing you to Milli Gilbert. Along with being a mom, wife and author, Milli is a nerd. She has only recently acknowledged this fact when she realized that all of her favorite movies are firmly in the science fiction genre. She has her Lego Pirate Ship in a place of honor over her writing desk where she can play with it when she needs a break. Please welcome, Milli Gilbert
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
The latest book.. Hmm… I’m working on a couple. One of them is a collaboration with a friend, the other is my cheesy RomCom. The collaboration is one of those that’s just… pouring out. It was supposed to be short and hot, and instead, it’s turned into a full-length novel. So the hardest part of writing that one is the guilt I feel for neglecting the other – which has a deadline.
The hardest part of the solo novel is probably finding the balance between nerdy and and sweet and awkward without making it cheesy. Plus, the MMC is from London, a place I’ve never been to, nor will I likely ever get the chance to go.
What is your favourite motivational phrase?
The only way to change yesterday is to make today different. – one of my characters.
How do you keep going when your characters clam up?
You would ask that. I throw a temper tantrum, pout for a while, vent to a fellow author, and that usually leads to Author Friend asking some very precise questions that help me dial into what’s going on in the scene, where I need the scene to go, and what effect it has on the rest of the book.
If that fails, and I have a character like my Paranormal Romance/urban fantasy thing, I have an author friend “call out” the character. Basically, what that means is I play the part of the character, and Author Friend asks them questions and it helps draw the character out.
If that fails, then it’s likely they just that they need a break from all the drama, so I let them sit for a while. And sometimes, it’s just a case of my Muse butting in and taking over until he’s satisfied that New Idea has been defined enough.
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
Yes! I go through it about a million times over, until my eyes are all buggy and my hair has been pulled out. It goes through multiple rounds of crits and revisions and edits, and I have a couple friends I beg and bribe to make sure the grammar is good. My motto is I have to have a good reason for not accepting a grammar edit.
What drew you to writing?
That would be teenaged angst. I used to get into big fights with my dad when I was an early teen. The poetry unit in 8th grade changed that, fairly drastically. I discovered how theraputic it was to put tone and cadence and rhythm and texture (and usually rhyme – I can’t not) to words. When most people read, words are just… words. But for me, they became my paintbrush. One particularly bad fight with my dad (seriously – probably over something stupid, I can’t even remember what – we had very different ways of communicating) I holed up in my room and decided to start a journal. It quickly filled with poetry, and when I sat back to look at the words I’d written, I saw what I was feeling, what I needed to say to my dad. For a long time, that was my way of ending a fight. It took some time to work through that period of my life, but it gave me clarity. I’m now far more able to explain on the spot (there are still moments that baffle me, partly because there is just so much to them).
But then… I found stories. I watched people in my classes, and found myself wondering “what if this person and that person did XYZ?” or whatever popped into my head. I started writing.
An eclectic writer, Milli Gilbert is a stay-at-home mom who loves to play with words almost as much as she loves to play with her kids. All of her stories involve romance, and maybe a little bit of mystery. Milli loves to write about cowboys and shifters. And smut. Don’t forget the smut. And can usually be found trying to find interesting ways to combine them. She has several short stories published, and hopes to have her first full length novel out in late Summer 2017. She just took off after one of her couples to follow them around for a few months – but don’t worry, she’ll be back. If not, you can find her on Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest, or follow her on Twitter.
And of course, on her blog, Hairballs of Genius. She is also a regular contributor on Happy Author’s Guild.