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Bill Miller

answers the Usual Questions

Bill Miller photograph courtesy of the author; 220x279

Bill Miller

Bill Miller earned B.Sc. & M.Sc. degrees at Tennessee State University in Nashville and a Ph.D. degree at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Biological Sciences and Chemistry). He worked as a research scientist for Eli Lilly and Company and for Dow Chemical Company. He owned a cattle ranch in Kansas. After he had been kicked and dragged around enough, he sold the ranch and moved to Tennessee.

One of Miller's biggest faults as a writer is not knowing when to say when; he cannot recognize his best effort and literally does not know when to stop.

However, his wife keeps a close eye on him, and she knows when to say, "That's good enough dear, you can stop now." Miller and his wife, Ruby, have two sons, Chase and Kiev, that are college students.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

I love interacting with fans of my writing. The greatest effect that they have on me is that they increase my desire to write. They also reinforce my belief that there are more good people in this world than there are bad people.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

I wrote an article for an online magazine regarding my most recent book, End of the Rainbow. The book is about race relations, politics, etc. One reader responded to the article by saying, "Institutional racism - things that limited opportunities based on skin color - died at least four decades ago. The only active racism today is by 60's throwbacks and a delusional, self-serving president. The subject would disappear altogether to the benefit of people distinguished by skin color if people would quit writing about it."

Racism has been a problem in this country since the first black people were brought here as slaves. It is not rooted in a delusional self-serving president. Instead, it is rooted in the minds of too many people that will not let go of what used to be - die-hards that refuse to change and accept the fact that we live in a multicultural world. Racism did not die in the 1960's. The reader's comments stand out in my mind, because anyone that cannot see racism today is not familiar with it enough to recognize it, or they don't care. Perhaps racism has been part of our society for so long that some accept it as a normal attribute of a diverse population, and therefore, nothing is out of whack. When you cannot recognize the problem, you cannot fix it.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

I don't have a favorite author, but I have some favorite books. This I Believe is a favorite of mine. I like it because it lets me look into the mind of others to see and feel what they think about. Maybe things that they have never talked about before, not because they were too personal, but simply because they kept them locked inside until someone asked them to share their thoughts. Some may be things that they are passionate about, but for whatever reason they never let their inner most thoughts be known. It is a fascinating book for me.

Physics For Future Presidents by Richard A. Muller, is a book that I love - knowing all the time that I will never be a candidate for president.

Another favorite of mine is, A Simpler Way by Margaret J. Wheatley. I find this book to be very thought provoking; it makes me wonder about the things around me, and then it makes me ask why and why not.

book cover, End of the Rainbow by Bill Miller; 90x137

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

If trapped onboard a spaceship, I would rather be trapped with someone that knows how to operate it, because I don't.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

The person that I would dislike being trapped on a spaceship with is anyone that has never sat at the controls before and made an uneventful round trip to and from outer-space.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

I would pack my guitar, although it is the master rather than I. If I am to be the master of it, then I feel like I must hold it in my arms everyday so that I always know what it feels like. Traveling off into space would probably frighten me, but my guitar would certainly help me relax.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

If I can influence just some of the people so that they be the people that they should be, then I will have achieved my goal in life. We like and dislike people for various reasons, some of which don't make sense, but it shouldn't be that way.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

Today, I am an author, and I prefer to write about social issues. I do not experience much satisfaction when writing about that topic, because it makes me angry when I think about the problems that plague our society. However, my wish and my satisfaction - if there is any satisfaction to be had - is that my readers will reevaluate themselves and then ask, "Am I the person that I should be? Have I done anything for humanity that I am truly proud of; is the world a better place today because of me?" Should the response to either of those questions be no, then change whatever needs changing so that the answer is yes. If that should happen because someone read my book, then it would be very satisfying to me.

submitted by Bill Miller

October 2015

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: I was born in Bolivar, Tennessee. A small town with a population of about 5,000. It's one of those towns that thrived once upon a time, but today it struggles to stay alive. In addition to my place of birth, and where I currently live, I have also lived in Nashville, TN, Knoxville, TN, Minneapolis, MN, Omaha, NE, Lee's Summit, MO, and Princeton, KS.
Resides: Bill Miller resides in Jackson, Tennessee. Jackson is located on Interstate 40 about half way between Memphis and Nashville.
Seeds of Magnolia(2014) Available at Amazon
End of the Rainbow (2015) Available at Amazon

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