Sorry... I couldn't resist.😄 I'll show myself out, but not before I share Heather with you. 😊
Heather Miller is an author of classic horror, often with a Gothic bent. Her first novel, Knock Knock, came out in 2021, and her collection Tales My Grandmother Told Me released in 2022. She has had stories and poetry published in various magazines and anthologies. When she’s not writing, Heather can be found baking, gardening, or hiking in the woods (or reading and reviewing books, or doing a bit of freelance editing). Heather lives in a (probably haunted) century-old farmhouse in Oklahoma with a whole zoo of kids and cats.
The Tough Questions
• Where is your favorite place to write? Read?
I do most of my writing curled up on the couch with my laptop. I’ve also been known to write in bed or out on the back porch. And actually, I read in the same places!
• What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be lots of things. A mom, a teacher, a psychologist, an interior designer. I always wrote stories and poetry, from elementary school on, but it never occurred to me until just before my fortieth birthday that writing might actually be a viable job.
• What is one thing you need when you sit down to write?
I usually write in the dark, either after the sun has gone down for the day or before the sun comes up in the morning. I generally light a candle, have a drink nearby, and try to take advantage of the quiet for as long as I can get it.
• What is one tip you would like to share with an aspiring author?
Use an editor. Even amazing stories can be made better with a good editor on your side.
• Are you a pantser or plotter?
I’m kind of in the middle. I plot very loosely. Mostly I just write down details so I don’t get them mixed up as I write, and then let the story tell itself.
From BOH reader Heather L.
• Chili – beans or no beans?
Definitely no beans!
• Who’s your favorite superhero and why?
Not really a superhero fan, so…
• DC or Marvel and why is it Marvel?
• You need to hide a body - who do you call to help you?
My best friend, Amanda. We’ve known each other since elementary school!
• Favorite song to belt out in the shower?
Lately, it’s been When You’re Good to Mama, from Chicago.
• What animal would you be and why?
An owl. Live a solitary life, roam around at night, be majestic and mysterious.
• If you were stranded on a deserted island with all your human needs taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?
Sunscreen and my Kindle.
• Next project (what are you currently working on)?
Several things! Currently editing a few manuscripts for others, writing some short stories for anthologies, chipping away slowly at a couple of bigger solo projects, though which one will be finished first is anyone’s guess.
• Scary movies - complete darkness or all the lights on?
• Cats or dogs?
I am definitely a cat person. We have six.
• Who would you stalk?
If I could go back in time, maybe Shirley Jackson.
• What inspired you to start writing?
I always loved reading, and it just seemed like the next step in the progression.
• How old were you when you wrote your first story?
My first story ever? Probably around eight years old. My first published story? Forty.
• What is your favorite book/story you wrote?
Tales My Grandmother Told Me will probably always be my favorite, because of the personal history involved in it.
• Who is your current favorite author?
You’re not tricking me with that one! I read over a hundred books each year and have dozens of author friends, so there’s no way I can pick.
• What is your favorite genre?
Horror, specifically Gothic ghost stories.
• Favorite horror movie?
I don’t actually watch a lot of movies. I don’t have time!
• Favorite book of all time?
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
• Cake - vanilla or chocolate?
Chocolate with vanilla frosting.
• Pizza - pineapple or definitely never on a pizza?
In my opinion, pineapple is a food which should never be consumed, period.
From BOH reader Derek T.
• Is there a particular author that inspired you to write horror?
I grew up reading a lot of Poe, along with old anthologies of Victorian ghost stories. That whole era inspires me.
• Are there any things required when you write?, i.e., listening to certain music? an adult beverage? complete silence? stuff like that.
I prefer silence and darkness. I can write with distractions around, but it’s much harder.
• Skittles or Starburst?
Oof. I’d have to say Skittles, just for the convenience factor. No unwrapping.
• Do you read or write anything that's not horror?
I like to read some fantasy, mostly urban fantasy, and also memoirs and poetry. I’m a huge fan of non-fiction if the subject matter is sufficiently dark. As for writing, all my prose is dark in one way or another, but I also write poetry which is sometimes ridiculously sappy.
• Rhode Island is neither a road nor an island, please discuss.
Hey, I’m from Oklahoma, which is a Choctaw word for “red people”. Rhode Island might as well be another planet to a girl from the prairie. In other words, don’t ask me!
• How do you feel about pants?
A sometimes necessary evil.
• Dogs, cats or ferrets?
• Mountains or beach?
Mountains, definitely. Mountains and forests.
• Does pineapple belong on pizza?
Pineapple belongs in the trash.
• What's your favorite taco?
Mmm…tacos. Crispy chicken, bacon crumbles, lettuce, tomato, cheese, red onion, avocado, salsa!
• Would you go to space?
Absolutely not. That’s far too creepy for me.
• Do you eat supper or dinner?
Dinner. I think.
• Favorite ice cream?
Chocolate chip cookie dough.
• Were you a good student?
I was an excellent student, but I was bored out of my mind in school.
• Who was your childhood crush?
David Bowie as Jareth in Labyrinth was my first big celebrity crush. I was five when that movie came out.
• Your favorite thing on French fries?
Honestly, I like them plain. Just a little salt.
From BOH reader Shannon E.
• What’s something you want to learn/ get better at?
I know how to play the piano and flute but I always wanted to be able to play guitar as well. Maybe someday.
• Why did you decide you wanted to be an author?
Honestly, I just loved making up stories and wanted to see if anyone else thought I was any good at it. It turns out they do.
• Is there anything you don't eat?
• If you could have 3 wishes, what would they be?
A giant manor house with a huge two-story library and at least a couple of secret passages, to be able to eat bread without getting fat, and that no child in the world would ever have to be hurt or scared again.
• If you could have 1 hour to sit down with anyone and talk? Who would it be and what would you talk about?
If I can bring her back from the dead, Shirley Jackson. I would love to talk with her about the irony of life that we both share: mothers of big families, living in old houses in small towns, being domestic by day and writing disturbing fiction by night.
• What makes you unique?
I’ve got a pretty good Scarlett O’Hara stare.
• What's something about you that no one else knows?
I’m pretty sure there’s at least one person who knows everything about me. If you want a weird fact though…I have a strong aversion to metal.
• What’s something you want to learn or wish you were better at?
I’m pretty sure I already answered this one, but I also would love to learn to speak Gaelic.
• Know any good jokes?
My Grandma Nan (of Tales My Grandmother Told Me fame) used to tell this one:
“Want to hear a dirty joke? A little boy went out and fell in a mud puddle. Want to hear a clean joke? He went home and took a bath.” Yeah, don’t blame me. It’s Grandma’s joke.
• What’s something that bugs you?
When people confuse “retched”, “wretched”, and “wrenched.”
• What’s the most embarrassing thing you can remember That’s Happened to You?
I tend to try to avoid any situations with the potential for embarrassment!
• What’s your favorite place on earth?
The Ozark Mountains, when the mist rises up in the mornings.
• Who are the special people in your life?
My kids, first and foremost. I have an amazing man in my life now who gets me and encourages me, so that’s huge. And I have a couple of friends who have known me long enough to know all my secrets and still love me.
• What’s something you’re proud of?
Getting up every day and doing hard things.
• If your life were a movie who would play you?
I’ve been told I look like Nicole Kidman. Not sure I agree, though.
• If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be?
A version of myself without a headache!
• If you could have a superpower what would it be?
I’d like to be able to read minds, but only when I want to. I want to be able to turn it off sometimes. Some things you just shouldn’t know.
• What would you do if there was zombie apocalypse right now?
Those are top-secret plans. If I told you, I’d have to kill you.
• What were you like as a child?
Extremely quiet, smart, and bookish. Basically the same as I am now.
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