A.P. Miller, in his own words:
I don’t know how else to say it: I like telling stories.
You can ask any of my teachers: I can day dream with the best of them! I didn’t always know that I wanted to be a writer, I just did writer things without understanding why.
My first acts of fiction were composition assignments in Elementary school, simple prompts that I turned into needlessly complex tales because my imagination couldn’t help but explore ideas. Outside of my tan-and-red composition book, I would begin hand scrawling action epics when I should have been doing homework. Going through high school, I developed my style of prose and structure, mostly out of rebellion. If I had to write a paper on a topic I didn’t agree with, I’d weave sarcasm in to the composition; I thought I was just being a wise-ass, but I was actually becoming versed in the art of satire.
A lot of my formative experiences with appreciating literature can be boiled down to two teachers: Ms. Diane Houtz and Mr. Thomas Webb. In Ms. Houtz’s fourth grade classroom, she’d often call out “DEAR,” which meant Drop Everything And Read. Her classroom had shelves of a personal library and would often make recommendations to her students based on what they liked to read. Mr. Webb was my first (and unfortunately last in high school) that actually facilitated thoughtful discussions about literature, not just lumbering through district required curriculum. Mr. Webb encouraged us to think about the deeper meaning of what we were reading and not just remember details to regurgitate onto a test. When it came to writing, Mr. Dave Wulderk was my first teacher to acknowledge that I had a knack for writing. I mention those teachers by name so that I never forget the lessons they’ve imparted on me.
As an author, I have successfully self-published my fictional works. I write characters that I find fascinating; people who have flaws and navigate the plot despite those flaws. I believe that the Millerverse (the nickname I’ve given to my collective body of work) has a place for everyone, where everyone has a chance to have their voice heard. In my work, I’ve written about topics like mental illness, struggles with socioeconomic factors, despair, change, gender identity, tragedy, and triumph. I don’t write about these things to be seen writing about them, I write them because I want people to know that they can find echoes of themselves in my work, no matter who they are.
Frequently Asked Question: “What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?”
- Most important: just write. Write because you love writing, write because it fulfills you, write because its in you to do, but just write.
- No one will value your time or work unless you do. Set time aside to write and insist on your boundaries and time being respected.
- Tell people you are writing, be enthusiastic about it. No one is going to get excited about your work if you aren’t excited about it.
- Find other people who are just as enthused and excited as you about writing.
- When you aren’t writing, find time to read.
- Let go of your excuses. GoogleDocs is a great wordprocessor and its free. No access to the internet? Grab a pen and some paper. See #1.
- Recognize when you need a break. It’s better to take care of yourself and enjoy the writing process than to be prolific and hate it.