Tag Archive for: new series

An Interview with Jessica Riley Miller

by Paula
Gail Benson
Jessica Riley Miller with husband Chuck Miller at her first signing. (Her short story is in The Big Bad II anthology.)
Jessica and
I initially met as members of the Inkplots Writing Critique Group. I’ve always
loved Jessica’s wonderfully inventive imagination and intriguing descriptions. We’ve
gotten closer as roommates at two Bouchercons and working with others to
develop the Palmetto Chapter of Sisters in Crime, which will virtually host its
Mystery in the Midlands conference on Saturday, July 25, 2020, with Jessica’s fav Charlaine
Harris as guest of honor.
This week,
Jessica debuts her paranormal series with a novella followed by rapid release
of three novels during late summer and fall. It’s an amazing publishing
journey, but I’m not surprised. Jessica has always exhibited the drive, will
power, organizational skills, and writing craft to balance teaching, marriage,
motherhood, and authorship. I hope you’ll take the time to discover her work. I
promise you’ll be delighted!
thanks for joining us at The Stiletto Gang!
Tell us
about yourself and why you wanted to be an author.
Sometimes you pick your passions, and sometimes
your passions pick you. I’ve always loved stories, especially mysteries, so writing
feels kind of inevitable.
What is
your series about and who is the main character?
They are supernatural mysteries in the
tradition of Charlaine Harris’s True
series and Karen Marie Moning’s Faefever
series, with heavy doses of romance and the unexpected.

In the novella, Jade’s obsessed with reading
conspiracy theory tabloids, the more outrageous the better. To the
amusement of her friends, she finds them a comforting escape from her every day
worries. It only makes sense when she accepts an internship at the best
tabloid around, believing it will give her a carefree summer.

Unfortunately, any illusion of comfort vanishes when
Anthony, an attractive young lawyer, enlists her help. He claims the tabloid’s
keeping a dark secret that threatens his job. When Jade starts investigating,
she learns the paper isn’t an escape from the truth at all. Suddenly, her
normal life becomes eclipsed by the paranormal.

But knowing the tabloid’s secrets make her position
vulnerable, and suddenly it isn’t just Anthony’s livelihood at risk. Her life
is too.

The rest of the series picks up from her best friend
Maggie’s perspective, ten years later.
Your series
is independently published. What made you decide to take that step?
Jade’s story–to be released this week!
My answer here actually starts with a conflict,
as all good stories do:
This series is the main reason my fantastic
literary agent and I parted ways. She was interested in a different kind of
story from me, but I couldn’t let this series go.
The characters kept speaking to me, and I
needed to get the drama out of my head and onto the page. It was almost compulsive.
I have seven other manuscripts, several of which I will return to, but I had to get this series out into the
world. By choosing indie publishing, I am able to obsess over the stories I
can’t let go.
I’m also able to release them on my own schedule.
I’ve been working on them for years, mainly at 5 am, or in the car, or on
Saturday afternoons—and now, I’m ready to share them.
Plus, I’ve been able to build my own team.
That’s been an unexpected bit of awesomeness. I adore my editor. I’m fanatical
over my cover artist. They are my people, and I picked them—they do excellent, flattering
work for me and my stories, making me look much better than I could on my own.
Why are you
beginning with a novella, then rapidly releasing several novels?
I’m appealing to binge-watching culture,
really. There’s nothing I enjoy more than diving into a world that I can splash
around in, so I’m trying to give that to my readers. Come on in, stay awhile,
the water’s fine.
Plus, I want to make sure readers are getting the
experience they want. That’s why I’m releasing my novella first, for free.
Check this out, see if you like it. If you do, I’ve got all these other books
coming. If this isn’t your thing, high five and have a great day. Nothing’s
lost on either side.
What has
been your greatest challenge and greatest delight in writing and producing this
My greatest challenge has been scraping out the
time I need to dream and write and work on the ever-important author platform.
I’ve got a full time job, a wonderful husband, and a darling one-year-old.
While I’m fortunate to have a full family life and a job I like, there are only
so many hours in a day, you know?
My greatest delight has been the dreaming, or
what some folks call plotting. My daydreams become reality on the page, as
characters move through mazes I’ve created, solving their mysteries and
unearthing secrets as old as the world. It’s empowering and fun. I love that
next? Will this character or the world you’ve created appear in other books or
Ha! I’m laughing because there’s so much more
where this came from. So, this novella is Jade’s story. The next few books are
Maggie’s story (Jade’s best friend), and she’s got at least three books worth
of drama, y’all. One of her love interests, Adam, has a short story already
written. I’ll give that to my newsletter subscribers for free later this year.
I also have a tie-in series with the first book already written. I’m excited
about that one. It takes place on the beach in Florida and starts with a faerie
on the run. It could be looking at a 2021 release.
Thank you,
Jessica, for being with us! Best wishes on all your upcoming releases. May your
stories reach a wide audience and be thoroughly enjoyed!
Jessica with her precious daughter Marlowe, who already loves books!
Short Bio: You will often find Jessica Riley Miller
behind a stack of books. However, she won’t stay hidden for long as her voice
(ahem) carries. Jessica’s been writing stories for over a decade. In her spare
time, she works with some of the best people in the world: English teachers.
She lives in the land of South Carolina, somewhere between Westeros and 221B
Baker Street. Her husband, daughter, and tiny elfin dog provide constant
amusement and inspiration. Check out her website or sign up for her newsletter at