15 September 2014


Thank you Albert Wendland for inviting me to participate in the My Writing Process (#mywritingprocess) blog tour.

1) What am I working on?

Right now I'm juggling a few things. As long as they don't fall at the same time, I'm good.

ALL SAINTS is the next part of the MURDER BALLADS AND WHISKEY series. It tells Ben's story after the events in THE REVELATIONS OF PRESTON BLACK. Ben is dealing with his PTSD and some other issues as a few of some of Dani's old enemies close in. Right now I'm working on a section from Dani's POV that sets the stage for the events in ALL SAINTS to play out. I'm really excited to be telling her story, and in a way, I think I'm seeing MURDER BALLADS AND WHISKEY is as much about her as it is Preston, Katy and the gang. 

The other big thing I got going is the thriller I'm working on with Heidi. Kind of like CHILD 44 meets THE X FILES. Very, very excited about this.

Lastly, I'm repackaging THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK and THE REVELATIONS OF PRESTON BLACK into an Amazon bundle which will include song lyrics, short stories, some article I've written about the music I curated for the books. Kind of a Preston Black 'starter kit.'

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

If anything, it's urban/dark fantasy meets rural noir. The back cover blurb for HELLBENDER describes it as 'JUSTIFIED with witches,' but it's a lot more than that. THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK reveals some strong literary elements while sticking to a fairly structured plot. Most of the horror elements are subtle, and of a more personal/less supernatural nature. THE REVELATIONS OF PRESTON BLACK is a more tightly structured plot that lets it sit firmly in the catbird seat between dark fantasy, horror, and supernatural thriller.

The best part of this nebulous genre labeling? My readers come from across the spectrum. Literary readers see deeper meaning in Preston's actions. Romance readers see the love triangle between Preston, Katy and Dani. The only thing it isn't, is SF (until PRESTON BLACK AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS, that is.)  

3) Why do I write what I do?

I write what I know and love. Music, travel and the power of place, meeting the girl of your dreams. I try to live in a way that puts her first, and I think that's why the relationships are always at the center of my plots. And then there's the drinking...

4) How does my individual writing process work?

My process doesn't emanate from any particular place. The plot of REVELATIONS came from an image I had in my head—a woman walking through a swamp with fistfuls of vipers. HELLBENDER was conceived when a crazy weekend on Spruce Knob, West Virginia joined forces with a bunch of guide stories I hoped to tell one day. The book is is essentially a result of my love of the mountains. THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK is my love letter to music.

But the process begins with a complete outline. Okay, 80% of an outline. Pages and pages of research—setting details, colloquialisms, historical details. I need to get as immersed in a world as I possibly can. The details let plot points reveal themselves to me as I go. That deep knowledge lets my outline—maybe that final 20%—materialize while I write.    

Here are some other participant responses:
Heidi Ruby Miller
Anika Denise 
Shawn Hopkins
Eva Hudson
Rhonda Mason
Albert Wendland
K. Ceres Wright

26 July 2014

Murder Ballads and Whiskey on Kindle Unlimited!

All three of my novels are available on Kindle Unlimited! If you know anybody who is trying Kindle Unlimited out (and you enjoyed Preston Black's antics) please recommend these. I'd greatly appreciate it.

If you're unfamiliar with Kindle Unlimited, here's the description from Amazon:
 Your Journey Awaits, Dear Reader

Kindle Unlimited gives you the freedom to explore. Try new genres, discover new authors, and dive into new adventures with unlimited access to our wide and varied selection of books. From rhetoric to romance, or comedy to tragedy, you will find unlimited stories waiting to be discovered. Relive the classics you grew up with, start on that best seller you’ve been wanting to read or try one of the hundreds of thousands of books you won’t find anywhere. Find your next great read today. 

Excerpt from THE RHYTHM OF WAR, Despumation #1

At the moment, I'm trying to finish up a draft of ALL SAINTS, the follow-up to THE REVELATIONS OF PRESTON BLACK. I describe the novel as THE LIFE OF PI meets THE WIZARD OF OZ. It's Ben's story, and it picks up shortly after the events in REVELATIONS. I wrote THE RHYTHM OF WAR as a way to understand Ben. I knew him superficially, and figured writing this would be a really good opportunity to deepen him. 

Read more about DESPUMATION #1 here: http://despumationpress.com/
Or pick up the eBook or print version at Amazon.com.

02 June 2014

At Heidi's insistence, I wrote the following letter to be read during afternoon announcements to express my gratitude to the Uniontown students who participated in this weekend’s literary festival, held at the Uniontown Mall:

I would like to thank the writers and sponsors of the UHS Tomahawk Talk for their support of the inaugural Pennsylvania Literary Festival—the first of its kind to be held in the entire state of Pennsylvania. The event brought in writers, publishers, artists, and readers from all over the United States, and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett sent state librarian Stacey Aldrich as his personal representative. Ms. Aldrich was so impressed by the festival that she offered the state library in Harrisburg as a possible location to host next year’s event.

I would especially like to thank the Uniontown High School students and alumni who visited, bought books, talked to authors and publishers, and participated in workshops. Your presence at this event is what made it special. I was very lucky to be part of a team that consisted of three Uniontown graduates—Matthew Dowling, Dave Slusarick, and my wife, Heidi Ruby Miller. One of our primary goals for creating this festival was to showcase Uniontown and its people and you did not disappoint!

When an author or publisher asked about the kids they saw participating in the workshops I was very happy to be able to say that you were Uniontown students. It takes a lot of courage to be able sit through a class with professional writers—some of whom were more than four or five times your age. But taking that huge step in pursuit of something you love shows that you have the guts and desire to succeed, no matter what you chose to do after you leave UHS.

Many, many thanks,
Jason Jack Miller