Author Spotlight: Pat Zietlow Miller
May 1, 2015
KidLit411 is proud to present the very talented Pat Zietlow Miller in the Author Spotlight this week. Be sure to enter her giveaway of a signed copy of her newest book, WHEREVER YOU GO.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I write picture books. My second book, WHEREVER YOU GO, was released this month. I want to write picture books that get increasingly better, that stretch my skills and that really resonate with the children and parents who read them.
Which writers inspire you?
There are lots of picture book writers who inspire me. But today, I’m going to talk about two unlikely writers who have inspired me – Erma Bombeck and Rick Reilly. I read their work long before I started writing picture books and although Erma wrote humorous essays and Rick Reilly writes sports columns, I admire them for similar reasons.
Both put words together in the perfect order. There have been times I’ve had to set things they’ve written down just so I could momentarily marvel at how they chose the perfect words. And, they both are laugh-out-loud funny. I am a much better writer for having read and studied them.
What is your favorite quote?
I love quotations. One of my favorites is from Longfellow: “Let us then be up and doing, with a heart for any fate. Still achieving, still pursuing, learn to labor and to wait.” I like it because it’s a reminder that you have to get up and go after your goals and be open to all outcomes.
It’s also a good quote for writers because a lot of writing is laboring and then waiting. Waiting for inspiration. Waiting to hear back from an agent or editor. Waiting to see if your book will sell or be well-received.
I often quote this to my kids as we leave to run errands. So they may not view it as positively as I do.
What books are you reading at present?
I just started THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH by Martha Brockenbrough, and it’s very compelling and beautifully written. I’ve already had the thought that I could never write something as deep and detailed and polished. I should have it finished in the next few days.
And, I just finished HOLD ME CLOSER: THE TINY COOPER STORY, which is a companion book to WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON, by David Levithan and John Green. HOLD ME CLOSER (written just by David Levithan) is the actual script to the musical Tiny Cooper writes in WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON, and it is chock full of pop culture references to “Glee,” “High School Musical II,” “Yentl” and “Damn Yankees.” It’s no wonder I loved it.
As far as picture books go, I am looking forward to reading YARD SALE, written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Lauren Castillo and SONA AND THE WEDDING GAME, written by Kashmira Sheth and illustrated by Yoshiko Jaeggi. (I got a sneak peek at an early proof of this, and it is lovely.)
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