Interviews & Reviews

Meghan's HAUNTED House of Books

Meghan’s HAUNTED House of Books

Halloween Extravaganza: INTERVIEW: C. Derick Miller

October 26, 2019megHan

Meghan: Hello and welcome to Meghan’s House of Books. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

C. Derick Miller: I’m a dark fiction author, Gonzo Journalist, freelance A&E journalist, poet, ordained minister, and ASCAP songwriter born in the town of Greenville, Texas. A seasoned paranormal investigator and traveler for the art industry, my influences include Hunter S. ThompsonKevin SmithShawn Mullins, and Del James. I’m currently signed with Black Rose Writing and Death’s Head Press. I’m also an active member of the International Thriller Writers organization, the Horror Writers Association, and the creator of Gonzo Wolf Press. I currently reside in the Bishop Arts District of Dallas, Texas and have a price on his head for my short story “Hell Paso” contained in the #1 Amazon Best Selling Death’s Head Press Anthology And Hell Followed.

Meghan: What are five things most people don’t know about you?

C. Derick Miller: I’m a veteran, prior law enforcement, a father of 4, a grandfather of 2, and related to Lee Harvey Oswald’s widowed wife!

Meghan: What is the first book you remember reading?

C. Derick Miller: Where the Red Fern Grows

Meghan: What are you reading now?

C. Derick Miller: Catfish in The Cradle by Wile E. Young

Meghan: What’s a book you really enjoyed that others wouldn’t expect you to have liked?

C. Derick Miller: What the Valley Knows by Heather Christie

Meghan: What made you decide you want to write? When did you begin writing?

C. Derick Miller: I read a book of short stories by Del James titled The Language of Fear. It contained the story ‘Without You’ which influenced the music video for Guns N Roses November Rain. I woke up the next morning and wrote my first short story. Poetry was always easy for me as a school kid though.

Meghan: Do you have a special place you like to write?

C. Derick Miller: Nowhere special but loud, 80’s hair metal is a key ingredient.

Meghan: Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

C. Derick Miller: I normally write the beginning, then the end, and fill in the blanks in between.

Meghan: Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

C. Derick Miller: Writing? No. The publishing industry? Too many to mention.

Meghan: What’s the most satisfying thing you’ve written so far?

C. Derick Miller: My newest novel Extinguished. It’s the only thing I’ve written during complete sobriety. Some say it’s my best work so far.

Meghan: What books have most inspired you? Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?

C. Derick Miller: I don’t think it’s fair for an author to describe his own style. I try my best not to pull influence from anywhere. I just do my own thing.

Meghan: What do you think makes a good story?

C. Derick Miller: The villain makes the story. Always. You can’t have a good hero without a good villain. Darth Vader, Lord Voldemort, Scar from The Lion King lol.

Meghan: What does it take for you to love a character? How do you utilize that when creating your characters?

C. Derick Miller: Honesty and the acceptance of weakness. I hate overpowered heroes. Disney has a bad habit of this. Not everyone can be a Jedi. Some of us must be Chewbacca.

Meghan: Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

C. Derick Miller: Johnny Haynes from the Taste of Home series. Loudmouth, oblivious to the consequences of his actions, and can easily turn anything into a sex joke.

Meghan: Are you turned off by a bad cover? To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?

C. Derick Miller: I don’t mind a bad cover. I despise a bad synopsis. My son has been an internationally published graphic artist since age 15 and he’s designed my covers for the past few years. He’s leaving for the Army soon, so I’m screwed.

Meghan: What have you learned creating your books?

C. Derick Miller: The market is oversaturated with bad writers who possess amazing marketing skills. The same could be said about the music industry as well. Gotta love the internet, right? The best talent is brushed to the wayside far too often.

Meghan: What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?

C. Derick Miller: There’s a scene in Far from Home where the protagonist is forced to watch his own daughter be sexually assaulted. I have three daughters. You get the picture. I wanted to write a disturbing scene and that was the most disturbing thing I could think of.

Meghan: What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

C. Derick Miller: It’s a lot less extreme than most of the indie horror titles floating around out there. I was just contracted for my first ‘extreme’ horror novella. I’m a little nervous about putting those thoughts on paper.

Meghan: How important is the book title, how hard is it to choose the best one, and how did you choose yours (of course, with no spoilers)?

C. Derick Miller: I feel the title is the bait, not the cover. My upcoming novella was originally titled ‘The Screaming of The Trees’. It was too ‘on the nose’ for the subject matter. I wanted it to be a little more mysterious. One night, my wife reminded me to pick up the cat food because our cat Zoe was going to the veterinarian in the morning. Starving Zoe was exactly the title I was looking for, so I went with it!

Meghan: What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?

C. Derick Miller: Novel. Novels are like relationships. Short stories are more like one-night stands. I can knock out a lengthy short story in a matter of hours compared to the months of dedication it takes to complete a novel.

Meghan: Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your stories.

C. Derick Miller: The ‘Home’ series and Extinguished are dark fiction but I’m beginning to cross the boundary into extreme horror. I don’t necessarily have a target audience, but most of my readers appear to be women! My protagonists are all normal, downtrodden people who rise to the occasion when needed. Now that I think about it, female characters have all been the victors in my fiction novels. For decades, women were the unlikely hero in any fiction. I hated that. I have three strong adult daughters and a strong wife. No victims in this family.

Meghan: Can you tell us about some of the deleted scenes/stuff that got left out of your work?

C. Derick Miller: When A Taste of Home was just a short story, I’d originally written the protagonist’s daughter Katie to die at the hands of her werewolf father, thus the title of the novel. Instead, I kept her alive for a stronger, unexpected ending. She’s the main character in the sequel and it really gave me a chance to flesh her out rather than have her torn to pieces!

Meghan: What is in your “trunk”?

C. Derick Miller: I have several songs I’ve written just sitting in a file on my computer. Four of them have been recorded over the years but there are tons more. Rather than wait on a needy musician, I’m learning to play the guitar. Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll record them instead!

Meghan: What can we expect from you in the future?

C. Derick Miller: I’m part of an upcoming Splatter Western box set from Death’s Head Press. Think Splatterpunk with an old west twist. I also have outlines completed for a Far from Home and Extinguished sequel. My wife and I also have our first children’s book in the works using my story and her illustrations.

Meghan: Where can we find you?

C. Derick Miller: My website is a one stop shop. I blog often and have links to all my social media there. My wife and I also record a weekly podcast called Butterflies Make Me Angry! We discuss books, film, politics, and anything else on our minds. We can be found on Podbean, Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube!

Meghan: Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you’d like to say that we didn’t get to cover in this interview?

C. Derick Miller: Surround yourself with creative people. Encourage each other. Build a family of writers and cling to one another for dear life. In the end, no one else understands us!

Home 1: A Taste of Home

Toby Liberman is nearing the end of his rope. After a fateful confrontation with his wife’s lover, he is chased into the woods only to be discovered by an unidentifiable creature. He is attacked and rendered unconscious. Upon waking at the scene of a gruesome triple homicide, Toby is arrested as the sole suspect and thrown into a jail cell with a strange man that knows way too much about his predicament. The stranger reveals to Toby that he now possesses the curse of the werewolf. Using his new-found strength to flee his captors, Toby begins to discover that things are not what they seem in the sleepy town of Twin Oaks, TX. Now hunted by law enforcement, as well as the town’s gun toting civilians, Toby seeks vengeance against his false accusers and embarks upon a quest to clear his name once and for all.

Home 2: Far from Home

A Curse Beyond Comprehension. A Power Beyond Belief. A Girl Far From Home.Katie Liberman is your typical eighteen-year-old college student…or at least that’s what her family thinks. Picking up five years after the events of A Taste of Home, Katie has dropped out of school and embarked upon a dangerous quest to find Kurt Jimmerson, the New York City attorney responsible for her family’s werewolf curse. Unknown to her, the attorney’s grip on the ‘City That Never Sleeps’ is tighter than imagined and she’ll need any and all help available to be victorious. But… where do you find friends when you’re Far From Home?

Diary of a Gonzo Ghost Hunter

Most people run away from the unknown. Me? I chose to run toward it and never look back. Unaware of the consequences of my actions in small town Texas, I dove deep into paranormal research. It consumed my entire life. Taken from a decade of personal journals and interpreted by Rae Louise, Diary of a Gonzo Ghost Hunter is an extremely honest journey down a road less traveled. What shadows lurk in the darkness outside of bedroom doors? I was determined to find out.

What’s it like to walk in the shoes of a ghost hunter? It’s all here. As someone who lived through what you’re about to experience, it is difficult for me to read. For some, it will be the fuel that drives their curiosity. But for others … let it be a warning. Every step you take toward the dead leads you further from the living.

And Hell Followed: An Anthology

Seventeen authors re-imagine the biblical apocalypse and all the hell that follows in sixteen horrifying tales. What if the prophecies of Revelation hit today? What sort of craziness and evil would ensue? With this list of excellent authors contributing, it’s sure to be a Hell of a read! 

Wrath James White 
Sam West 
The Sisters of Slaughter 
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C Derick Miller 
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Patrick C. Harrison III 
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James Watts 
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Mark Deloy 
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Dark fiction author to read excerpts of latest novel at Uptown Forum

Greenville-born dark fiction author C. Derick Miller will read excerpts from his newest novel, “Extinguished,” at the Uptown Forum Saturday.

Combining elements of the supernatural horror, adventure and superhero genres, “Extinguished” tells the story of a young woman firefighter, Angel Burns, who comes across a ceremony where its participants are attempting to summon a demon – an experience that reawakens in her both long-repressed memories and long-forgotten supernatural powers. The heroine eventually finds herself on the payroll of the Vatican, and is put on a mission to keep the surviving Gutenberg Bibles out of the clutches demonic forces.

Released on Aug. 1, Miller’s latest book is available for purchase on Amazon.com, Miller’s own website CDerickMiller.com, and his publisher’s page DeathsHeadPress.com.

“Extinguished” is the sixth work of Miller’s that has been published within the two years, following three novels and two short stories that appeared in anthologies.

Planned future projects of Miller’s include a graphic novel adaptation of “Extinguished” and a children’s book, titled “Cherish This Life.”

On Saturday, Miller will both read excerpts from “Extinguished” and sign copies at the Uptown Forum, located at 2610 Lee Street, from noon to 2 p.m.

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At Frightmare
C. Derick Miller attends Dallas Frightmare Weekend in May, where he sold out of copies of his two most recent novels, “A Taste of Home” and “Far From Home.”Courtesy photo

     

Combining elements of the supernatural horror, adventure and superhero genres, Greenville-born dark fiction author C. Derick Miller’s latest novel, “Extinguished,” is scheduled for release on Aug. 1.

The book tells the story of a young woman firefighter, Angel Burns, who comes across a ceremony where its participants are attempting to summon a demon – an experience that reawakens in her both long-repressed memories and long-forgotten supernatural powers. The heroine later finds herself on the payroll of the Vatican, and is put on a mission in which she has to keep the surviving Gutenberg Bibles out of the clutches demonic forces.

“I wanted to write a novel with a strong female lead and I decided to base it off of a female first responder because I thought it would be a cool idea to turn into a story,” Miller told the Herald-Banner.

Long after deciding to write a novel that featured a firefighter as its main protagonist, Miller – who now lives in Dallas – was moved by how quickly first responders in Greenville rose to the challenge after violent, 85 mph winds and flying debris caused widespread damage in his hometown on June 19.

The tireless work of Greenville’s firefighters, EMTs and police officers after the storm inspired him to offer half of his royalties from pre-orders and the first month of sales after the release of “Extinguished” to first responders in Hunt County. The book’s publishing company, Death’s Head Press, has also agreed to match Miller’s donation dollar for dollar.

“Even though I live in Bishop Arts (in Oak Cliff) now, I watched the news and saw how first responders helped after the storm, so I thought I’d do a little something for them to give something back,” Miller said.

The anticipated start date for pre-orders of “Extinguished” is July 20, when the book should be available for purchase on Amazon.com, Miller’s own website CDerickMiller.com, and DeathsHeadPress.com.

“Extinguished” will be the sixth work of Miller’s to be published in the last year and a half, following three novels and two short stories that appeared in anthologies.

“I’ve been planning on getting some time off soon, but it looks like I’m gonna have to wait,” Miller said of his busy schedule.

One of the projects he has in the works is finding a comic book artist to help him adapt “Extinguished” into a graphic novel.

 “I really want to market it as a super hero story, so I’m looking through graphic novels, looking to find the right artist,” Miller said with a gleam in his eye.

Another upcoming project of Miller’s is his first-ever children’s book, “Cherish This Life,” which he plans to self-publish through his independent company, Gonzo Wolf Press.

“There’s definitely a market for paranormal children’s books,” Miller said. “I was at Texas Frightmare Weekend (in Dallas in May) and sold out of copies of “A Taste of Home” and “Far From Home” (his two most recent novels), but there was another author there selling paranormal children’s books he’d written, and he was selling three for every one of my books.

“He had them set up down low, where the kids could see them as they walked by. It was genius,” Miller said with a smile. “The hardest part of finishing a children’s book is finding an illustrator, because it’s pretty much a poem with pictures.”

Miller is currently working with illustrator Samantha Jean Cloud, and hopes to be able to publish “Cherish This Life” sometime next year.

All published by Black Rose Writing within the last year and a half, Miller’s three already released novels – “Diary of a Gonzo Ghost Hunter” and the first two installments of his “Home” series, “A Taste of Home” and “Far From Home” – are available for purchase off of Amazon.com, his website CDerickMiller.com, and at BlackRoseWriting.com

Also in recent months, two short stories by Miller – “Hell Paso” and “Nemesis” – appeared in the anthologies, “And Hell Followed” and “Dig Two Graves,” both of which were published by Death’s Head Press. Both anthologies can be bought off of Amazon or his own website, and also DeathsHeadPress.com.

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