Author Shannon L. Miller recently released her new Sci-Fi novel, Orphans of War.
Tara Nóra Éirinn: To start off, could you tell us a little about your book, “Orphans of War”?
Miller: “Orphans of War” is a science fiction I have been working on since 2007, back when I lived in China. At its roots, it is the story of trying to find oneself, of not being able to fit in, always sticking out. Being a foreigner in another country, these ideas were always in the front of my mind. The names of the 2 main human characters come from those of some of my ancestors roughly 300 years ago. It was a way to explore myself, while still maintaining my roots.
Éirinn: That sounds really intriguing. Is there anything else that inspired you to write “Orphans of War”?
Miller: I have always loved science fiction since as far back as I can remember. Before I ever got into fantasy, Sci-Fi was the genre I lived in. I think I put off finishing a work of Sci-Fi because I was waiting for the right idea that fit me.
Éirinn: I love sci-fi too, and fantasy; it’s fascinating as both a writer and a reader to be able to explore all the different worlds offered to us in books or our own imaginations. When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
Miller: I remember wanting to be an author as far back as elementary school. I actually used to write all kinds of nonsense stories back in kindergarten. When I was in 1st grade, I wanted to be one. I think I really contemplated it as a profession as early as 4th grade. Back in elementary school though, some adults tried to stomp out my creativity, and so I would hide anything I wrote, even writing under my bed sheets so I wouldn’t feel ashamed. A 7th grade English teacher brought me out of my shell, and my 11th grade English teacher helped me realize it isn’t crazy to want to be an author. Since then, I have never looked back on or questioned my decision.
Éirinn: I love when teachers step up and encourage their students to follow their dreams and to let their creativity shine. Those sorts of teachers truly are the best. Who or what would you say has inspired you most in your writing?
Miller: My mom and dad reading me stories as a kid really made me fall in love with the written word. My brother and I had a massive book collection. My favorite part was never the pictures but the words. My mom also used to babysit older kids, and I used to be jealous, watching them write. I put a lot of effort as a kid into learning how to read and write, learning new words, and reading up on how to become a better writer.
Éirinn: Just one more question. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Miller: Never let anyone’s doubts get to you, and especially your own.
Éirinn: That is great advice. Thank you so much for your time and for answering my questions. I can’t wait to read “Orphans of War.” It sounds really interesting.
Miller: Thank you very much!