Julie Miller

Julie Miller

Q&A with Author Julie Miller

What inspired you to be a writer?

My mum always encouraged me to follow my heart, and while she never got to see me become an author, I feel her with me at every book launch, smiling the biggest smile and clapping the loudest. Two teachers stood out throughout my schooling years, like bookends, in prep and year 12, both encouraging me to write. And then there were the classics which I studied throughout my English literature degree: Homer, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Tolkien, and Lewis.

What prompted you to write the 'Remember series'?

As an author of magical realism, I’m always looking for innovative ways to solve problems, through stories and literature, to teach compassion and what it means to be part of a healthy community. I have seen first-hand the impact and lasting effects of social and emotional learning. I know that if I can foster conversations and understanding about ‘other’ people and facilitate empathy and connections for young people, then I can make a difference. My hope is that through my writing I can leave a little part of the world a little better than I found it. 

Do you have any more books in the pipeline?

I’ve got five very exciting titles on the horizon! The third book in the Remember series is written and ready for the illustration stage. Following Sam’s journey into the shoes of others again, this time with a unique theme, we’ve kept this instalment a tightly guarded secret, and I am very excited to share it with my team and readers soon. My middle-grade book is complete, illustrated, and ready for production: Doug Underhill and the Secret Guardians. It’s full of suspenseful adventure and is about growing up, stuffing up, and trying to make things right. For older readers, The Lost Prince of the Sea encompasses romance, mystery, and how far a mermaid princess will go to save the ones she loves. I’ve completed my first sitcom script, Ivy League, which is ready for market (please wish me luck). And lastly, I’m working on a sweet picture book with one of my all-time favourite humans and illustrators, but more on that later.

What is your professional background?

I’ve worked in education and training most of my life, including as a classroom teacher, literacy specialist, and an adult trainer. I studied at Deakin University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in English literature, post-graduate degree in education, and a post-graduate degree in psychology. I was published in an anthology by the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women, was a finalist in the DaVinci Eye Book Awards, and shortlisted for Speech Pathology Australia’s 2023 Book of the Year Award. I have also received a Meritorious Commissioners Commendation, the Disaster Recovery Citation, the Assistant Commissioners Shield, the Queensland Meritorious Service Medal, and the Australian National Emergency Medal for significant service.

Any advice you’d like to give aspiring writers?

Publishing is a strange industry where most people you will meet are incredibly kind, nurturing, and supportive. Then there are those who will make you feel insignificant, invisible, and inadequate. Focus on the good. Be kind to yourself.

Don your armour. We, as authors, can pour our heart and soul into our work, find a seemingly impossible amount of courage to actually send said work to someone who we hope will love it, like an agent or publisher, only to be ghosted, at which point our fellow authors (warriors, I like to call us) will assure us that this is completely normal, and to rinse and repeat. If you’re prepared for battle, then welcome to the trenches!

It isn’t all bad, we’re not sadists after all. The joys and highs are wonderful, like a little girl telling you she was so inspired, or bringing a grown man to tears. That stuff stays in your heart forever.

Who/what inspires you?

People who overcame adversity to achieve their dreams, and those who are still on the journey, working their butts off, resisting self-doubt, and defying the odds.

What are your hobbies, interests and favourite books?

My favourite books are the Harry Potter series, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

I love hanging out with my children, chocolate, a good cup of tea, having a laugh, and helping others succeed.

How can readers contact you?

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