WELCOME Scott L. Miller
Scott L. Miller
A licensed clinical social worker, Scott L. Miller earned his Master’s in Social Work from St. Louis University and has worked with adults, children and the elderly in state and private hospitals in St. Louis city and county. Long fascinated by the workings of the human brain, he quit writing exceptionally bad poetry and studied fiction writing under the late John Gardner and later at Washington University. His first Mitch Adams novel, The Interrogation Chair, was self-published in May 2011, has been rewritten and is due for re-release by Blank Slate Press in October 2014 under the title Interrogation. Counterfeit is the second in this series, but is a stand-alone work. Counterfeit recently took third place in the Walter Williams major work award contest at the 99th Missouri Writer’s Guild workshop for Missouri’s published authors. Miller is currently working on his third Mitch Adams novel, working title The Virtual Suicide Machine, which is slated for release in 2015 by Blank Slate Press.
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Q&A with Scott L. Miller
Writing and Reading:
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
I draw from personal experience and currents events. My writing deals with people and what motivates them to do good and terrible things. None of my recurring characters are based on one person from real life. Each book is set in present time and I always add very current topics of the year that are often hot button or polarizing ones.
Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
I used to never use an outline, even in school for papers or projects. For my first novel I didn’t use one. I often enjoyed the neat twists and turns that happen without an outline, but it took me too many rewrites and too much time to nail the ending. There’s a lot to be said for writing the ending first and working backwards (there’s a book on writing that teaches it) but I’ve found it’s best for me to have at least a basic outline of beginning, middle and end, which is how I started writing Counterfeit. That way, as I write I still have the ability to have those cool, spontaneous twists as each section evolves.
Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
About writing routine, I almost always write in the evening when it’s quiet at home, after I decompress from work and spend time with my wife and our dogs. I write in my study, with no set length of words to produce each day. Sometimes it flows, other times it’s a trickle.
Is writing your full time job? If not, may I ask what you do by day?
I’m a part-time, wannabe be full-time writer. Right now, I think I can write a novel a year while I work full-time as a licensed clinical social worker, but doing so means I don’t sleep very much. Most of my social work career was spent in psychiatry (I’ve worked with pretty much every type of adult and child population there is) but now I’m in medical social work.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Forced to choose just two, my two favorite authors are Robert B. Parker and Dennis Lehane. I would have loved to have met Mr. Parker but was lucky to meet Dennis and hear him speak. Gimme a good book with psychological suspense and twists and turns or a smart, quick-thinking protagonist with an attitude and I’m in heaven. The book I enjoyed the most over the last year was Gone Girl. John Irving is hard to beat for dialogue and character development. I could go on and on here.
What are you reading now?
Am trying to read authors who are new to me right now to broaden my horizons. Just started reading a signed copy of Blood is the Sky by Steve Hamilton who I met at a writing seminar last year and I like it so far.
Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
I’m working on the latter stages of my third Mitchell Adams novel, working title The Virtual Suicide Machine. Mitch bails out his best friend Tony Martin, who also appears in the first two novels. Therapists use Virtual Reality to treat certain psychiatric illnesses, but Tony takes it a step farther, the machine is stolen, and all hell breaks loose. It’s by far my most over-the-top writing, but man will possess the technology for what happens in the next decade or two. A sexy femme fatale is this novel’s villainess, perfumes, and the Middle East conflict comes into play. Due in 2015.
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
Funny you ask about Counterfeit as a movie…I had interest for movie rights from someone who works at New Line Cinema and an employee of director Sam Raimi, but talks fizzled. Also, there’s a little meta-fiction toward the end of Counterfeit in which Mitch thinks about actors who might play him if the story was made into a movie. Mitch mentions Clive Owen and Ryan Gosling, but I much prefer Clive Owen as Mitch. For Detective Baker I may go with lesser known Terry Crews (since Michael Clark Duncan has passed away) and for the villain John Maynard I think Aaron Eckhart would be a good choice.
Manuscript/Notes: hand written or keyboard?
About manuscript notes, I’m now conditioned to write on the keyboard, but if an idea strikes I’ll scribble it down whenever and wherever it occurs. I struggle to write a scene on paper anymore for some bizarre reason.
Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
For fun, of course I like to read, but also hike in Castlewood Park with my wife and our beagles, go to the horse track or a casino, and catch up with old friends while playing poker.
My wife cooks as well as a gourmet chef and her tomato and basil pie is out of this world good.
What if a man with the talent and patience to create perfect, undetectable copies of US hundred bills carries out his plan? Has a crime even been committed? What if he never spend a dime of the money on himself?
The last person social worker Mitch Adams wants to hear from is St. Louis Homicide Detective JoJo Baker, a man with whom Mitch shares a tangled past. Baker wants Mitch to see Lonnie Washington, a disabled African-American arrested for counterfeiting and armed robbery, believed to be suicidal while he sits in jail awaiting trial. The evidence points to an open and shut case, but Baker insists it’s not so black and white. Reluctantly, Mitch agrees and discovers there is more to the story–more than enough to get them both killed. At first Lonnie won’t cooperate, but as he begins to open up, Mitch comes to believe that the true criminal may not be the man behind bars, but the prosecutor who put him there–a man with far-reaching political ambitions, the approval of the public, and his very own Secret Service detail. With millions in perfect fake $100 bills up for grabs, Mitch’s life hinges on the word of a counterfeiter, the greed of a prosecutor, and his refusal to go down without a fight.
Genre: Suspense, Crime Fiction
Published by: Blank Slate Press
Publication Date: Oct 2013
Number of Pages: 248
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