*****Caryl McAdoo, you are the winner of the Celebrating Over Coffee with Naomi Miller! Enjoy your book!****
This morning I am so excited to be having coffee with Naomi Miller today. I just finished her book the Blueberry Cupcake Mystery and boy, was it good! I have my Coconut Mocha coffee and Naomi has her Green Mountain Breakfast Blend with hazelnut creamer. Pull up a seat , let me pour you a cup and let’s chat with Naomi Miller.
Will you tell us about your books?
Sure! I’m writing a series of Amish cozy mysteries . . . sweet, simple, fun, faith-filled stories with friends, community and a little bit of mystery thrown in for excitement. Last year, while working on another project, I felt God leading me to write a series of stories that show family, friends and faith in a positive light. The Sweet Shop mysteries are stories that leave you feeling happy and relaxed – stories to remember when problems crop up in your life.
Katie is the main character, and returns in book two to jump into the middle of another mystery! The first book focuses on Independence Day; book two will focus on the Christmas traditions and how the community celebrates; book three will focus on Memorial Day and book four will focus on Thanksgiving.
Want to know a secret? This is something not even my street team knows… the first few books in the series will take place before, during, or just after a holiday! Holidays are special times for family and friends, so I want to focus on holidays for a while.
Who are some of your favorite authors? Why do they inspire you?
I have many, many favorite authors, but for this question, I’m going to list several authors who have inspired me from my teen years, because they’re the authors who inspired me to write!
I treasure the Grace Livingston Hill books! I am always amazed at how, even though the technology in her books is dated, the problems and solutions are the same we face today. God is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if her character used a typewriter and I use a computer – we have the same problems, and Jesus is still the answer. Her books never fail to inspire and uplift me.
Although not a Christian author – and the name is a pseudonym – Carolyn Keene is the name associated with the Nancy Drew mystery series. My sister began buying these books for me when I was ten years old, and they taught readers to be honest, reliable, trustworthy, faithful, caring and brave.
About the time I graduated from high school, I discovered Janette Oke, whose stories showed the bravery (in the midst of hardships) of those who traveled long distances to start new lives in new territories. I followed Marty and Clark and their family, Josh and his family, Elizabeth and Wynn and their Northwest adventures. These books all spoke of faith, family, and community.
Why did you decide to become a writer?
I don’t know if anyone decides to become a writer; those of us with stories to share – must write. The problem comes in knowing how to write a story people will enjoy reading . . . enough information and dialogue to pull the reader into the story. Too much or too little, and the reader will lose interest.
When the stories in my head refused to be ignored any longer, I took classes in writing and editing, joined Facebook and Twitter, and forced myself to make time for writing, editing, and all the extras that goes along with it. Once that first draft was done, I knew I was in it for life – for better or worse. Some readers love my books, some detest them, but this is what I’m meant to do.
Do you travel for research for your books?
Yes, I do travel, although not as much as I would like to. I have been to several Amish communities and met some wonderful families, who went out of their way to talk to me, show me around their homes and take me for buggy rides.
Do you like to cook? Would you share with us a favorite recipe?
I love to cook, especially homemade breads. I enjoy the variety of adding a little of this, a little of that, and sharing the results with friends and family. My family’s favorite meal is something I do a couple of times every month on Saturday or Sunday . . . homemade biscuits and gravy, sausage, potatoes, sliced tomatoes and scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese.
My own recipe for homemade gravy isn’t easy to share – because I don’t measure anything. First, I pour a can of evaporated milk into a large, glass bowl and add the same amount of water to the milk. After frying a pound of sausage, I add ¼-½ cup of plain flour to the grease, stirring until it’s mixed together. At this time, I add salt and black pepper to taste. Once the flour mixture begins to brown, I slowly begin adding the liquid (milk and water). As the gravy thickens, I continue adding the liquid until the gravy is the consistency (thickness) that my family prefers. I pour it back into the glass bowl and it’s ready to spread over a homemade biscuit!
What is your favorite verse? Why does it encourage or comfort you?
I have many, many favorite verses . . . John 3:16-17 reassures me that salvation is for everyone! John 14:1-3 encourages me to hold on during hard times. Right now I’m working on memorizing Psalm 91:
(1) He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (2) I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
These two verses are especially comforting. I don’t worry about anyone or anything getting past God to get to me; only what He allows will reach me, because I dwell under his shadow. If He is my fortress, what is there to be afraid of?
Naomi Miller mixes up a batch of intrigue, sprinkled with Amish, Mennonite, & English characters, adding a pinch of mystery – and a dash of romance!
Naomi’s day is spent focusing on her writing, editing, and blogging about her experiences with writing. When she’s not working diligently to finish the next book in her Sweet Shop Mystery series, Naomi tries to make time for attending workshops and writers conferences. One of her favorites is the four-day event that the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) organization holds annually.
Naomi also enjoys traveling with her family, singing inspirational/gospel music, taking a daily walk, and witnessing to others of the amazing grace of Jesus Christ.
Naomi, thank you for joining me today. It has been so much fun getting to know you and you have been such an encouragement!
In honor of our coffee time chat, Naomi is giving away one of her books in the winners choice of formats. To enter, comment below with your favorite verse!