Welcome to Jersey Girl Book Reviews, JC!
How long have you been a writer?
I started writing stories when I was a little girl. I’ve always loved telling stories, but in truth, didn’t have the confidence to pursue it. For most of my adult life I concentrated on academic writing, being a full time teacher and a parent. When my son left for college, I decided it was time—now or never—to follow my passion.
Do you have a day job, or is being an author your career?
I’m a teacher at a community college.
Do you write books for a specific genre?
I find genre confining. I want my books to appeal to a broad cross-section on people, including men.
Do you have a special spot/area where you like to do your writing?
My favorite time to write is in the early morning, when the rest of the world is still asleep. A laptop gives me the freedom to write anywhere, but I usually sit at the kitchen table. Looking out the window to the trees and the creek grounds me. Though I hate to admit it, I also love writing in bed, surrounded by my sweet support group: a yellow Lab, Chloe and kitty, Milo. I try to get up every hour or so. I might run around or jump up and down, anything to mitigate the sedentary nature of writing.
How do you come up with the ideas that become the storyline for your books?
With my latest novel, for unknown reasons, the word heliotrope, which is both a light purple color and a lovely flower, kept rattling around in my brain. It all started with one word. Like my character Kit, I enjoy playing with words. Etymology fascinates me. For example, heliotrope is derived from the old English sunnfolgend. Language is not static and words are always changing. It’s fun to think of the historical and cultural implications.
What are your favorite things to do when you are not writing?
I love hiking, traveling, and I’m a huge table tennis enthusiast.
What is/was the best piece of writing advice that you have received?
If a beautiful passage doesn’t serve your story, you need to cut it. Grow a very thick skin.
What is the most gratifying thing you feel or get as a writer?
When “in the zone” writing with fluid momentum, the creative process is exhilarating. On the flip side, getting stuck is torturous.
Is there anything in your book based on real life experiences or are they purely all from your imagination?
I identify with Ruth in Believing in Bigfoot, as I’m a bit snarky, though not as cynical as she. The opening scene is based loosely on my own “real” Bigfoot encounter. Kit, in Heliotrope is the kind of college student I would have been, if only I’d been driven, focused and unafraid to be a writer!
Are you currently writing a new book? If yes, would you care to share a bit of it with us?
I’m working on a sequel to Heliotrope. It’s mostly in my head at the moment.
Thank you JC for visiting Jersey Girl Book Reviews, and sharing with us a bit about yourself and your writing career!
About The Author
JC (Jeanne) Miller, M.A., is an avid reader, aspiring traveler and table tennis enthusiast. She resides in Northern California.
Heliotrope by JC Miller
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Publication Date: October 16, 2015
Format: Paperback - 274 pages
Kindle - 2030 KB
Nook - 680 KB
ISBN: 978-1513701707ASIN: B016VROWJU
Genre: Coming Of Age
Buy The Book:
Barnes & Noble
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a book review program and virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.
Buckle up your Birkenstocks and travel back to 1975. Discover (or relive) the pre-digital age in Arcata, a remote Bohemian college town on the northern edge of California. Meet Kit, a hard-working, bookish senior, on track for graduation—that is, until she falls for Jonathan, one-time bestselling author, now her stand-in professor. Jonathan, a master in the art of deception, isn’t who he appears to be. As their bond grows, Kit’s desire blinds her to the truth— a shocking discovery shatters her faith and ultimately tests her integrity.
From the first blush of fall quarter to the final breath of spring, hard lessons will be learned. To “graduate” into an uncertain future, Jonathan and Kit must first embrace the present—including the injustices, ambiguities and absolute beauty of their lives.
Beneath the ever-changing Humboldt skies they forge ahead; they stumble and sometimes fall.
Heliotrope, a coming-of age story for the ages.
My Book Review:
Heliotrope is a compelling coming of age story that transports the reader back to 1975 where they follow college senior Kit Hilliard as she embarks on a emotional journey of self discovery.
Set in Arcata, California, author JC Miller weaves a thought provoking tale of a young woman as she comes of age in 1975, yearning to find her place in the world, while learning hard life lessons when a crush on her professor is unrequited, turning her life upside down and on a destructive path.
Heliotrope is an intriguing tale that features two complex characters: Kit, the college senior who is yearning to find her place in the world, while developing a unrequited love for her professor, Jonathan Wakefield. Jonathan is a one-time best selling author turned professor, who has his own internal conflicts and isn't who he appears to be. Their story is full of drama, internal personal conflicts, angst, romance, betrayal, life lessons, and emotional trials and tribulations that easily keeps the reader engaged and turning the pages.
The author does a wonderful job of transporting the reader back to 1975 with rich descriptions and references of the easy going, free to be time period, don't you just love the book cover! This complex story flows smoothly as Kit and Jon's story unfolds in a dramatic and tumultuous style. I couldn't help but find myself captivated by Kit and Jon's story, it is a delightful story that even took me on a walk down memory lane of my own college years! Heliotrope is a realistic coming of age story that captures the essence of college and of life's struggles and choices in a more hipper and simpler time.
RATING: 4 STARS
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Virtual Book Tour
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