Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stephen Miller

North Carolina born and raised, Stephen Miller is an actor on stage, film, and television as well as the author of plays, screenplays, and novels. Unforgettable moments in his acting career include swimming with Hume Cronyn, improvising for a day with Robert De Niro, carrying Bette Davis down a flight of concrete stairs, stunt-driving with Burt Reynolds, and delivering Laura Dern’s child, as well as three appearances on The X-Files.

His latest novel is The Messenger.

A few weeks ago I asked Miller what he was reading. His reply:
When I get into the research phase of a novel, I really put my head down and move into the library and all I read is stuff related to the novel I'm working on. I'm right at the cusp of that at the's like immersing oneself in a whole new world and I find it highly addictive. It's the learning I like and when I am doing that kind of reading, what I write is just a by-product.

A few weeks ago I was still wool gathering and I hadn't settled on the idea. I was free to read all sorts of things. I read Dan Simmons' Hyperion which I much admired for its extremely detailed and fully imagined universe.

Not only did I go into the future, I went into the past with Annabel Lyon's The Golden Mean. Beautiful book.

A close friend gave me John Grisham's Calico Joe which is a great gift for any baseball fan on your list.

I picked up The Hunger Games to read on the plane and devoured it. That's what I read when I was free.

Now I'm starting work on a Western (that's a much-simplified label...) and I recently finished the fantastic account by Isabella Bird, A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains, published in 1879.

Now I am starting Hear That Lonesome Whistle Blow by Dee Brown, which I own, for the second time. Mostly this book is for research for the next novel I am working on. It is a history of the tells the story of the rise of transcontinental railroads in North America. Brown's other famous book is Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Both are excellent.

Beside the bed, when I am tired of the research, I go back to the second of Philip Kerr's Berlin Noir trilogy, The Pale Criminal. I love the characters, the period and the place. Lots of complicated and moral issues.
Visit Stephen Miller's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Messenger.

The Page 69 Test: The Messenger.

--Marshal Zeringue