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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mika Miller: Moving confidently in the direction of her dreams

Bestselling author Mika Miller has been a creative individual all of our life. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she has always enjoyed writing poetry, short stories and plays so it seemed like a natural revolution that she would write a book.

In talking with her in our exclusive interview, Miller told Conversations that she “never had any doubt” when it came to the success that is now hers. “Even when things do go the way you expect, you can’t dwell on the trouble.”

She was working a corporate job that wasn’t fulfilling to her and found the courage to step out on faith and pursue her passion as a writer. “I wondered what type of legacy I was going to leave for my son,” she said. This gave her the courage to do everything she could to make her career as an author work.

“African-American women need to seek the beauty of being a woman,” Miller said when discussing her book AND GOD CREATED WOMAN. “The characters naturally evolved. I didn’t really know their (the characters’) stories. At the end of the day I wanted to show the different facets of a woman. That was the message I wanted to convey. If life’s circumstances bring you trials, work to overcome them. Don’t give up.”

Miller went on to tell us that the manuscript for what was AND GOD CREATED WOMAN was already complete when she met Hickson, the man behind the publishing company GHETTOHEAT. She was drawn to his vibe and felt what he was talking about when it came to promoting literacy. The rest of their relationship is literary history.

As someone who is always curious about the give and take of the publishing industry, I asked her about the development of her book, beginning with the cover. “The vision (for the cover) was a 50/50 one. We talked about how the cover would be. Since there are so many books out there, I didn’t want it to be lost on the shelf. It had to stand out, but I wanted all women to feel comfortable about carrying the book. Hickson is a mastermind at whatever he does.”

I asked her what it was like to see and hear the feedback of her debut novel. “When someone praises your work it feels like you are being accepted. This is your life’s work and you want people to like what you write. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.” Miller also told Conversations that the lesbian community has been very supportive of her, embracing the story because it shows same-gender-loving women in a more positive light.

How did she feel when she first saw her book in a store? “It was very surreal,” she confessed. I guess it’s like an artist hearing their song on the radio for the first time. It was a lifelong dream come true.” She then adds: “I didn’t write this book for the money. I wanted to reach people.”

At the end of the day Mika hopes that she can encourage others to follow their dreams. “I want them to know that if I can do it so can they.”

And what helped her from the very beginning? “You just can’t give up. Dream big and then move confidently in the direction of your dreams.”

For more about the authors of Ghettoheat, visit http://www.ghettoheat.com.

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