A Word from Author Anne Miller

The Last Photograph

Ciao, amici. Today I’m happy to introduce a new-to-this-blog author. Please help me give a warm welcome to Anne Miller, who’s going to talk to us about her debut novel and her WIP. Take it away, Anne.

The idea for The Last Photograph came to me back when I was in college, after I saw the videos for Garth Brooks’ songs, ‘The Dance’ and ‘If Tomorrow Never Comes’. I thought: why not write a love story that deals with loss from the man’s point of view? I mean, after all, what woman wouldn’t want to read a book that actually got inside a man’s mind, especially a man who was taught to believe real men build walls to close off their emotions?

The ideas kept flowing from there, but to get them down on paper – in a form I found acceptable to be published – was a far more difficult task. I left college – several times – moved back home, bought a house, worked three jobs at one point to make sure all my bills got paid, and so on and so on. There are a million reasons why I could’ve closed the notebook and shut this story away in a drawer forever, but only one why I never did: writing is my passion. I’ve been doing it since I was ten years old. It’s a part of me, something I would do if I never made a single dime from it. Sure, there were plenty of times it got tucked away in a drawer for a few months, but the idea never left my head. The notebook always came back out. I’d pick up wherever I left off and just kept going until I got to those two most treasured words every writer longs to type: The End.

Then I went to a workshop a writer was doing at my local library. I almost didn’t go. It had been a horrible day at work, I was tired, etc. Well, my sister made me go to it and, even though I was the only person there, I was so glad I went. The author asked me a very important question: is your work perfect exactly as it is? Well, that was a no-brainer for me. Of course it was, even though I had never really read it from beginning to end.

I came home that night and began to do just that, only to be horrified to discover how not perfect it was! I had even given it to some friends to read, and they told me how great it was. Either their expectations were very low, or they were talented liars. In any case, I spent a good year editing my perfect novel. I was proud of what I had achieved. I could think of no better way to tell Jake and Adrian Riley’s story. Now, the most difficult part of the writing process was about to begin: self-publishing.

I’ll admit, I used to be a self-publishing snob. That wasn’t “real” publishing. Anybody could do that. I wanted to be discovered by agents and editors who could put me on the New York Times bestseller list. So, I checked out books from the library, sent query letters out to editors and agents and, to this day, I still have a drawer full of rejection letters from each and every one of them.

Why do I keep them, you ask? To motivate myself. To say almost like I would to any guy who let me go for whatever crazy reason: you don’t want me? That’s fine; your loss. I don’t need you, anyway. You had your chance, and you will realize just what a good thing you lost in me.

It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen. There were many times during the process when I wondered if I would ever get published. So many setbacks and disappointments, but I kept going even though I didn’t know where I would find the money or the right people to do it.

But, someway, somehow it all came together and on September 8, 2017 The Last Photograph came out on Kindle. I still remember getting the notification on my phone as I was driving home from a hair appointment. I screamed so loud I was glad I was the only one in the car! Finally, after all this time, it was really happening! I was, and always will be, a published author.

Unfortunately, my mom got sick right around the time when all of this was happening. My mom was the person who introduced me to reading when I was a kid, and I dedicated my novel to her and my dad. She passed away about three weeks later, and my biggest regret is that she never had the chance to read that dedication herself.

If any of this has piqued your interest in reading The Last Photograph, it is available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback forms. I also have a website: www.millerslastphotograph.com where you can learn a little more about myself and take a sneak peak at the novel.

One last thought to take with you. The Last Photograph is my baby, born from passion and perseverance that has fueled ideas for a sequel and a third installation in the series.

I hope you love it as much as I do!      

Book Blurb:

Sometimes “Till death do us part” just doesn’t apply to soulmates.

When Adrian Cattrel first met Jake Riley, she thought he was a conceited road crew worker whose only redeeming quality was his unnaturally stunning blue eyes. But the more she got to know him, the more she realized there was just something about him she couldn’t resist. Four years later, Adrian is a budding photographer and happily married to Jake.

They’re on their way home from a family dinner one night when tragedy suddenly strikes. Now Adrian is transitioning between two worlds and is concerned about how Jake will cope with her death. She knows he is not the kind of man to show his feelings—that’s just not the way he was raised. His father taught him that real men—Riley men—never do that, but Adrian has tried to convince him otherwise right up until the night of her death.

Now the stakes are much higher.

Can Adrian—with help from another unlikely guardian angel—change her husband’s mind, or will he continue to live up to his father’s expectations, which could ultimately destroy him? As Adrian adjusts to her new role, she discovers that more than one person needs healing and that life still holds many surprises for her even though she’s no longer a part of it.

“The Last Photograph is a beautiful story of love, grief, and healing. I cared deeply about the characters, and several surprises kept me turning the page until the very satisfying conclusion.” — Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D. and award-winning author of Spirit of the North: A Paranormal Romance

Anne’s Bio:

Anne Miller was born in West Allis, Wisconsin and moved with her family to Caspian, Michigan at the age of two.  She has had a lifelong passion for reading and writing and began writing her first novel at the age of ten and hasn’t quit since.

Anne attended the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay for two and a half years, where she majored in English-Creative Writing with a minor in Communications. She still considers Green Bay a second home.

She returned to the UP after college and excelled at several different jobs which ranged from grocery store cashier, motel night auditor, and housekeeping, all of which enhanced her writing skills.

She currently resides in her own home in Caspian, Michigan and works as a full-time teller at a local banking institution.

The Last Photograph is her first self-published novel, with a second already in the works. She also has a website, millerslastphotograph.com, where you can find more information about her and the novel.       

Talk about perseverance. If Anne’s story doesn’t motivate you to stick with it, I don’t know what will.

Ever curious, I pushed for more information about her briefly-mentioned sequel. This is what she told me:

“My current work in progress is the sequel to The Last Photograph called Having Faith. I am on chapter eighteen, with no idea how many chapters total I will have when it’s all said and done. I do have an idea for a third book in the series, with a working title of Oblivious. I am also in the beginning stages of a based-on-a-true-story novel entitled The Road to Here.”

Please be generous with those sharing buttons and welcoming Anne into our wonderful community. Thanks.

Published by Staci Troilo

A writer fascinated with interpersonal relationships, the importance of family, and the relevance of heritage. Learn more at https://stacitroilo.com.

54 thoughts on “A Word from Author Anne Miller

  1. What a great story of Anne Miller’s journey to get to the point of having a debut novel published. I love her openness and honesty in sharing. This sounds like a heart-wrenching, emotion-filled story! I immediately thought of Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in Ghost. Thanks for sharing, Staci!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh wow Anne. So much of your journey resonated with me. First, your inspiration… those two songs you mentioned always make me choke up. Especially If Tomorrow Never Comes… I guess I imagine my own dear husband without me, and know he’d be a wreck. Then, your journey into self-publishing (being a self-confessed self-publishing snob, and then your subsequent rejection letters); i’m contemplating the same issues currently. Do I try the trad pub route or go straight for self-pub… very interesting to read your journey through these issues.

    Then you totally got me when you explained about your mum. My mum too got me into reading, and I just KNOW she’d have supported me in my writing, but she too passed away before having the chance to read my work. She would’ve been thrilled to have a dedication made to her, so maybe I’ll do that in my first published book anyway.

    I wish you all the absolute best for the book, and though I don’t usually do drama or romance novels, I’m going to make an exception for ‘The Last Photograph’. Have added to my TBR pile.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So many points in this interview resonated with me but maybe the most was your reaction to the agents who had rejected your ms– “your loss. I don’t need you, anyway. You had your chance”. Go girl! I look forward to reading your book.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wonderful premise, and men are trained to choke down their emotions from an early age. The idea of dealing with it in fiction is a great idea. Your path to publishing was equally compelling. Wishing you all the luck with your book baby.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Nice to meet you here, Anne. I love your tenacity to keep going. I agree with your comment about writing, I would also write if I never made a dime from it. And isn’t it nice when a book leads to ideas about a series? Going to check now and add it to by TBR list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think all writers have to have tenacity or they might as well not publish. But I think we can all agree we’d be writing regardless. For some of us, it’s as necessary as breathing.

      Thanks, Joan.


  6. Anne, congratulations on your book and good luck with the next two. Your journey to publication has been long and arduous but you made it! I am sorry to read about the loss of your mother – heart-wrenching.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Annika,
      Thank you so much for the kind words. The timing of my mom’s passing was awful, but the best compliment I’ve received is when my dad told me she would be proud of me.

      Liked by 2 people

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