Aicha Zoubair

Jessica Bell

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

#AmReading #Historical #WW2 - Getting to Know Fenella J. Miller

Tell us a bit about your family.
I have an exotic heritage of which I am very proud. My father was from Yorkshire, the son of a schoolteacher and became a squadron leader in the war. My mother was Anglo-Indian, the only daughter of the eldest son of the Rajah of Tajpur. I have written two books about an Anglo-Indian girl which open in 1939 in India. This first part of the first book is based on my mother's memoirs, although the characters are entirely fictional. I married at 18 and am still with the same man after almost 50 years – I have two wonderful adult children and three amazing grandchildren.
How do you work through self-doubt and fear?
When I started writing full-time almost 10 years ago I wrote with little regard for publisher or reader. This gives a writer the most incredible freedom and spontaneity – once I was published I had to write what my publishers wanted, to a deadline, and accept even the most heavy-handed editorial input with good grace. Constant criticism can harm your writing and produce self-doubt. This is the main reason I no longer write for a traditional publisher but publish my own books. Employing an editor, proof-reader and cover designer is quite different from having them imposed on you. I have just completed the first new novel in more than a year and I'm certain my inability to write was caused by the way one of my publishers behaved.
What scares you the most?
I don't like being high up or being in an enclosed space – but I wouldn't say that I am actually scared of these. What scares me is getting older and one day not being able to write any more or control my environment.
What makes you the happiest?
I'm basically an optimistic person, I enjoy the small pleasures in life. Such as seeing my family, a day out with my friends, a walk along the riverbank when the tide is up, watching an excellent film with my husband, reading a new Lee Child. However I am never truly happy unless I am writing.
What is your greatest character strength?
Determination.
What is your weakest character trait?
Eating chocolate.
Why do you write?
I write because I have to. It's the reason I get up in the morning and go to bed content in the evening. Much as I love my family and friends without writing my life would not be the same.
What writing are you most proud of?
I don't know that I'm proud of anything I've written – what makes me proud is that readers tell me they've enjoyed my book, that I get good reviews, that people stop me in the street to tell me they enjoyed my latest book. I take my work seriously and hope I'm improving with everything I write. I think of my work as two separate sections: Regency romantic adventure and mainstream historical – the latter are the books I hope people buy in paperback and want to keep on their shelf.
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
That is far easier to answer – I am immensely proud of my children and grandchildren and the fact that my husband and I have somehow, against all the odds, managed to stay in a happy relationship all these years.
What books did you love growing up?
Enid Blyton's Famous Five books and Adventure books, I still have some of my bookshelves. I loved fairy tales and fantasies, but by the time I was ten I was reading in the adult section. Leslie Charteris, Agatha Christie, Jules Verne, HG Wells, then onto the Brontë sisters, Dickens, Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. In between the adult books I was addicted to pony stories, Lorna Hill was a particular favourite.

hannahsWar
World War II brings divided loyalties and tough decisions in this page turning drama from Fenella Miller.
Hannah Austen-Bagshaw’s privileged background can’t stop her falling in love with working-class pilot, Jack, but Hannah has a secret. Torn between her duty and her humanity, she is sheltering a young German pilot knowing she risks being arrested as a traitor. Hannah’s worst fears are realised when Jack finds out what she has done and their love begins to unravel.
Will her betrayal be too much for Jack to forgive?
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Historical fiction
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Fenella J. Miller on Facebook & Twitter