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5 minute video of Courtney Miller at Meet the Authors, Salida, Colorado, March 29, 2014

Courtney Miller talks about his background, blog, and book [Youtube version].


Author has the write idea:

Courtney in planter box with father planting cotton

Courtney in planter box with father planting cotton

“I was born on a small rural farm in the Panhandle of Texas where my only friends were imaginary.  While my father harvested cotton, I cultivated my imagination.”

“When I was very young, perhaps four or five, I hopped on the couch next to Mother and asked that question all parents dread, “Mommy, where did I come from?”  Ever calm in a crisis, she explained that I am Scotch-Irish, English, and Cherokee.”



EARLDELA“Once, at my grandmother’s house, I overheard my uncles discussing our Cherokee heritage.  Grandmother never discussed it and they were debating why.  One offered that maybe she was ashamed of being a “half-breed”.  Another speculated that maybe the family had always been afraid of being rounded up and relocated to Oklahoma.  It was the first time that I realized that there is a stigma associated with being Native American.”

“In high school I was fortunate to study under a very highly rated and extraordinary English teacher who liked my little stories and encouraged me to become a writer.  When I told my parents that I wanted to be a writer, my father cried and my mother laughed and explained that ‘you can’t make a living as a writer’.”

“The hard work and long hours working on a farm inspired me to look for something else to do for a career.  Becoming a writer was out, so I went to college to search for an alternative career.  After attending three major universities and four colleges, I finally got a degree in mid-management and spent forty years making a decent living in the business world.  When I retired from business, I turned to writing and based upon my experience so far, Mother was right, you can’t make a living at it.”

 “When I was around forty, a relative brought a family tree to a family reunion and stated that he was frustrated that he could not say for certain where our Cherokee roots started.  This inspired me to see what I could find.  But, after digging into my roots for years, I learned that the traits that make me a good writer make me a terrible genealogist.   A good genealogist is like a scientist demanding  irrefutable evidence to support each piece of the family story.  As a writer, I am prone to devise fanciful stories out of even the most meager fragments.”

“I have not been able to prove my Cherokee roots but have discovered that what I thought I knew is based on Hollywood’s fixation on the Plains Elsie Bass GuthrieIndians.  I found that the Cherokee were vastly different than what I thought and I have been motivated to learn more ever since.”

“My high school teacher, who is my inspiration for writing, told me that I should write about what I know.  But, since my life has been so dull, I have to write about what I am passionate about—the art, archaeology, astronomy, history and culture of Native America.”

“When I sat down to write my first novel, the characters were easy.  I just used my imaginary friends from my childhood.”

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