Monday, July 1

Spensations: Spotlight On... Awoken

Hey Guys,
So today sees the start of a new month and a brand new feature for an amazing book coming from Spencer Hill Press.
Today I'm going to tell you all about Awoken, the debut novel coming from Timothy Miller.

Timothy Miller

Published By: Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date: August 13, 2013
Genre: MG - Fantasy

From Goodreads
Fourteen-year-old Michael Stevens has never been ordinary; no orphan who hears music coming from rocks considers himself a typical teenager. But life gets a lot more complicated when two-foot-tall, albino, doll-like men sneak into his room one night, transforming the harmless music into a frightening ability he cannot control.

Soon, strangers in black suits begin to ask unsettling questions while unnatural animals with mismatched eyes haunt the streets. They are hunting, and not just Michael: anyone he cares about is in danger.

With the help of a mysterious drifter, an annoying girl he's accidentally mutated, and one of those creepy doll men, Michael finds himself in the middle of a war that could forever change the world he knows - reconstructing the very definition of humanity

I am so excited to get my hands on this book. The cover is so awesome, of course since the awesome Lisa Amowitz (who was with us last month) designed it and it just sounds awesome. I am such a huge fan of music so to have that musical theme woven into the storyline makes me really excited to read this.

Now let me introduce the wonderful Timothy Miller.

Hi Timothy

Thank you for being here on K-Books and joining me for this feature.

My pleasure.

Well I am such a massive fan of Spencer Hill Press, including the new imprints Spence City and Spencer Hill Contemporary. What’s it like being a part of the amazing Spencer Hill Press family?

It’s simply amazing. Spencer Hill is crawling with so many interesting and talented people. Everyone has been so supportive and encouraging as I worked my way through the publishing process.  I am overjoyed to have found a place among such a wonderful group.

So you have a book, Awoken coming out with Spencer Hill Press in August. How excited are you about releasing it into the world?
Awoken is my first book length manuscript. To see it grow from a simple idea into something real and permanent is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I am more than excited. I am bursting at the seams!

So talk us through your typical writing routine.

It varies. I tend to do a couple hours of writing on most days, but I write significantly more when I am out of town and away from my family. It fills the hours, and makes the time apart seem shorter.

Before I begin to write, I have an idea in my mind for a scene or chapter. It could be a cliffhanger, or a twist that’s been bouncing around in my head for a couple days, or maybe just an action sequence or conversation that needs to happen to move the plot along.

 When I don’t have something I want to get down, I edit. I suppose there may come a day when I have neither ideas nor editing to take up my time, but it hasn’t happened yet. I suspect when it does, I will be lying in a coffin.

Is there any particular character that you enjoyed writing more than others?

I enjoyed creating Diggs. He’s like that worldly uncle I always wanted, the one who knew which cows the aliens were stealing, and where the zombies lived in the sewers.  

Are there any particular scenes that you enjoy writing more than others?

I loved the scene where Lina and a dollman sneak into Michael’s bedroom, and tussling and arguing ensues. Michael’s foster mom, Mrs. Wiffle, arrives to complicate matters, and Lina and the dollman have hide by clinging to the ceiling. Fun stuff.

So your book is about a boy with a magical ability. What inspired you to write about this?

The dollmen began it all. I dreamed them up in high school, and began a horror short story about the little devils that I never finished. I threw the story in a box somewhere and forgot about it.

Years later, my daughter found the story while I was working out of town and told me how much she like it. I agreed to complete the story for her, but by then I was a dad and wasn’t much interested in scaring my kids half to death. So, I shifted the focus of the story from the dollmen to Michael. 

So Michael’s ability is to do with music. Do you have a love for music that made you write about this?

That’s an interesting question. The answer is that Michael’s abilities came from a combination of a “real life” idea and an unusual experience.

The once heard that there are recorded instances of people who claimed to have felt an earthquake coming hours before the event registered on any seismic instrument. I don’t know if that is true, but it gave me the idea that some kind of sound or vibration might be given off by rocks prior to a quake, and that certain, special, people might actually sense or hear in some way. That was the first half.

The second came from a summer afternoon years ago, while I owned a car with a faulty seal along one door. The broken seal let the wind in, creating a high whistling sound when I drove on the highway. I was on a three-hour drive to a water park when that whistling sound became so much like music I turned off the radio so my astonished family and I could listen to it for the duration of the drive. It one of those bizarre and surreal sort of things. We still talk about it sometimes today.

Anyway, that’s how Michael’s abilities began to take shape in my mind.

Awoken is categorized as the Fantasy genre. What made you decide to write in this genre?

I enjoy many genres, but fantasy is probably my favorite. There are no boundaries in fantasy, no walls of reality to keep the imagination in check.

Besides, I like to think there is a bit a magic clinging to the edges of the world, kernels of something greater hidden just beyond the mundane.

Why not dollmen?

So is there any inside information or sneak-peaks that you can give us?


I suppose it is safe to warn you not to make up your mind too quickly about who the “bad guys” are in Awoken. In Michael’s world, things are often not what they seem.

Also, buckle up. Awoken has that out-of-the-frying-pan-and-into-the-fire thing going from start to finish. 

And finally what can we expect from you in the future after Awoken?

Well, I have recently completed, and am in the process of editing, a heroic fantasy manuscript. There are swords, magic, monster and all manner of heroic goings-on. The title hasn’t been set in stone yet or I would give it to you now.

Also, I’m considering writing a sequel to Awoken. I have a few ideas for a second book, but haven’t hammered out anything. Still, I am warming up to the notion, and my fingers are starting to itch…

Getting to Know You – Quick Fire Round

Contemporary or Paranormal? Paranormal.
Sci-Fi or Dystopia? Dystopia.
Hardcopy or E-Book? Hardcover. Can’t resist the feel of a solid book in my hands.
Bookmark or Dog-Ear? Dog-Ear. Bad habit. I know.
Book or Movie? Book. By about a billion miles.
Chocolate or Vanilla? What side of the equator am I on? Kidding. Vanilla.
Summer or Winter? Summer. I live in Wisconsin. Winter lasts like eleven months here. Brrrr.
Ice-Cream or Cake? Ice cream… Wait, can I pick ice cream cake?
Coffee or Tea? Coffee. I always drank the tea my grandmother made me, but I secretly hated it.
Nice guy or bad boy? I’m going to assume you’re asking about me here. I really want to say bad boy, but I think my family would disagree. Nice guy.
Isn't he awesome?
I literally cannot wait to get my hands on Awoken. I just know it is going to be awesome.

You can Pre-Order Awoken NOW

Leave me a comment.
What do you think?
Are you looking forward to Awoken?

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  1. Awesome interview. I got to meet Tim at BEA and he is a lot of fun to be around!

  2. Timothy W. C. Miller1 July 2013 at 23:09

    Thanks Brooke. It was great meeting you as well.


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