Each of us has our own signature style, something that sets us apart from others. You might have a flair for the dramatic, or have a passionate love for blue hats. Someone else could insist on only eating off green plates. Another person might harbor a secret passion for museums on Tuesday afternoons.
What makes the quintessential B? There are many things which I consider part of my signature style, and every one of them has shaped the person I am - and the writer I want to be. Movies, music, books which I've discovered and saved over the years. Here's a rare look inside B. Miller and what could be considered my inner workings - without these things, I may just not be me.
Y'all know I have a passion for Murder By Death and Stephen King. But did you also know I'm a Star Wars nut? It was my first movie - I was two years old and I saw it from the back of a Subaru hatchback, at a drive-in. My parents got the first movie (A New Hope) on Betamax when I was five. By the time I was six, I could quote every line of dialogue without the movie going. (I can still do this with most of the lines.) I've been told by more than one friend that I also specifically quote Han Solo's lines in my sleep. Obsessed. Yeah.
Star Wars gave me a passion for sci-fi as well. I love Star Wars, Star Trek, Babylon 5 (yeah, I admit it), Heroes, Dune, Stargate, all that geeky stuff. I'm a HUGE nerd. I can't help it; I've been that way since I was a toddler. Always on the outside looking in, that's been me my whole life. It's ok though - I think it's something that helps my writing. I've been observing how other people work for most of my life, taking in all the details I can. Now I'm dumping it back into prose.
I love villains. Often the villain is my favorite character in a movie. Some of my favorite villains from TV, movies, and books are: Darth Vader (aka Anakin Skywalker), Khan Noonien Singh, the Shadows, Randall Flagg, Sylar, and Rene Belloq.
I have a deep love for the South, specifically my home state of South Carolina. I'm proud to've been born here. This was the state, after all, who had the cajones to stand up and say, "hey, US government, we don't appreciate you taxing the crap out of us and trying to take away our states' rights without our say-so. So we're making our own damn country!" I appreciate the courage it must've taken for so many people to do that. The South has made me who I am and the writer I've become. This is a great region to live in and you'll find some of the nicest people in America living in the Southern states.
As for quintessential pieces of my writing style - I love to focus on tiny, mundane details to offset the weird crap I put in my stories. I bring in every sense of the character in my writing, focusing particularly on hearing and smell. I use a lot of Southern dialect in my prose, dropping so many g's at the ends of words that it sometimes makes my writing partner Gail Gray (a damn yankee herself, but we won't hold it against her) clutch her head and moan in pain. I like to put things together you wouldn't normally expect, then bring everything crashing down on my characters before allowing the sun to shine through the dark clouds again. I love horror and have a flair for gore - ha! It comes in handy.
What about you? What are a few things that make up the quintessential person that YOU are? Please share - I'd love to get to know you better.