Intimate Conversation interview with Minnie E. Miller
Minnie E. Miller is a native of Chicago's Hyde Park, though she has lived in many cities over the past thirty years. She is an activist as well as a writer; has worked in politics since the age of eighteen. Her stories touch on political issues in metaphor—even her vampire characters in "Catharsis" are activists. "The Seduction of Mr. Bradley" is a political statement on humankind.
The Seduction of Mr. Bradley
Ted Grassley adopts and mentors Bill Bradley from high school to manhood. Ted is a CEO with deep pockets. Although married for forty years, he is bisexual.
Bill, caught in the throws of Ted’s lifestyle, complicates matters when he meets Jina Cook, a straight, attractive young lady. The two feel an instant attraction toward each other but both try to pretend it is not happening.
Finally, Jina makes the first move and Bill knows he can't live without this woman. Unfortunately, Bill has a big secret; he is bisexual and finds himself torn between Jina and Ted, his male lover and father figure.
Deep inside Bill wants a regular life with a wife and children but guilt makes him think twice. This spontaneous and deeply gratifying tryst throws him off balance. What happens when Mr. Bradley reveals his bisexuality to the only woman he’s ever loved? An emotional war.
The Seduction of Mr. Bradley is a moving and powerful story of love, humankind, secrets and discovery. ISBN: 978-0-9722013-2-2 ISBN: 0-9722013-2-7
Intimate Conversation with Minnie E. Miller and Ella Curry of EDC Creations.
Ella: Finish this sentence: I am Powerful because...
I am Powerful because I am marvelously mature, have learned much from humankind in my seventy-two years.
Ella: "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts.” - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Was there ever a point in your career, when how your life didn't match the theory? And how did you change the facts?
At age fifty-five I looked back on my work record and realized the longest I ever held a job was 4 years. That’s when I knew I didn’t fit into the corporate structure and needed to change my life. I felt I would fair better operating my own business. Of course, being close to retirement gave me the opportunity to leave full-time employment and survive on part-time work and writing, and soon Social Security. Please understand, selling my books offered very little extra income.
Ella: Minnie, tell us, where are you from?
I’m from Chicago, Illinois.
Ella: How did you start your writing journey?
What got me angry, off my fanny and into writing were the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings. In October 1991 Anita Hill’s charges of sexual harassment against a former employer, Clarence Thomas, were made public on the eve of his confirmation as a Supreme Court justice. The Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Hill about the graphic details of the allegations and about her personal life. In the end, the U.S. House and Senate chose to dismiss her allegations, and Thomas was given a seat on the highest court in the nation. That hearing woke up my feminist muse in a powerful way.
At the same time, I had been recently “laid off” from my middle-management job, which added to my testy attitude. I wrote many letters-to-the-editors of newspapers and others protesting Congress’ treatment of Ms. Hill on national TV. What happened after that experience was priceless. I started writing my first novel, “Blue Lady Rising.” The first edit was necessary, but I disagreed with the second. I became discouraged and put the manuscript in my files where it sits some 12 years later.
Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
Bill Bradley, the protagonist, is bisexual and Jina Cook is straight and his love interest.The two feel an instant attraction towards each other. Finally, Jina makes the first move and Bill knows he can't live without this woman. He admits he is torn between Jina and Ted, is not only his lover but also his father figure and the man who rescued Bill when he felt the desperate need for love. Bill and Jina have strong wants and needs and puts up a good fight with their emotions. My belief in love and humankind drove me to speak through Mr. Bradley and he didn’t disappoint me in this novel.
Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
The cover—red silk sheets intimating sexual goings-on—and the title, The Seduction of Mr. Bradley. Usually it’s the woman who is seduced between those beautiful, red sheets not the man. The back cover is also an enticement: “Bill Bradley is struggling his way out of an unpopular lifestyle. A debt is his heaviest burden. He has strong feelings for Jina Cook despite his relationship with his male lover and allows her love to sway him in his weighty decision. He is well aware that he is in a constant state of emotional war. Walk with him. Feel his pain.”
Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
My hope is that people look at bisexuality as a human trait like any other. Also, that Bill Bradley is brave enough to question his life even after many years with his male sexual partner. He comes to realize that men who lead bisexual lives often long for marriage and children, too. I was shocked to learn through research that some women tacitly consent to bisexual behavior in their man.
Ella: What is the one most surprising thing you have learned in creating books?
That I have a muse, the ability to fantasize and transfer it to paper for others to read. Amazing!
Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
I approached writing and self-publishing late in my life without directed education. I had a few writing classes but not dealing with self-publishing—it hadn’t taken hold in those days. I dug, researched, asked questions in various writing group to get enough of a grasp to self-publish my books. When I look back at that, I am very grateful.
Ella: What advice would you give a new writer?
The same advice given to me: practice, practice, practice. Always write something even if it’s just how you feel getting out of bed in the mornings. LOLWould you change anything about your journey?I would have started this journey earlier so as to have many more years of writing ahead.
Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m working on a manuscript titled Whispers from the Mirror and just received my first professional edit back. Rewriting is the most challenging part for me. I hope to complete the manuscript and get a book published in the fall of 2009. I also have another novel that I’ve been working on. Maybe I’ll retrieve it the file cabinet and send it off as well.
Minnie E. Miller