Interview with Michael Scott Miller, author of 'Ladies and Gentlemen...The Redeemers'

Michael Scott Miller works with numbers by day in the business world and with words by night. He began writing shortly after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania and has had his work published in the Welcomat (now Philadelphia Weekly) and wrote music reviews for the Wharton Journal while his wife was getting her degree there.


Miller’s debut novel, Ladies and Gentlemen…The Redeemers, has been downloaded more than ten thousand times and has received tremendously positive reader feedback, earning 4-star to 5-star ratings at Amazon, barnesandnoble.com, Smashwords, and Kobo. The complete set of reader reviews and comments can be accessed at http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/40309/ .


Miller grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and now lives in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania with his wife and three children.


You can visit Michael Scott Miller’s website at www.ladiesandgentlementheredeemers.com or connect with him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MichaelScMiller or Facebook at www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=1206880325.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Michael. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Ladies and Gentlemen…The Redeemers?

I made my first attempt at novel writing in high school but never got past the first few chapters. I still have the typewriter-produced pages and once in a long while, I stumble across them in my file cabinet and read them nostalgically.

The first spark of an idea for Ladies and Gentlemen…The Redeemers came to me about ten years ago when I was riding the train into center city Philadelphia for my job at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. As I walked through Suburban Station, I would routinely see singers or musicians performing in the corridors. I began to wonder what would happen if someone gathered together these seemingly destitute folks and molded them into a musical act. Could they come together with a music industry promoter and be turned into a successful band?

This thought stayed with me trip after trip, until it finally struck me that while I might not have the necessary skills to form and promote a musical act, the idea might make for an interesting tale.

Q: I love your title…can you tell us why you chose it?

Initially, I thought the name of the book and the band would be the Subway Surfers, comprised solely of musicians recruited from the subway corridors. However, as I developed the story line, it became apparent that the story would work more effectively if the characters had a greater diversity of backgrounds and baggage, which ultimately led to the concept of the Redeemers.

Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?

For starters, it’s different and not easily categorized. It’s a character-driven story about a down and out music promoter, the disparate musicians he brings together, and their developing realization of just how much they have to gain from one another.

When I received my first review that wasn’t from a friend or relative and she said, “This is the most entertaining story I've read in a long time,” I knew I was onto something.

Q: We all know that publishers can’t do all of the publicity and that some lies on the author. What has your publisher done so far to publicize the book and what have you done?

As an indie author, the promotion has really all been on me. My initial goal was to get the novel into as many hands as possible and get some reviews, so I posted the book for free at more than twenty websites including Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, goodreads, kobo, free-ebooks.net, and my own website. I also published the novel at Amazon’s Kindle Store for the minimum price of $0.99. With this approach, the book was downloaded more than ten thousand times. I have since priced the book at $0.99 everywhere, along with a paperback version through Amazon at $7.95.

With regard to promotion, my efforts have largely involved social media with the mantra of creating a presence everywhere that I can. This includes interacting with and requesting reviews from book bloggers, participating in online reader/writer communities such as Kindle Boards, Nookboards, BestsellerBound, and goodreads, and interacting through Twitter, facebook, and LinkedIn. I’ve also sent out press releases broadly, as well as media kits to local newspapers and alternative weeklies. The book will be featured in Montgomery Newspapers (a local weekly with a circulation of 40,000+) in the coming months. In addition, I maintain my own website for the book, which I created through Weebly.

I’m also very excited about my virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book. My novel and I are appearing on 15-20 websites throughout June with a combination of book blogger reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways, including copies of the book and author-autographed drum sticks.

Q: What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?

I’ve heard comparisons to The Commitments, which is natural I suppose, given that the story surrounds a mythical band with a heavy dose of internal conflict. The story line is quite different, but all in all, it’s a comparison I would gladly accept.

What I’ve heard most from readers regarding what makes the book special is how real the story feels and the emotional bond that readers form with the characters in the story.

Q: Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?

Page 73. Bert, the former music promoter, Charlie, the card shark saxophone player, and Dave, the classically trained piano teacher, are stalking Ethan, the guitarist and UC Berkeley student that Bert and Charlie met several days prior in a San Francisco BART station. Ethan has rebuffed their overtures, treating the two as nothing but a pair of subway derelicts. Along with Dave, the men have now come to The Grind, the college coffeehouse where Ethan plays guitar on Friday nights, in the hopes of performing for him to demonstrate their serious intention. The musicians are almost comically out of place, aging men in an establishment filled with college students.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

Absolutely. Readers have asked about a sequel, but I don’t think that works. Ladies and Gentlemen…The Redeemers ends right where I want it to.

I’m starting to sketch out an idea I’ve had for awhile about a very different story, still character-driven, but I’m not ready to say more about it yet. I think it’s one of those writer’s superstition things.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Michael. Do you have any final words?

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. I’m touched and flattered by my readers, and thankful to them for making me feel like I’ve given something back to the entertainment world.

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