Once a month, we’ll be profiling a member of the STL Scribblers writing group at Central Library. This month, our featured writer is Lauren Miller, who has been with the group since its inception in 2011 (at another location, under a different name). Lauren’s equanimity and soft-spoken intelligence are widely appreciated in the group. Here she meditates on her own versatility and the relationship between faith and writing.
You work in a number of different forms and media: reviewing books, maintaining a website, as well as working on original fiction. Is it a challenge to switch between these different “writing selves”?
I find it invigorating and incredibly freeing. A chef may work with different tools but once he or she learns the basics, that doesn’t stop them from experimenting or excelling at whatever they do, be it trifles (yum) or Thai (yum yum!). Sure, you can market yourself as a niche writer but that just seems so limiting to me. That’s why on my website and marketing materials you’ll find I don’t define myself by a genre. I am a book reviewer, a reporter, and a writer. That’s where I am at right now and I am proud of my versatility and the range of tools I am acquiring for my ‘kitchen’, ready for work.
Tell us a little about the current project you’re working on.
Aurorae Rising is the working title of my current project, an adult science fiction drama that will run about 100,000 words when complete. My protagonists are two men caught in the crosshairs of national expansionism and advances in human genetics that are changing the definition of what it means to be human. Bound together as travelers on an airship voyage, one will struggle with a destiny greater than his ambition, the other to atone for the past. Both will grasp at this fleeting chance for absolution, neither may succeed.
How would you say your religious faith affects your writing?
What a great question, Eric. To answer that, I’m going to share with your readers something that I’ve never discussed before, my learning disability.
When I was about six years old, I was diagnosed with dysgraphia, a learning disability that affected my ability to learn how to write. I worked with a very determined specialist who demanded a lot of hard work and with my parents’ prayers and God’s healing, I was able to overcome my disability. By the age of eight or nine (I think), I wrote my first story and have been writing ever since.
As an adult, I have come to recognize moments of divine connection where the inspiration is there, I’m in the right place at the right time, etc. Some people might dismiss it as ‘coincidence’, ‘synchronicity’ or what have you but I recognize it for what it is — God’s hand ordering my steps. My greatest hope is that as I continue to mature as a writer that I will have more to offer my readers, more to give back to my community, and will be able to make a meaningful difference in today’s culture. Thank you for having me here today.
Learn more about Lauren at her website, http://www.laurenmillerbooks.com.