A Few Quick Questions With…M. T. Miller

I posted about M. T. Millers’s Risen: First Book of the Nameless Chronicle yesterday (if you didn’t read it, take a moment now — or skip what I said and go get the book). Miller was kind enough to participate in a Q&A with me. I asked some Risen-specific questions and then a couple less-so. I kept it short and sweet, because I’d rather he work on his next book than take too much time with me, y’know?

What got you into writing? Who are some of your major influences? (whether or not you think those influences can be seen in your work — you know they’re there)
Misfortune got me into writing. Due to an unforeseen death, me and my SO found ourselves severely lacking in currency, so I took a ghostwriting gig to plug the leak and save the ship. After some time, having seen quite a bit of the more popular stuff first hand, I decided I was just as good. Time will tell if I was right.

As for my major influences, I’d say those would be George R. R. Martin, Scott Lynch, and on a less conventional note, whoever it is that did the story for the Nier/Drakengard series of games. I think his name is Yoko Taro. I see their presence quite clearly in my work. Martin taught me how to swing the axe, but to do it effectively as opposed to liberally. Lynch helped me with the same thing, but did so with the wit and style I can only hope to match some day. As for Yoko Taro, well. . . he taught me how to handle unhinged characters in a way that works.

How many stories do you have in mind for this? I assume you know what’s going on with Nameless — who he is, where he’s from, what kind of supernatural being he is and so on — how hard is it to give your readers bits and pieces of this information here and there? How long before he figures it all out? Sister Chastity seemed to know — did she? (feel free to not answer those last two — or to make your answer as teasing as you want)
The whole story is planned to run for some six installments, each longer and more complex than the last. For instance, book two will be roughly twice the size of the first one. Of course, I might increase or decrease the number in the future by splitting or fusing story arcs. We’ll see.

I’ve found it much easier than expected, and more fun for that matter, to spread little clues about. I’m not a very subtle person; I go straight for the throat, and I feared that the whole mystery thing would suffer for it. Luckily, I seem to have gotten it under control. At least for now.

Several big reveals will happen sooner than you might think, but answers always come with more questions.

The Sister has seen her fair share of weirdness, but her relation to the Nameless was more defined by his charity than what she knew or didn’t know.

In the writing of Risen, what was the biggest surprise about the writing itself? Either, “I can’t believe X is so easy!” or “If I had known Y was going to be so hard, I’d have skipped this and watched more TV”.
I never expected the epilogue to come out as good as it did. I wrote it in one sitting, and it came out absolutely perfect. It still gives me the chills.
“Horace” is a great name, but not a common one — is there a story behind your selection of it?
There’s a story behind every name, even the lack of one. For me, the name “Horace” invokes the Old West, the American Civil War, and the like. Given that the Nameless Chronicle is more or less “Old West meets apocalyptic fantasy,” it just felt right.

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