Meet Novelist Wendy Paine Miller

Wendy Paine Miller writes contemporary women’s fiction, pulsing with broken characters and probing moral questions. Her works have been published in multiple anthologies and online sites. Writing helps Wendy better understand the world around her. Her passion for crafting novels wakes her up, invigorating her to explore ways to intentionally engage with her surroundings.

As a mother to three girls, Wendy uses a great deal of ingenuity when it comes to finding time to write and edit. Other hats she’s worn include soccer coach, caregiver for an aging dog, and assistant in her church’s mom’s group. She graduated with a BA in English, writing concentration. In college she earned an Honor of Distinction for her accrued knowledge of literature. Her background in marketing and communications has provided her with valuable insight as she ventures ahead in this ever-fluctuating industry.

Wendy feels most alive when she’s spending time with loved ones, speeding in a boat, reading, writing, refurbishing furniture, and trusting God.


Wendy’s Writing

You’re a wordsmith of the highest order, putting words together in ways others would never think of. When did your love affair with words begin?

What a fabulous question. I think as a child I discovered I wasn’t able to verbally communicate as well as I’d hoped. I expressed myself much more succinctly when I wrote my feelings down as opposed to speaking them. My journals as a child were the conduit to that love affair.

When did your penchant for crafting your tales turn into a serious pursuit of publication as a novelist?

My passion moved from nonfiction to fiction four years ago and I dabbled in the pursuit a year later. I received an immediate positive response, but I quickly ascertained I wasn’t ready yet. I spent the next three years developing my craft and growing confident in my genre, while enthusiastically building my platform. I’d say the pursuit turned serious last year at the ACFW conference when I pitched my fourth novel.

And published you have been. Where? What have your ventures into the publishing world taught you?

Four of my short stories have appeared in Christian Fiction Online. My nonfiction works have been in several anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms and Love is a Flame. And I’ve written for numerous online sites and have blogged a book worth of posts. I’ve learned it’s worth it to take risks. And I’ve learned that the process takes time…not to rush it.

I remember hearing that you’ve completed five stories and are working on a sixth. What do they have in common, and how do they differ?

Wow, would you believe I’ve completed six and I’m working on a seventh now? The common thread is that I tell the stories of raw characters dealing with complex life struggles, but I will say each of their stories is so individual for me. They don’t bleed into each other at all, other than that they’re women and they feel passionately about something.

You finaled in the Novel Matters Audience-With-An-Agent contest in 2010. Please tell us about that experience, what it meant to you, and how you reacted when you heard the exciting news.

I was greatly honored to final in that contest. I admire the writers on that blog and in many ways they’ve become like mentors to me. Honestly, I heard not long after my dad had died and it felt like rain on my parched soul. I fell to my knees and thanked God for the goodness.

Wendy’s Vision

Your view of the world is unlike that of anyone else. You see life in vibrant color—with no lines to constrain, confuse, or confound you. I invite you to give us a glimpse of your views on three things. Since you write women’s fiction with an inspirational aspect, I’ll use themes often explored in that particular genre.

What is your vision for family?

I cannot say enough about grace. I think because I’ve experienced it so intimately in my own life, I’ve woven grace-filled responses throughout my novels.

What is your vision for characters facing life-altering challenges?

I’m going with an all G theme with my answers and for this question I’ll say growth. I love to be surprised by what my characters learn. Believe it or not, I’ll often learn from their growth and how they come through a gut-wrenching situation. Isn’t that wild, that God could use our writing in that way?

What is your vision for those in need of a life-transforming infusion of faith?

I’ll say gradual for this one. I think as Christians sometimes we have this overnight “Are you saved?” type expectation of someone once they’ve heard the message. And the truth is I’ve been a Christian for over twenty years and I still struggle with my faith. I know God’s working in me, but it feels much more like how I feel when I work on a piece of furniture, taking my time with it, as opposed to ripping off a Band-Aid.

Let’s Learn More About Wendy

Like Wendy, I delve deeply at times. I did just that when I visited her website and blog, seeking to learn everything I can about this fascinating woman who embraces life with all the wonder of a child, ready and eager to learn all she can about herself, others, and the world around her. As I soaked in the essence of this vibrant soul, I found some unanswered questions and want to see if I can coax Wendy to explore them with us.

You have a journal containing your “bucket list.” What are some items topping that list?

I want to run a half marathon, publish four books, and go to New Zealand. Those are some biggies.

You can envision yourself as a stand-up comedian in front of an applauding crowd. What topics would you choose for your routine? Would they be funny things that have happened to others, or would you pull tidbits from the archives of your life and put your own unique spin on them?

Most likely I’d poke fun at myself. I create a wealth of material every day and I’m a natural at finding the funny in my quirkiness.

Everything in your life changed when you were fifteen? Why was that?

I understood God’s grace for the first time.

Spoons make you smile. What are some of the most memorable things you’ve done with a spoon or savored from a spoon?

This is embarrassing to admit, but I found a spoon once on the sidewalk, took it home, gave it a good wash, then hung it in my house. (I was just out of college…does this make more sense now?) I also have four spoons hanging like musical notes in my dining room now. They make me happy, what can I say? 🙂

You say that you’re an amalgamation of every place you’ve ever lived. Where have you lived? Of those places, which hold the most treasured memories?

Let’s see if I can recollect…England, Germany, CT (two locations), OH (three locations), GA, KY (two locations) & WA (two locations).

Oh, tough question. Most treasured memories would likely be from Connecticut. My time is adding up in that state, so maybe that makes it an unfair question. I also attended school in CT from first grade until I graduated and moved to college. Those are influential years.

Wendy’s Question for You

I’m weird in that I love music (LOVE it) but I cannot write with it on. But because I love it, I’m always curious what kinds of music others like.

So, I want to know…what’s your favorite song?

Where You Can Find Wendy

Visit her personal blog ~ Wendy Paine Miller ~ thoughts that move

Visit her group blog ~ The Writer’s Alley

Friend her on Facebook ~ Writer, Wendy Paine Miller

Follow her on Twitter ~ @wendypmiller

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About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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24 Responses to Meet Novelist Wendy Paine Miller

  1. Wendy says:

    It’s an honor to be featured here, Keli. A complete honor. I’m deeply grateful for the blessing you’ve been in my life.
    Love,
    Wendy

  2. Keli Gwyn says:

    Welcome, Wendy! I’m thrilled to have you as my guest!

    I have several favorite songs. One is Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, which is the piece that was played when I walked down the aisle to my wonderful guy. We walked out to Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee. Gwynly chose both of these beautiful hymns, and to this day I shed tears of joy when I hear them.

    Another piece I love is Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. It served as my muse music while I wrote, rewrote, revised, and edited my debut novel. According to iTunes, I’ve listened to it over 1,000 times. That doesn’t count the several hundred times I’ve listened to it while driving around in my SportTrac. I’m totally hooked on the glorious piece.

    I have far too many favorite 70s songs to name, although two that stand out are “Thank You for Being a Friend” and “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother.” These bring to mind the many wonderful friends who have enriched my life, friends I treasure as I do YOU. =)

  3. What an awesome interview. It’s wonderful to learn more about Wendy.

    I want to see your spoon chime. Do you have a ceiling fan in there to get it singing?

    My favorite Christian song is by John Waller, While I’m Waiting. For secular music, I tend toward country. My girls hate it, though, sadly.

  4. It seems I never stop learning about you, sweet Wendy! You like to speed along in boats and refinish furniture? And spoons – you and I will need to talk about this at conference.

    I know I’ll be reading your novels in book form soon enough. You are definitely an artist with words!

  5. Jill Kemerer says:

    Keli, you picked one of my favorite people to interview!! Wendy is such a generous person, gifted writer, and helpful critique partner. I hope everyone will be able to read her books soon, because they are just THAT good! More than anything, though, Wendy is a dear, trusted friend. I’m so blessed to have her in my life. Thanks for sharing her talents with the world!

  6. Erica Vetsch says:

    Love, love, love this interview! 🙂 You’re such a treasure, Wendy!

  7. Karen Lange says:

    Wonderful interview, ladies! It’s so nice to learn more about Wendy. Thanks for sharing with us. 🙂

  8. Ruthy says:

    Keli, great interview as always, and Wendy, tell me: Why are you so young and beautiful? and smart? And nice?

    There is obviously something grossly unfair and somewhat ridiculous about this equation.

    Seriously, delightful insight. I’m so glad I popped into Twitter and saw this. Keli, great job, hugs to you. And favorite song: Hmmm…. Hymn would be “In Every Age” or “It Is Well With My Soul”

    Straight up music? “Hello, World” Lady Antebellum and “Remember When” Alan Jackson

    I’m such a country chick.

  9. Fabulous interview, Wendy and Keli! Spoons…love it!
    I can’t think of just one song. I love so many, and I do write with it blaring in my ears. It’s wonderful to get to know you better. Beautiful picture of you, too!

  10. Wendy says:

    Keli, I could sing that “Thank you for Being a Friend” song to you! And Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring…I think that played at the 1984 Olympics. It’s the first time I recall hearing it. My mom loves that one, too. Special meaning for her.

    Eileen, My sister tried to get me into country the year we lived in Georgia together. 😉 And no, too bad we don’t have a fan in that room. Would make for a great story if those spoons started to make real music. And Keli asked such wonderful questions, didn’t she?

    Heather, Thanks a lot for the compliment. You are a dear buddy. That sounds funny, but I know you know what I mean. And yes, we’ll talk spoons (and even eat from some…desserts…yum!).

    Jill, You trying to make me cry? You know I feel the same way about you. God deeply blessed my life the minute our paths crossed. You rock as a cp and dear friend.

    Erica, You too! I can’t wait to hug you & laugh w/ you at conference!

    Karen, I was so impressed how Keli researched for this interview. She impresses me w/ everything she does. Class act!

    Ruthy, Maybe someday country for me…it could grow on me. I’m a weak soul, made anything by God and his abundant grace. Thanks for your sweet words.

    Jessica, Thanks, I’ve enjoyed getting to know you more too!

    Love being here, Keli!
    ~ Wendy

  11. Hi Wendy and Keli! It’s been a while.
    No that’s not my favorite song, though I do like it 🙂
    I, too, LOVE music, but cannot write with it on because I’m an active listener (a term I learned in a college music class). Wendy, you have a lot to be proud of, having accomplished so much with your writing, and all while being a Mom.

    As for the answer to your question, it’s hard to name a favorite song, or even a favorite genre, band, or singer. I can tell you what I don’t like, though—Rap. And hip hop, for the most part. Simple reason—no real melody line. Maybe it’s from those years of piano lessons and being in the high school band.

    Enjoyed your interview. I’d say your outer beauty is a true reflection of your inner beauty.
    Julie

  12. Waving to Wendy!!

    Love your last question, we must be more alike then we think…I asked a similiar question during my interview a few weeks ago. 😉

    You have such a beautiful heart, Wendy, I am uplifed whenever I am around you! So glad I have the chance to get to know you through the Alley. 🙂

    My favorite music?? Definately Christian, because I have found that so much of my praise and love for God pours through my lips as I sing. Can’t think of a favorite at the moment though. 😉

  13. cynthiaherron says:

    Wendy, I enjoyed learning more about you! You are beautiful–inside and out!

    My favorite song: Mercy Me’s “I Can Only Imagine” because it brings to mind how wonderful it will be when we finally see our Savior face to face.

    A secular song I’m partial to: “We’ve Only Just Begun” by the Carpenters. It was sung at our wedding and it still brings a tear to my eye.

  14. Katie Ganshert says:

    Love this woman. Love, love, love. And love. This interview ROCKED!!

    My favorite song…..probably my all-time favorite would have to be the classic, Amazing Grace. It never gets old.

  15. Lisa Jordan says:

    Beautiful interview, but I’m not surprised. Wendy, I haven’t met you yet, but I hope we remedy that at ACFW this year. Your blog helps me to look at life differently, but in a good way! My favorite hymn is The Love of God, especially the third verse:

    Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    And were the skies of parchment made,
    Were every stalk on earth a quill,
    And every man a scribe by trade,
    To write the love of God above,
    Would drain the ocean dry.
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    Though stretched from sky to sky.

  16. Two of my favorite ladies in one place…Could this day get any better? 🙂 Wendy, how fun to learn more about you! With your love of spoons, have you ever played the game “Spoons”? I need to bring a deck of cards to ACFW.

    And as for music, that is a major toughie because I love music and my favorite song changes every day (or hour). One long-standing song that was sung at my wedding is “Be the Centre”. You know how some people have a life verse? I’d say that’s my “life song”. 🙂

  17. Jeanne T says:

    What a fun interview, Wendy and Keli! I don’t know you, yet, Wendy, but I’m enjoying getting to know you better (no, not my favorite song–Getting to Know You) through blogs. Hopefully, one day, whenever I get to ACFW, I will have the privilege of meeting you in person.

    I love, love music, but I can’t write with music on either. My mind focuses on the lyrics, the beats, the harmonies, making up my own harmonies, and the story line in my head is gone. I have so many types of music I like, but some songs that come to mind are, Amazing Grace, Grace Like Rain, by Todd Agnew, Call My Name, by Third Day, and It Is Well With My Soul.

    So glad I got to read a bit more about you!

  18. Wendy says:

    Julie, Thanks for your thoughtful response. I don’t like hard rock. Blech. Not at all. And cool point about the active listening!

    Casey, Waving to you right back! Thanks for what you wrote. I need to go check out Keli’s interview with you. I’m so blown away by how much thought she puts into these. Excited to read yours. And thanks about the heart. I’m actually thinking mine is disgusting, but God washes it daily so that helps. 😉

    Cynthia, Thank you! And I remember listening to that song around 9/11 thinking how awestruck I’ll be when I can dance before Him.

    Katie, Yep that’s an oldie, but goodie and I love the story behind it, too. The line, “How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed” has a lot of meaning for me. Yesterday marked twenty years since I’d grasped His grace and yes, precious and entirely life-changing! Love to you!

    Lisa, I can’t wait to see you, too! You’ve been such an encouragement. Your song also has a history. If I’m getting the story right, I believe our pastor told us that one was scratched on the wall of an asylum. Powerful!

    Oh Sarah, that’s a beautiful choice and no, I’m not sure I have played that. Hysterical. We might have to start that up at one of the tables. 😉

    Jeanne, That would be cool to meet you in person. I love the way Third Day sounds and It is Well in My Soul is so stirring. It can get me at the saddest moments.

    I love that you all stopped by to uplift me and connect. What a great blog, Keli. So, so honored to be here!
    ~ Wendy

  19. bethkvogt says:

    Keli, you made my day! I’ve connected with Wendy via the internet. I’ve warned her that she’s in for a big hug at ACFW. But thanks to your blog, I feel like I know her so much better now. (I’m going to dig through my silverware drawer right now for a spare odd spoon to send her … )

    Favorite song? Right now I am all about the song “God Gave Me You” by Dave Barnes. My new son-in-love dedicated this song to my daughter when they were falling love. She walked down the aisle to this song when they got married two weeks ago.

  20. pepperbasham says:

    Wendy,
    What a beautiful interview and glimpse into your writing (and heart)
    I LOVE that you refer to grace so much. Wow! Where would any of us be!
    I’m so glad you’re a part of The Writers Alley and I can’t wait to see how God fulfills this calling on your life.

    Blessings,
    Pepper

  21. Keli, another great interview and I appreciate learning more about Wendy! Wow, what a blessing to final in Audience-with-an-Agent contest. (ahh,,.it’s all linking together for me now. Congratulations!)

    But really? Favorite song. You ask a lot! There are way too many good songs. I love “It is well with my Soul”, and about 50 faves from the 70s and 80s. I actually need music scores playing in the background when I write but I’m amazed when people say they can write while listening to lyrics.

    Wendy, may God bless you with publication for your fiction very soon. From your interview here, I’m thinking you have some amazing depth to your writing.

  22. bekah says:

    I visited her blog today.. awesome.. happy Saturday:)

  23. Wendy says:

    Beth, Not if I hug you first! 😉 And I’ll have to go look up that song. Sounds beautiful!

    Thanks, Pepper. It’s a fun group to write with. You are all so supportive and loving.

    Debra, Yes, I like those words…very soon. 😀 And I hope so…about the depth.

    Bekah, Glad you swung by. Great to connect w/ you!

    Thanks for interacting with me here. Keli is fantastic. I’m counting the days until I get to hang out with her again at conference! You all bless me.
    ~ Wendy

  24. Great interview, ladies! It was great to learn more about Wendy, whose blog I have frequented.

    Keep up the good work, Keli and Wendy!

    And thanks, Keli, for commenting on my blog! Great to see you!

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