A writer from the age of twelve, after earning a Bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University, D.M. Miller trekked a path from North to South to West, finally settling with her family among prickly cactus thorns and big sky valleys. Coming from a distinctively clashing gene pool, the author of the romantic interfaith Heart series has an appetite for going against the grain in both fiction and nonfiction alike, exploring the difficult themes of religion, politics, ethnicity, culture, family, ancestry, identity and most of all, love.
Miller’s debut novel, The Religion of the Heart, began what became an ongoing saga about one interfaith couple and their mismatched family of Jews, Muslims and Christians. Each character’s strong personality and even stronger beliefs often clash with the in-laws. The struggle to find personal identity and keep the peace within their lives plays out in realistic plots, filled to the brim with love and romance but also hate and discord. At this time, four books make up the series with more to come: The Religion of the Heart, Agony of the Heart, Secrets of the Heart and Holiday of the Heart.
Half-Jew: Searching for Identity is Miller’s nonfiction work analyzing the “mother rule” of Judaism, Jewish ethnicities and DNA. Partly a memoir, the book details the author’s personal interfaith experience.
Mexican Summer, her upcoming release, is a suspenseful romantic novella with just a dash of her signature interfaith theme woven into the action-packed story.
Finally, Dandelion Fuzz is a collection of poetry.
See her books on Amazon.
To learn more, check out the following articles, interviews and reviews:
1. Author Interview with D.M. Miller (by author Roger Bray)
Why are you currently reading?
Who are your favorite authors?
Any fun facts about you that you would like to share?
2. Interfaith Romance: An Interview with D.M. Miller (by author Simon Dillon)
Why are you drawn to the clash of the monotheistic faiths as a major theme?
Are any of the other characters based on people you’ve met?
What inspired the most recent entry, Holiday of the Heart?
Do you think interfaith marriage can work in real life?
3. Chissick Chat with D.M. Miller (by author Elaine Chissick)
What, or who, inspires you?
People who aren’t afraid to rock the boat to speak out for what’s right, especially in this world where the masses are brainwashed by a biased media. When it comes to writing, I’m inspired by authors who bring the reader into the story on an emotional level. Fluff is boring. I want truth, and truth brings out every emotion imaginable.
Quick Fire Questions …
Tea or coffee?
Sweet snack or savoury snack?
Real book or ebook?
Cinema or DVD?
Cat or dog?
Weepie or action movie?
Read the answers to those questions and more here.
4. 20 Questions (Almost) with Author D.M. Miller (by the very funny author Dan Alatorre)
What makes you so damn interesting anyway?
Because I write about things others don’t, and I am not afraid to tackle controversial issues. I go where others don’t dare because political correctness doesn’t scare me away.
What is the single most important quality in a novel; what must an author do to win you over?
Emotion. I need it, like a drug. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s reading a romance with no emotion.
Do you hate cats?
Read the answer to that and more here.
5. Religion, Agony and Secrets… The Novels of D.M. Miller (featured by author Simon Dillon)
On Valentine’s Day I normally favour a bit of counter-programming on this blog, rather than slavishly adhere to calendar observance. However, this year I think it is worth promoting fellow author DM Miller, who has written an unusual romantic trilogy. The Religion of the Heart, The Agony of the Heart and Secrets of the Heart are not the kinds of novels I would normally choose to read. However, because the novels centre around interfaith romance, I was interested purely because I have explored this territory a little myself (in my novel Love vs Honour).
DM Miller’s novels are radically different to Love vs Honour, but nonetheless raise many fascinating religious and political questions, in their fearless examination of the challenges faced by those in interfaith marriage…
6. Guest Post and Book Spotlight with D.M. Miller (featured during Diverse Books Month on the blog of authors Rivka Spicer and Ivory Quinn)
Call me crazy, but I believe in writing with a purpose. Lighthearted stories to pass the time can be entertaining and may even be just what the doctor ordered if you’re looking to escape whatever personal drama may be going on in your life. Actually, that’s why they call it “escapism.”
But then there is another type of reader, who wants to read something meaningful, a book that has something to say and that makes you feel. Some readers want to be able to identify with a character or a story, or both. That describes me, both as a writer and a reader.
It has been difficult for me to connect with the bulk of popular fiction these days. Am I alone in that?
Who is your favourite character of your books?
Abdul and Catherine are the protagonists from my “Heart” series, and this may surprise you, but I have more fun writing Abdul’s character than Catherine’s. He was born into a wealthy Egyptian Muslim family and lived a somewhat secluded life as he didn’t go to school but was taught by tutors. After moving to England, his parents worried about the West corrupting him, and he didn’t get to really break out until he went to university. However, with education being so important to his family, he was able to become a free-thinker and form his own opinions on things. Still, he struggles between his Middle Eastern upbringing, the very different Western culture, and his own emotions. Catherine is a Jew, and he’s supposed to hate Jews, but he knows what he feels.
Read more here.
What research has went into your books?
The research for these books was so intense, I spent far more hours learning than actually writing. Much of it, I already knew, but I had to delve even deeper into Judaism, Islam and Christianity, Egyptian culture and Egyptian Arabic, which has its own dialect. When I research, I never rely on one source but multiple sources. I read, then read some more, then talk to people and talk to more people, then read again. My research was so extensive, a friend of mine said, “Ok. Enough’s enough already. Publish this thing!” This was after four years.
To me there is a theme and a message that has went into your two books, can you tell me a little more about what this is?
My books point out some of our differences, but they also show our similarities. Are these cultural clashes too much for a relationship to bear? When you strip us down completely, we are men and women with the same issues as any other men and women, but at the same time, our cultures and religions have a tremendous impact on our way of thinking. Even if we’re secular, the influence is there, and no matter how we feel, our families can destroy everything if we let them. Beyond that, I’ll let the reader decide.
Read on here.
9. Review of The Religion of the Heart on The Times of Israel by Chip Blumberg:
“… The Religion of the Heart by DM Miller, captured me almost immediately after reading just the first few pages and I found it so compelling that I felt as though I simply had to read more, which surprised me to be quite truthful. I tend to read what I do read, late at night, when it’s quiet and there are no distractions. There were indeed some rather late nights and bleary tired eyes because of this novel, as I literally couldn’t put the book down. As an aside and somewhat germane to this review, when I was an AM radio talk host and I received a book to review prior to interviewing a guest on air, I’d read the flyleaf and perhaps a chapter or two to get the flavor and then put it down, for good. But this time it was somehow refreshingly and amazingly different…”
Read on here.
10. Review of Secrets of the Heart by author Maria Gibbs:
“… Once more I commend this author for the storyline and for the strong, consistent characters who have grown as people over the three books. This author is going from strength to strength. I highly recommend you read her books.
“An easy five stars from me.”
Read on here.