For unknown reasons, the word heliotrope, which is both a light purple color and a lovely flower, kept rattling around in my brain. Like my character Kit, I enjoy playing with words. Etymology fascinates me. For example, heliotrope is derived from the old English sunnfolgend. Language is not static and words are always changing. It’s fun to think of the historical and cultural implications.
Why did you choose the time period of the 1970s?
An excerpt from the “Author’s Note” may answer this best.
I suppose most folks recall their “coming of age” decade as golden or unique, but the seventies have been branded as unremarkable, a placeholder of sorts, caught between the far-out cultural renaissance of the sixties and the reactionary “greed is good” eighties. The seventies will be remembered for polyester, pet rocks and mood rings, but if we look closer, we may discover more. Our generation, the tail-end of the baby-boomers, grew up bearing witness to the assassinations of leaders we admired, endless footage of the Vietnam War, civil unrest, the decline of accountability. We should have been disillusioned. We should have been jaded. On the contrary, we were an idealistic bunch. We trusted in humanity’s essential good, that peace would prevail. Some of us still believe.
The seventies marked our culture’s last breath of innocence before hurtling into the digital age. Much has been gained, but something beautiful was lost.
What does your writing environment look like?
My favorite time to write is in the early morning, when the rest of the world is still asleep. A laptop gives me the freedom to write anywhere, but I usually sit at the kitchen table. Looking out the window to the trees and the creek grounds me. Though I hate to admit it, I also love writing in bed, surrounded by my sweet support group: a yellow Lab, Chloe and kitty, Milo.
I try to get up every hour or so. I might run around or jump up and down, anything to mitigate the sedentary nature of writing.
How long have you been publishing your work?
My first novel was published in 2009.
Do you have any routines to help you write?
Coffee first. Then, to tune up my brain, I play a version of online Scrabble. I like to win at least one game before I can officially begin my day—okay, I’m a tiny bit obsessive about this.
JC (Jeanne) Miller, M.A., is an avid reader, aspiring traveler and table tennis enthusiast. She resides in Northern California.