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Our guest today is KNTR anthology author Mark Miller!
Mark Miller has sold movie projects to Warner Brothers, been a writer/producer on numerous network and syndicated TV sit-com staffs, a humor columnist for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, a current humor blogger for The Huffington Post, and a part of the Los Angeles storytelling community. He has also performed stand-up comedy in nightclubs and on TV. His first book, a collection of his humor essays on dating and romance, is scheduled to be published by Skyhorse Publishing in the Fall of 2014. Its title: 500 Coffee Dates: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Internet Dating Wars. But he says he'd trade all his success away in a minute for immortality, inner peace and limitless wealth.
R: Meow, hello Mark! Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in writing.
I grew up on the East Coast, in
My mother was a college English professor and instilled in me a love of books, reading and writing. My father was a department store buyer of women’s furs, coats and suits, had a great sense of humor and loved telling jokes. In college, I majored in English. After graduating, I accidentally fell into doing stand-up comedy for ten years. That led to writing for TV sit-coms and later, writing humor essays for the Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post and other publications, blogs and websites. Rochester, N.Y.
R: How did you hear about Kids Need to Read?
I first heard about Kids Need to Read when it was suggested that we donate the profits of the book to the organization.
R: Tell us about your story in the KNTR anthology, LOVE AND OTHE DISTRACTIONS. What was the inspiration?
My seven humor essays in this book deal with different aspects of my post-divorce dating experiences. This is an area generally not covered in school, so I’ve had to learn to navigate the ins and outs of the dating world through trial and error, primarily the latter.
R: Your background is in humor. How hard is it to be funny?
I think if you have a love and knack for something, it comes naturally and you don’t generally consider it to be hard. Singing opera or putting out fires would be hard for me. But writing comedy feels like playing in the sandbox. It’s really fun, except when I get too much sand in certain places.
R: Tell us about your new book of humor essays.
My (hopefully) upcoming book of humor essays currently being pitched to
publishers is a collection of 55 of my humor essays about my dating experiences. It’s called, 500 Coffee Dates: Reports From the Front Lines of the Internet Dating Wars. New York
R: What writers would you say have made the greatest influence on your writing?
Writers who have most influenced me include Woody Allen, Philip Roth, Dave Barry, Fran Lebowitz and Steve Martin.
R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?
I like silence or classical music when I write. And I think it helps when I’ve gotten good sleep, food and exercise. Or heroin and a dominatrix.
R: What is the craziest thing you've ever done?
I informed my parents, after all the money spent on my college education, that I planned to pursue a career in stand-up comedy.
R: What is your next project?
My next book is called Refrigerator Doors of the Stars. We all have a deep hunger to know exactly what things celebrities put on their refrigerator doors. At long last, our national wait will be over.
R: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Plotter. But while plotting, I mostly keep my pants on.
R: What do you do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or party tricks? :)
I exercise, cook, meditate, see movies, read, participate in storytelling shows, and enjoy hanging out with my girlfriend, Gail.
R: Where can we find out more about you and your work?
Follow me on my website/blog
Follow me on Facebook
Follow me on The Huffington Post
Follow me on Twitter
See my monthly humor column on Jewlarious.com
See my monthly dating column on JDate’s online magazine, JMag:
Check out my author page at The Los Angeles Jewish Journal
R: Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
Read. Write. Love. Work. Experience life. Floss.
Just for Fun:
Night or Day? .
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully)
Beach or Pool?
Steak or salad?
Favorite Drink? V-8 V-Fusion Light Strawberry-Banana
Favorite Book? Woody Allen’s “Without Feathers”
Favorite TV Series? “Seinfeld,” “Taxi,” “Cheers,” “Frasier,” “The Sopranos.”
Favorite Movie? “Annie Hall”
Favorite Actor: Al Pacino
Favorite Actress: Meryl Streep
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada?
Finish this sentence: If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be ___Benjamin Franklin________________
If I had just one wish, it would be______To eliminate disease. Or to eat for free at any restaurants I choose for the rest of my life. ___________________________________
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be __The Pope, just to see what kind of comedy writing he’d do. And I dig the clothes._____