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An Interview with Christina Milliner, author of Meet Clay Brown

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Christina Milliner was born in Queens, NY, and raised in Brooklyn, where she still resides. She holds an MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and running. Meet Clay Brown is Christina’s first novel, it was selected as a finalist in the 2023 IAN Book of the Year Awards and is available in Indie New York on the BiblioBoard Library platform.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

It was in high school I started writing poetry. I spent my high school years and some college years writing a few poems. In college I did a little journalism and wrote short stories that I would circulate around campus and to family and friends. I’ve had high school teachers and college professors who have inspired me to write.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I have been working in the social services field nine years now. I’ve worked with the homeless, substance use, and mental health population. Currently, I am a Care Manager for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Before this, I worked as a hotel housekeeper, numerous fast food places, and in an urgent care clinic. Something about me that readers wouldn’t know…hmm…I like rollerskating even though I’m not really good at it! I’m also super neat and organized.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

I have to say the best feeling as a writer is seeing the final version of your work. When I first held my book in my hands, I kept saying to myself I can’t believe I wrote a book. Even today I still say it. It’s a bit surreal to me. Everything from the cover to the formatting (little details) was more that I envisioned honestly. I was very fortunate to work with a cover designer who was able to take my ideas and turn it into reality.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

I hope readers walk away knowing that no matter what you are going through in life, there is a light at the end of that very dark tunnel, and you just have to be open to receiving it. Sometimes we allow our environment, upbringing, and people in our life to dictate how our life “should” be. And we shouldn’t. Clay’s story gives people hope for a better life filled with love, friendship, goals, and faith in God. I was told this book could be described as “real life tough faith.” It’s a book for anyone who can relate to that, or if not relate want to understand.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I’m currently writing my second novel, which is Christian Fiction (a love story). And training to run the NYC Marathon this November.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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Atmosphere Press is a selective hybrid publisher founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome. Our books have won dozens of awards and sold tens of thousands of copies. If you’re interested in learning more, or seeking publication for your own work, please explore the links below.