Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Author Interview: Heidi Ruby Miller: A Lengthy Bibliography: Novels, Short Stories, Articles, Essays, Poetry

CC_Heidi reading
Heidi Ruby Miller uses research for her stories as an excuse to roam the globe. In between trips, Heidi teaches creative writing at Seton Hill University, where she graduated from their renowned Writing Popular Fiction Graduate Program the same month she appeared on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. The multi-award winning writing guide Many Genres, One Craft, which she co-edited with Michael A. Arnzen, is based on the Seton Hill program and was named #5 in The Writer magazine's Ten Most Terrific Writing Books of 2011.

In 2012, Heidi created the Dog Star Books science fiction imprint for Raw Dog Screaming Press and was the managing editor for the line for three years. Currently she is the Director of Professional Writing Relations for the Pennsylvania Literary Festival, an event she co-founded in 2014 with her husband, award-winning author Jason Jack Miller, and Matthew Dowling and David Slusarick, the producers of the GoingLIVE talk show on FCTV, where Heidi sometimes co-hosts.

Her formal memberships include
The Authors Guild, International Thriller Writers, Pennwriters, and Science Fiction Poetry Association. She lives near Pittsburgh with her husband and a cat and is fond of high-heeled shoes, action movies, the smell of Chanel, Tiffany jewelry, and tea of any sort.

Your real name and pen name?
I'm actually Heidi Ruby Miller.
Mouse Ears_2012_Twit
Please share some of the best memories of your childhood.
Walt Disney World! One of my earliest memories is my mother being pregnant with my brother on out first trip to see the Mouse—I was three. Later I participated in the Disney College Program for six months, then my husband and I ditched grad school to work there right after we got married. My family still takes an annual trip to WDW, and there aren't even any kids among us. I often thank my parents for taking my brother and me on trips to various locations when we were young. It kept the travel bug in me alive. And, thankfully I married an adventurer like myself.

About your education.
My undergraduate degrees are in Anthropology and Geography with minors in Travel/Tourism and Foreign Languages from California University of Pennsylvania. I also have a state teaching certificate for Spanish and a graduate degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, where I now teach.

Millers on set of Going Live_FCTV
What career did you plan during your education days?
In my high school yearbook, I said I wanted to be a romance novelist, yet somehow I only took one English class during my entire undergraduate career. The writing came much later.

What languages you can speak and write?
My native language is English. I used to teach Spanish and French, so I'm fluent in those as well, but am slowly falling out of practice with my speech—my reading skills are still sharp in both, however.

What hurts you most in this world?
Ignorance, hypocrisy, injustice, hatred, and cruelty—they all seem to go hand-in-hand.

What is your favorite genre and why?
Science fiction to fantasy to thrillers—it depends on my mood. Though, I usually include a speculative element within my work.

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?
I wrote "The Copper Kitty Mystery" in second grade for Highlights Magazine as part of a gifted project, and have been telling stories and making up worlds ever since. (By the way, the story was rejected, so the Copper Kitty still remains a mystery.)
Heidi Ruby Miller_author photo
What of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?
I have a lengthy bibliography at this point in my career, which includes novels, short stories, articles, essays, and poetry.

The far future world of the Ambasadora-verse is my biggest point of pride so far. The broad concept for this science fiction adventure series deals with a multi-partner, caste-ruled society where love and jealousy are considered emotional fallacies, nothing more than fleeting moods and sentiments biased by hormones. Relationships and conceptions in this world obsessed with celebrity, beauty, and power are based on DNA, lineages, and the all-powerful History...or they should be.

With large ensemble casts, massive settings spread over six planets, and deep plots, Greenshift and Marked by Light are just the first of many books I have mapped out for this world.

What are your forthcoming writings?
Starrie, another book in the Ambasadora-verse, should be released next year.
Eiffel Tower
What are your future plans?
My agent is currently working with me on a contemporary thriller series, and my husband and I are collaborating on an historical thriller series. And, of course, I've already started Book 2: Scarred by Light for the Ambasadora-verse.

How much real life goes into fiction writing?
About as much as daydreams and nightmares do.

Is a high level of imagination important to have for an author?
It is my driving force.

Your dream destination on Earth?
Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, Fiji, and Tokyo

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited.
Both my husband and I were born here in Southwestern Pennsylvania, but we've traveled to 25 states and dozens of cities around the world. Culture and landscape are our two biggest reasons for travel, though food may be overtaking both soon.

Your favorite time of the day?

Your zodiac/ sunsign?
I'm totally an emotional cancer.

Your favorite color?
I love purples and blues, but I wear mostly blacks, greys, and whites.

Your favorite book and why?
I have about ten, and they are special to me because I found them during different parts of my life: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, 2010 by Arthur C. Clarke, Don’t Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk, Dune by Frank Herbert, Thunderhead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Inca Gold by Clive Cussler, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, The Revelations of Preston Black by Jason Jack Miller, World War Z by Max Brooks, and the series of G. I. Joe Choose Your Own Adventure books.  

Your favorite celebrity and why?
My husband and I have our celebrity lists, which we each update from time to time. Right now, my favorites are David Boreanaz, Eddie McClintock, Matt Bomer, Jason Statham, Colin Farrell, Dwayne Johnson, Ben Browder, and Bruce Willis. The why has to do with my affinity for a thin upper lip and prominent eyebrows on men.

Your favorite food?

Some quickies:
Sun or Moon - both
Laughter or Smile - both
Morning or Evening - morning
Coffee or Tea - tea
Mountain or Sea - both
Long Drive or Short Drive - both
Silence or Conversation - both
Mars or Jupiter – Jupiter, but just because of Arthur C. Clarke
Tulip or Rose - both
Red or Blue – I look good in both.
Left or Right – I still have a hard time telling them apart.
Glance or Stare - glance

State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote.
Using research for my novels as an excuse to roam the globe.

Or maybe just…Adventure!

The last line of your autobiography would be…
And we lived happily ever after…again and again and again.

Twitter handle: @heidirubymiller - https://twitter.com/heidirubymiller
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Heidi-Ruby-Miller/e/B002BM1M48/

Sunday, July 20, 2014

How Skyscanner Helped In Scheduling Family Vacation Within Budget and Totally Hassle Free

Vacations were nearing, we all were mentally prepared to travel to some good location for family vacation but perhaps the luck was not in our favor. None of the explorations over the internet on a number of travel websites could help us in planning concretely for the vacation based on our family budget and the places we had in mind for visiting. Neither could we get any help from helplines published here and there speaking so confidently to help about travel anywhere. Alas, there was some portal available on internet in such an advanced technology era, that could get us a concrete itinerary based on our budget and locations that we wanted to visit, in no time. 

Definitely technology is there with both its hands open to cater to as many ideas as possible but unfortunately the idea factory has got stuck and no innovative solutions are coming up which are hassle free, customer friendly and seriously talk about business. But finally I found a site that had everything that I had ever wished for a good, useful, customer centric portal to be – it compares all kind of offers available over the internet – consolidating them at one place – suggesting the best of the offers and on top of that it ascertains the near to exact amount that you are going to spend on various permutation and combinations. Logically it is a plug and play portal to help you zeroing down the best of the deals for you.

Well, it was just a week away and I was really wondering how I would finalize the tour during this time. My daughter wanted to go to some ethnic place of India.  Finally we decided to take help from the excellent portal that I luckily found out well in time to help me get out of this crisis.

We decided to go to Bangalore & Mysore. For Bangalore the best return rates were as below:

So the 3 return tickets Delhi-Bangalore-Delhi cost us Rs. 24891. The journey was to start on Saturday 26 July 20124 and return was fixed for August 7th 2014. The total budget we had in hand was Rs 1 lac. Hence we were left with Rs. 55714 for travel by road to Mysore and hotel stay there. By bus to Mysore we had to spend Rs. 945 for the three of us. Now it was the turn to select a good hotel stay there with an amount of Rs. 54769 left in hand. For 8 nights we got a fantastic deal in one of the best hotels in Mysore for Rs. 11,382 in all. So we had our stay now booked and confirmed from 26th July to 3rd Aug.

We had to travel back to Bangalore on 3rd August morning for which we had to spend Rs. 945 for three to travel back to Bangalore by a deluxe bus. In Bangalore we had to spend now 4 nights with Rs 19,678 in hand. And here also with the help of this excellent portal we got the best of deal with good hotel for Rs. 18,463 for a stay of 4 nights and 3 beds in the room.

For the final day we still had Rs 1215 in hand out of our budget of 1 lac that we could decide to drive to airport in a luxury Sedan to end our tour on a sound note. Thanks to the intelligent site that helped us in deciphering our travel plan so excellently in such a short span.

This post is a part of Skyscanner travel wizard activity at BlogAdda.com

How Skyscanner Helped in Organizing An Important Interview

I had just two days to finalize my tour plan and confirm to the prospective employer that was one of the top MNCs in India and I was being called for an interview for quite a senior post. I had to travel to their various locations so as to cover three rounds of interviews. They had credited my account with a lac rupees which was the upper capping for the whole tour. First of all I had to travel to Bangalore and stay there for two days. I was quite panicky as the telephonic assistance of my current official travel desk had denied any tickets availability at such a short notice. I had no other choice than to explore the newest of the travel site launched recently that claimed to the one of the best and unique in its own kind. I was hopelessly desperate to get some help from somewhere to finalize my tour.

The site was so helpful in assisting in all kind of travel requirements one can think of. Whether it is air travel, hotel stay, bus travel or local cab booking, it is innovative enough to help you in all this. First of all I had to book a return air ticket for Bangalore for which the relevant information was available in a few clicks. A ticket for Bangalore for next day and return after 3 days from Bangalore itself. Return ticket costed me Rs. 20,558 and now the balance with me was Rs. 79,442. 

Delhi (DEL) to Bengaluru (BLR)

Mon 21 Jul - Fri 25 Jul
x 1
Change Search

Mon 21 Jul
Fri 25 Jul
Price per adult

A night stay was required to be booked in a hotel in Bangalore as on the same day of landing and the site was quick enough to suggest me a hotel and the price for a night's stay. With Rs. 9,553 further shelved off from my kitty of 1 lac the balance left with me was Rs. 69,889.

Hyatt Bangalore Mg Road


Bangalore (India)In the centre of Bangalore

Taking your partner on a romantic getaway in India? Hyatt Bangalore MG Road is a luxury 5-star hotel and spa in central Bengaluru where you can dine in one of 2 restaurants and enjoy a fantastic location in the M. G. Road - Residency Road-area of the city, not far from Technological and Industrial Museum and Government Museum. 
“The location is great right at MG road and the staff is extremely courteous. Their King bedroom is very spacious and comfortable while the room itself has everything that you would need while on business.” 
Dec-2013 - Easytobook

Single room
  • Room only
₹9,578   ₹9,553

Single room
  • Room only
₹9,578   ₹9,553
 Economy class
The next day I had to travel to by car to their plant that was 80 kms away from main city and had to come back. Travel by cab costed me Rs 7,869 and now the balance with me was Rs. 62,020.
Premium/LuxuryBMW 5 Series, Jaguar XF or similar4-5 doors
₹ 7,869.00₹ 7,869.00 per day
  • Chauffeur driven
  • x 4
  • x 2
  • Aircon
  • Automatic
  • Diesel
BMW 5 Series, Jaguar XF

Show location

Next day after a short discussion with their HR, I again had to travel to their plan for a discussion with their operations head. This time I had to travel with 3 members. This time we decided to take a luxury car for the daylong tour to avoid lethargy and long travel syndrome. The luxury car cost us Rs. 25,268 and now the balance with me was around Rs. 36.5k.
Premium/LuxuryLexus Es350, Audi A4 or similar4-5 doors
Fair fuel₹ 25,267.86₹ 25,267.86 per day
  • x 5
  • x 5
  • Aircon
  • Automatic
Lexus Es350, Audi A4
  •  Breakdown assistance
  •  Unlimited mileage

Show location27.9 km

Next day morning I had to fly to their Mumbai office to meet their Finance Head and return back the same day. The cost of the return flight was coming as Rs 21,686 as I decided to travel by business class. 
Thu 24 Jul
Thu 24 Jul
Price per adult
  • GoAir
    Depart flight
    1h 25
    Return flight
    1h 40
    Total price
    Details and booking options
    Price status
    Price is livelive

Now the balance amount with me was Rs. 15,066 and 2 days and a night left. That day I had to travel to their Chennai to have a discussion with their Global Marketing Head and had to return back to hotel the same day. So I decided to take a Jet flight costing me Rs. 14,605. 
Jet Airways
Depart flight
1h 05
Operated by JetKonnect
Return flight
1 stop GOI
4h 10
Total price
Details and booking options
Price status
Price is livelive

That was a wonderful hassle free travel I had and the whole credit goes to the excellent travel site with a marvelous consolidation of facts from various sites. It also helped me to be full of energy in each of my discussions and finally made me a winner.

Best pric
This post is a part of Skyscanner travel wizard activity at BlogAdda.com