Book Nerd Interview
Tim Miller has studied various religions, as well as psychology and has worked in several fields involving the study of human behavior. After serving four years in the U.S. Marines, Tim spent six years working as a corrections officer. Tim also worked as a technician in a psychiatric center. The Hand of God is Tim's first novel in almost ten years. He currently lives in San Antonio, Texas with his fiance and their children.
Tim became a fan of horror as a teenager. At the age of fourteen he would often read Stephen King books while listening to Iron Maiden on his head phones. He would write short stories to entertain himself and his friends. In 2001, Tim Published his first book, Without a Trace, and then Out of Nowhere a year later. These were mystery/suspense thrillers, but frightening enough in their own right.
After a ten year break and writing two inspirational books, Tim is back at it writing horror with The Hand of God. It is the first book in the series about Pastor Charlie, the preacher/serial killer. Tim is currently working on the second book in the Pastor Charlie series.
Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
I wouldn’t say one single moment, but more of a process. When I was in 6th grade, I used to write short stories on the typewriter at the library and sell them at school for 10 cents. When I was in the Marine Corps, I kept a notebook with me on deployments and wrote stories on my free time. I guess it was during that time I knew writing would be a big part of my life.
What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
Hmmm, probably that I have an associates degree in Bible and Ministry and wrote some Christian books while in college.
What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
Learning to read!
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
From every writer I ever spoke to. It’s simple, to write and just keep writing, and read even more. Both those things have helped me immensely.
Can you tell us when you started The Hand of God, how that came about?
I was going through my divorce at the time, things were really bad for me, I hadn’t seen my daughter in months and I was hurting bad financially. I also hadn’t written any fiction in almost 10 years. I had discovered the show Dexter on Netflix and became instantly addicted to it. Over the past several years, I had thought about writing a story using a troubled preacher as a main character. Part of the reason I left the church was of how I saw preachers treated. They are expected to be perfect and many of them suffer from severe depression, anxiety and worse from the demands and from not feeling good enough. So through that, Pastor Charlie was born. I wasn’t sure where I was going to go with him, only that he would be a serial killer. The story evolved on its own.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Charlie?
There were some parts of the book where I really got stuck and wasn’t sure how to get Charlie out of it. It was in those spots where I learned to dig deep and write through those difficult plot points and bring them to a solid resolution.
If you could introduce Charlie to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I’d say Randall Flagg from The Stand. They are both supernatural, mysterious and powerful characters. It would be fun to see those to either face off or team up.
You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
To read different things, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. Step outside the comfort zone. I’ve discovered some amazing books by experimenting.
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
I don’t really have one.
What’s your most missed memory?
When I was a kid, how during the summer we’d spend all day every day riding our bikes or playing baseball.
What's the worst summer job you've ever had?
My Junior year in High school, I had a job on a duck farm. Was very dirty and stinky.
When was the last time you cried?
A little over a year ago during my divorce. It was my daughter’s birthday and she was clear in Arizona with her mom, I hadn’t seen her 3 months and knew I’d miss her birthday for the first time ever. I felt like the worse dad ever and cried my eyes out.
Most horrifying dream you have ever had?
It was a few years ago, I had a dream my little girl died. Was never so happy to wake up.
Where can readers stalk you?
My twitter @TimMiller2011 my blog at timmiller.org or facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheHandofGodpage though I’m more active on Twitter.
Charlie Sims is the pastor of a small church. However, he's thinks he's on a special mission from God to rid the world of sinners. As he brutally carries out his work, a mysterious man delivers a message that will change his life forever. A battle ensues for the fate of mankind.
Charlie finds himself in a struggle with the spiritual realm only to learn that nothing is what it seems. He must choose between accepting his own identity or realizing his own beliefs have been wrong his whole life. Whichever he chooses, nothing will ever be the same, and no one is safe.
The Hand of God by Tim Miller is a refreshingly unique. Growing up, Charlie Sims had a feeling he was different. When he committed his first human kill at the age of seventeen, he is convinced that he is The Hand of God doing the Lord’s work. He later discovers that the reason he is so different from the rest of his peers is that he is part of a thought-to-be extinct race of half humans and half angels. Hundreds of years ago, God had tried to wipe out his race as he deemed them as a disgrace. With the second coming of Jesus on the horizon, what is known from the bible may not happen.
Tim does a phenomenal job of taking something so familiar (second coming of Jesus) and adding his own twists to form a very unique and compelling story. He presents the reader with a lightweight pastor from a small town while weaving a heavyweight of a story. Although readers will have a predetermined idea of who portrays evil and good, Tim digs deep and has no fear in delivering an alternate version to what many people consider the truth. The writing is absolutely amazing that tells a gripping, twisted, and compelling story. It will have readers not only think about their own beliefs and faith, but it will also have them consider the faith of others.
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