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Home > Author > Tekla S Miller
Tekla S Miller

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  Tekla S Miller           

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As an orphan and the former warden of a men's max and a women's multi-level prisons outside Detroit,Tekla has both poignant and funny stories to tell

Background Information

It never occurred to me that I would one-day be a published author. Even after so many friends and relatives tried to persuade me to write about my corrections experiences. "You have so many stories to tell," they said over and over again.
But a wiser friend who also is a Hollywood agent for scriptwriters and actors told me, "You may have a lot of good stories to tell but that doesn't mean you can write them well. Take a few creative writing classes before you begin to pen your memoir."

He was correct. My monthly reports and annual budget requests were the most exciting writings I did for the twenty years I was employed in corrections. Not exactly best-seller material. So I did as my friend suggested--I took creative writing. But first at the age of forty-nine I had to learn to type and operate a computer. The result was The Warden Wore Pink.

While on book tours for The Warden Wore Pink and during most of my presentations, I am asked two questions: "How did you ever get the courage to be a warden?" and "Did you come out of the womb confident?" To answer those and other questions I wrote my second memoir and a prequel, A Bowl of Cherries.

Now at sixty-two I have two memoirs and many nonfiction articles and stories published, my first fiction, Life Sentences, Medallion Press released in August 2005 and another nonfiction book Mother Rabbit in the works. The story in Life Sentences has been in my head for years and is inspired by my correctional experiences, while Mother Rabbit is based on a 750-page journal kept by my sister when she was the Bunny Mother of the Chicago Playboy Club in 1966 and 1967. Watch for my next fiction Ten Hours in July and the sequel to Life Sentences. Recently at a party I was approached by two separate women who asked, "Are you Tekla Miller the author?" It took me a second to ponder that, because I had always been "The Warden." Then I answered, "Yes, I am."

Birth Place
E Syracuse, NY USA

Ms. Miller has appeared on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and has been featured in many radio, newspaper and journal interviews including Ann Arbor News, Detroit Metropolitan Woman, Corrections Professional, Detroit Metro Times, Detroit Free Press, Syracuse Post Standard, Historic CNY Quarterly to name a few. Ms. Miller was a technical consultant for Granada Entertainment/TNT on a TV movie and series about a woman warden and for NBC’s news special about women prisoners. As an adjunct professor, Ms. Miller has taught a course on Prisons and Prisoners. In 2001 she was a contestant on the TV quiz show “To Tell the Truth.” Ms. Miller was among the women in law enforcement and criminal justice honored by the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2001 The Criminal Justice Women of Michigan again honored Ms. Miller with the Josephine Davis Community Service Award. In 2004 Ms. Miller received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Cazenovia College, New York.

Additional Information

Tekla Dennison Miller is a former prison warden who managed two prisons simultaneously (a men’s maximum and a multi-level women’s) outside Detroit, Michigan. Her published memoir, The Warden Wore Pink, Biddle Publishing is about her twenty-year career in corrections. A second memoir released January 2003, A Bowl of Cherries, is about her childhood in Central New York and California. Ms. Miller taught children in South Central L.A. after the 1965 riots, worked with mentally challenged enlisted men while employed with the US Special Services in Germany, was the first female probation officer in Oakland County, Michigan and the supervisor of the first prison camp for women in Michigan. Ms. Miller is a social activist, writer and national speaker focusing on women’s issues, and juvenile and criminal justice reform. She has had several nonfiction articles published in these areas. Her first memoir is required reading in criminal justice and women’s studies courses at several colleges and universities. Check her web site for updated appearances.

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Tekla Dennison Miller
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