Apex Reviews (AR): Jay, thanks for joining us for this interview. We're looking forward to learning more about your books.
Jay Miller (JM): Thank you for this opportunity to speak about them. Thank you especially for the wonderful and professional review Apex performed as well. I am very pleased that the books were found to be worthy of such a high rating.
“Bingo the Banjo Picking Bear” professional review rating: 4.5/5
“Sal and Sally” professional review rating: 5/5
“Opal, Herby and Squeaky” professional review rating 5/5
AR: It’s our pleasure. What exactly makes Bingo so musically inclined?
JM: Honey, I think! Most bears, after a good afternoon snack, the honey bees always seem to sting them in their rear end as they run away. They’ll spend hours afterwards shaking their bottoms, which makes them appear to be dancing. Bingo comes from a long line of “Dancing Bears.”
AR: Out of all the instruments that he could choose from, what is it about the banjo that captivates Bingo's interest?
JM: It’s that Hillbilly picking sound that goes with the dance; it’s got that certain swing to it. It could just as easily have been a fiddle, except he liked the banjo picking sound better. Besides, Grandpa said fiddling can sometimes get you in trouble.
AR: Why is his relationship with his Grandpa so special?
JM: All Grandpas are special! They always have time to take you fishing and do lots of other fun things. Naturally, if you can keep their attention, then you’ll be their favorite. Then, they’ll teach you lots of important things you wouldn’t normally get to know.
AR: In “Sal and Sally”, what inspired you to use sea creatures as the main characters for the story?
JM: It follows along the lines of my “All God’s Critters” novel as story # 2. That story is about two fish named Sal and Sally, only the story is different. It begins with the thrilling excitement of actually experiencing the fish eggs being laid and what happens from there (you’d have to read the book to experience that first hand to believe it). Toddlers wouldn’t understand it, so I decided to let them blow some bubbles instead. I figured the kids would like that.
AR: Is there really such a thing as a Texas Long Nose Cowboy Shark?
JM: Several locals claim to have spotted them along the Texas coastline. Some were claimed to have longer noses than others, but they all appeared to be wearing red Cowboy hats.
AR: What is the main message that you'd like readers to take away from “Sal and Sally”?
JM: Making friends and learning to get along with everyone. Also, understanding how to try and turn a bad situation into something good.
AR: What draws you to Christian fiction?
JM: I knew many years ago that I wanted to write, but I thought it would be mystery novels. When the time came to get started, something led me in this direction instead. I believe that something was God.
AR: What inspired you to create and develop the "All God's Critters" series?
JM: Again, that’s where God led me to start writing. I find it easy to tell the stories using various critters in each. I think people will relate more closely with them. I like to bring them to life as much as possible, yet leaving them in their natural surroundings.
AR: Have you shared the books in the series with churches, bible camps, or other religious institutions?
JM: That is my next step. I’ve been waiting to get the first three books completed in the series to introduce them. Having good professional review ratings now will make that task much easier.
AR: The illustrations in your books are outstanding. Who did them?
JM: “Bingo the Banjo Picking Bear” was done professionally by Bobbi Switzer through Outskirts Press. “Sal and Sally” was done professionally by Jessica Ball (my niece). “Opal, Herby, and Squeaky” was done professionally by Lee Qualls (my granddaughter). I was extremely pleased with each.
AR: We noticed that you published “Bingo the Banjo Picking Bear” through Outskirts Press. What was your experience like with them?
JM: I found their service to be outstanding. They were very helpful and professional in every detail. I would highly recommend them, and I plan to use their service again.
AR: You published “Sal and Sally” through Gather Community Press. Please share more with our readers about them.
JM: Gather Community Press operates through AuthorHouse Publishing. It’s a means for special benefits for members of the Gather Community site to have access to self publishing. My book was the first book to be published through them. Again, as with Outskirts Press, I was pleased with their service.
AR: What are your future writing/publishing plans?
JM: I plan on trudging ahead. Unless, by some miracle, I get an offer from a traditional publisher, I’ll be self publishing my books. I have faith in what God wants me to do (I have not submitted any books for consideration).
AR: Do you have a website where our readers can learn more about you and your efforts?
JM: They may visit my website, called “All God’s Critters”, at http://mybingobooks.com. I am also engaged with many writing and social groups where I have support and encouragement from many friends.
AR: Also, how can they contact you directly?
AR: Any final thoughts you'd like to share?
JM: Bringing happiness to children and bringing them closer to God is the goal I have set. This is what God wants me to do. I want to wish everyone a very Happy and Prosperous Year! Remember everyday to thank God for another beautiful day…it’s all about Him. Thank you for the outstanding service, the wonderful reviews, and this professional interview. You have made me feel right at home.
AR: Thanks again, Jay, and best of continued success to you in all your endeavors!