Me: Did you always know that you would write a book someday?
Joe: Not at all! I journaled, pulling no punches at all….no editing, changing, or deleting. I kept it real with full emotions (the whole spectrum) and did so as a means of catharsis for myself. I eventually shared much of that on a blog that I started. During that time, I was very busy writing lyrics (both Christian and country). I was fortunate to have one song, Old Brown Shoes, published after it was made into a demo in a Nashville studio. By then the writing itch was on….and I decided to write my first book, A Better Man, Husband, Father. Now, with the new book, Dog Walk Talk; While I’m Walking, God’s Talking, just released I find myself writing for my next one.
Me: What inspired you to write this book?
You: Seeing my first book get published inspired me to write this one. I simply knew that there was a lot of writing left within me, and I really wanted to write one that wasn’t limited to just one smallish niche…. men. I wanted to write it for a more general reader base.
Me: How did the cover of your book come to be? Is it exactly like you envisioned?
Joe: That is a great question! I initially had planned on using a more generic outside scene of an unknown man walking his dog because, to me, it just felt weird to put myself on the cover of my book. For much of my life I struggled with humility and thinking about using a picture of myself seemed counter to how I was trying to live my life. When I presented those thoughts to my editor and family, they strongly encouraged me to use a picture of myself and my dog because it would make the book much more personal and real to the reader. That was the best advice I got on the book, because the cover makes that book come alive. I have received a lot of compliments about the cover. Kelly, my dog, has become a rock star!
Me: Do you intend to keep writing?
Joe: Absolutely I am continuing to write. By the time Dog Walk Talk was in the manuscript submission process, I had already started on my next book, and I am now writing almost daily for it.
Me: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Joe: Quirk is a great word for how I write. When writing lyrics, I HAD to write them long hand. I absolutely could not write them on the computer. I also could not write them while at home. I had to be in a coffee shop with nice white noise surrounding me to be able to collect my thoughts and capture them on paper with a pencil (not a pen…that didn’t work either!). With the books, it is the exact opposite. I must write the material on the computer, at home, and generally without any noise…not even music. Another quirk is, no matter what time it is or what I am doing, if I get a “brainwave” I have to stop what I am doing and hit the computer to get it out of me and onto paper. And, as the title of the book indicates, a lot of the inspirations, thoughts, and segments come to me while I am out walking the dog.
Me: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite if more than one? If only 1 book then do you plan on writing more?
You: I have written two books. My first book, A Better Man, Husband, Father was extremely near and dear to me, much like a first girlfriend. As I got toward the end of my second book, Dog Walk Talk, I came to realize that I felt that I had matured as an author, and I’ve often quipped that when I wrote my first book I wrote it in my author’s diapers and for the second one I’ve dressed up considerably. My second book is absolutely my favorite.
Me: Was there any interesting tidbits you edited out of this book?”
Joe: There weren’t any interesting tidbits edited out of the book. But, there were several writings in the book that the editor rather strongly felt should have been edited out, for the reason that she felt that by keeping them in there I was opening myself up for some possible heat and blowback. Those articles are about matters than most folks are not transparent about and won’t talk about, but the subject matter involves many, many folks. The message wasn’t so much about the subject matter as much as it was the fact that grace and forgiveness are much more important, and true growth comes from both. When the reader gets to those articles, they’ll know it.
Joe Miller, husband, and father to seven grown children, is a leader and coach within the community group ministry of his church in Illinois. He’s a volunteer staffer, mentor, and Elder with Men at the Cross, a nationwide men’s ministry of the Cross Ministry Group. He has facilitated numerous men’s retreats and enjoys public speaking.
Joe, a published songwriter, and author is a former police officer and owned several businesses before retiring. He has his PhD from the University of Hard Knocks where he specialized in Messing One’s Life Up. His journey and experiences afforded him the opportunity to fully experience God’s unrestricted grace for broken people and are the basis for this book. He resides in Carpentersville, Illinois with his wife of 43 years.