Most of the authors I meet write fiction, but every now and then I connect with a nonfiction writer who’s using her books in a powerful way. Kathy Collard Miller is one of those authors. Just because she writes nonfiction, though, doesn’t mean all of her influences are.
Welcome! I know you’re a nonfiction writer, but I always like to find out about people’s fiction side: what was the first adult novel that you read?
In high school, I was reading everything in the school library by Victoria Holt. I was an avid reader and was mesmerized by her tales of poor girls who might experience a better future in a household not her own. And guess what? I was a poor girl. Our family, though far from destitute, was one which counted pennies and my mother was very stressed by the lack. No wonder Victoria Holt’s plots, characters, and settings fascinated me. I didn’t have any sense then of actively seeking something different in my life, but now I can look back. As a non-fiction writer, this reminds me of the power of words and how books help people to either dream of a different life or be taught a different way of thinking.
What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?
The book I’m reading now, Finding God by Larry Crabb, is actually a book I’ve read at least eight times if not more, and now I’m taking another group of women through it. No matter how many times I read it, I find out ways I’m not trusting God because I’m believing lies about who God is. After each chapter of looking in the mirror of my motives, I’m eager to read the next chapter to continue the quest.
Where’s the most unusual place you’ve read a book?
My husband, Larry, and I often speak and give soul care counseling on the island of Zakynthos, Greece. As we sit on the patio of the home of the pastoral family we assist there, sometimes I have a moment to read as I look out over the spectacular Ionian Sea. I certainly never expected as a little girl to travel the world both as a tourist and as a follower of Jesus on the missions He sends me on. I’m very grateful.
That sounds amazing! Greece is someplace I’ve always wanted to go. Speaking of traveling, if you could visit any fictional place, where would you go?
For me, it’s the scenes in The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Of course, seeing the settings in New Zealand in the movie definitely influences my desire. And I do hope I can go to New Zealand soon. But also, Tolkien paints such vivid scenes, they add to the adventure of the stories.
While movies are never quite as good as their books, I appreciate how they can help me visualize settings and characters. If you could turn any of your books into a movie, which would you pick? Who would cast as the main characters?
I’d love for my memoir, No More Anger: Hope for an Out-of-Control Mom, to be turned into a movie. It tells the story of how God delivered me from being a child abuser and how he healed our dysfunctional marriage. I want moms to know there is hope for any who struggle with anger or frustration as a mom or wife.
The actors need to be young adults since I was in my early 20s. I’m thinking Sophia Lilles (Gretel & Hansel) because she looks like a young, innocent mom who wants to be a good mom but circumstances seem overwhelming. For my husband, I could see Zach Woods (Downhill) being my strong, assertive husband, Larry, who is a police officer and workaholic.
What book are you most looking forward to reading next?
I will be reading Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt soon, and I’m eager to see what drew me to her. I haven’t read Holt’s work for many decades so I’m eager to see if re-reading one of her books will speak to me of my own heart’s desires and shed light on my childhood.
Would you consider Victoria Holt to be your favorite author? If not, who is?
Though now with the Lord, Jennifer Kennedy Dean will always be a powerful author whose work has influenced me. She and I had hoped to minister together because our passion for the sanctification of God’s people was so aligned. I will miss her significant voice in encouraging God’s people to greater trust in God. And I cherish the books I have already read of hers and love to revisit.
Thank you so much for visiting with us today, and best of luck with your new book!
Kathy Collard Miller never dreamed as a little girl that her desire for writing would turn into a ministry of writing and speaking. Yet, many decades later, she loves to credit God for opening doors for the over-55 books which have been published. Although all non-fiction, she loves reading fiction. Her latest book is co-authored with her husband, Larry, titled God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing God’s Nature. Kathy & Larry married in 1970 and are parents, grandparents, and lay counselors who live in Southern California. Visit her at: