Alexandra Miller became a published author at 18
Last updated 5/23/2023 at 4:53pm
Many people talk about writing a book. Some achieve their goal, but most can't quite get it done. Alexandra Miller, raised in Sisters and a Sisters High School graduate, has some advice for aspiring writers: "Do it! It's super fun to write a book, but if you're looking at it as a way to make money or be successful, it's not very rewarding. If you just love writing, it's one of the most rewarding things in the world."
Miller offered that advice from her dorm at Seattle Pacific University, where she's studying film and creative writing.
Miller writes under the pen name Alexandra Aleece. Her book is titled "Roice and the Red Cape" and sells for $19.99 in Sisters at The Paper Place and Suttle Tea, and at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Now 19 years old, Miller recounted her experience trying to find a publisher for her children's book.
"We found Deep River Books right here in Sisters," she said. "They do a lot of children's books. We looked at a bunch of publishers and when Deep River Books saw it they liked it. I worked mostly with Senior Director Tamara Barnet," said Miller.
Miller wrote the book quickly; doing the artwork was another story.
"I wrote it in one day after thinking about it for a while," said Miller. "Then I read it to my dad, and it was finished in four hours. The artwork took six months to finish."
Miller is grateful to her Sisters High School art teacher, Bethany Gunnarson, who helped her with illustrations for the book. Gunnarson let Miller work with the advanced art class to finalize her paintings.
When asked when she knew she wanted to be a writer, the answer was easy.
"Forever!" said Miller. "When I was eight, I wrote a song for a friend and really liked it. I never stopped after that. I knew I wanted to go into film and screenwriting after I saw the movie 'Forest Gump.' It really changed my life, and I knew that's what I needed to do."
Miller struggled a lot with going to sleep when she was younger.
"I feared it, and I couldn't sleep anywhere but in my home," she said. "My book encourages kids and lets them know there's nothing to be afraid of. Magical things can happen when you go to sleep. Roice, who's my cat, shows them a cool example of what can happen when you're asleep, so they'll be excited about going to sleep instead of fearing it."
"Roice and the Magic Cape" is geared toward children from four to 12 years old.
"There are a lot of expressive photos, and the artwork appeals to younger children, but it also has deeper morals in it too," Miller said. "I wanted to help kids with a similar problem that I had."
Miller brought a special guest when she did a book reading at The Paper Place in March.
"I got to bring Roice himself. He was a bit unsettled but then he saw the kids and enjoyed it," she said laughing.
Paper Place owner Josh Smith said Miller's reading had a great turnout.
"Roice was wearing a red cape, and everyone was having fun. Alexandra really enjoyed the kids' reactions when she read the book to them. We like supporting Alexandra and her family and invite folks to visit and buy the book here," said Smith.
During the publishing process, Miller also worked with Publisher Andy Carmichael, who gave Miller advice she's using today.
"He told me that I am a storyteller and to never stop writing. I might get that as a tattoo. Wherever I am in life, I'll never stop writing," said Miller.
This summer Miller will be doing another reading at a clothing shop in Bend called Jubilee. Already thinking about a sequel, Miller has that project as well as two more on the horizon.
To view Miller's book, "Roice and the Red Cape" visit https://deep riverbooks.com/books/roice-and-the-red-cape/.