Writer’s Digest: In Conversation with….Thea Miller
I sit down with Thea Miller in her suburban Washington, DC, home, a striking modernist dwelling surrounded by old trees and flaming azaleas. With her white blond hair and milky skin, Thea’s ethereal appearance belies her very earthy wordsmithing. Soon she produces some homemade spice cookies and tea and we settle into her well-appointed kitchen to chat.
WD: I’m happy to say that when this issue comes out, all the world will know Thea Miller as the author behind the wildly successful blog, “Rose Hips and Her Adventures in Orgasmic Gardening,” as well as three best-selling books, collections of Rose’s erotic romps among her—very fertile, I must say—crops. What made you, ten years in, decide to reveal yourself as, if not Rose herself, her alter-ego?
I do love Rose—she’s wild and uninhibited and holds nothing back, whether it’s what she’s learned about kundalini yoga in her kumquat patch, or sharing her linguini and pesto recipe. Without giving anything away, watch for her to grow and change this year. She’s going to find new ways to love, mature, and evolve, as we all must.
That sounds a bit ominous…are you saying Rose will settle down?
(Laughing) I’m afraid so. She’ll still be her hugely generous self, perhaps even more so. Look for her to deepen her relationship with her paramour, Ash Woods…and for a brand new character to enter her world. As for my revealing myself as the author, I’m ready to use the platform that Rose has given me to undertake more serious work, projects that explore deeper emotions and a broader range of human experience.
Readers always want to know: what is your process? Do you have to become Rose to write Rose?
Yes, of course. I think that happens with any writer writing about a character. You enter her world and take your cues from her. I’m not an outliner, more of a pantser, but I always know the plot of each episode before I begin to write.
Do you ever get writers’ block? How do you unblock yourself?
I’ve always been into astrology, the I Ching, Tarot. They’re just systems people have used over centuries to get at the wisdom of the universe. If I get stuck writing, I take a break and ask the universe for some guidance.
As a spiritual person, do you feel it’s curious that you’ve made your living and reputation writing about sex?
Sex is a natural function, like photosynthesis for a flower, no? At least that’s the way I’ve always seen it. The sex in Rose’s garden isn’t pornographic in the least. It’s beautiful and spiritual. But, I must admit, lately the erotica has been feeling just a bit rote. I’d like to move on. But Rose, naturally, wants to keep a good thing going and not to disappoint her fans. So the two of us are struggling a bit.
If you move on from Rose’s erotica, what do you have in mind?
I’ve been thinking about a new project. I’m getting so obsessed with it that I’m seeing scenes in your head, hearing lines of dialogue, and opening sentences keep flipping through my mind. Pretty soon I’m going to have to sit down and start writing.
What’s this new project about?
It’s about some people who were very close in college. They made a terrible mistake and, essentially, paid the price for the rest of their lives. It’s about agency, grief, and how the foolish decisions we make in our youth can turn lethal.
Is this story autobiographical?
Isn’t everything? But really, I can’t say any more about it now. Talk to me again a year from now.
Switching gears, what’s your writing day like?
Every day has a personality and if you try to get something done on the wrong kind of day, you’re doomed to failure. So I start by assessing what kind of day it is.
And you do that, how?
I lie in bed in the morning and tune in to my core. Next, I send my energy down through the earth, then up into the cosmos to take a reading. After a while I get a shape, a tone. Then I get up, and, keeping the personality of the day in mind, I do Qi Gong exercises followed by meditation. This takes about 20 minutes. Then I offer thanks to the creator for being here and I get on with it.
Can you talk about what kinds of days there are?
Sure. There are clogged days in which the energy is dense and sluggish, brown like mud. A good day to do research. Not a good day to try to make something light or amusing.
Then there are thin days – when the atmosphere is light and sort of slips against your skin. Your inner color is apt to be pale blue-green. The day is fine for pushing forward on a project, but not for generating new ideas.
Blooming – on this kind of day all the sprockets are fitting exactly where they should: the great clockwork of the universe is humming along. Red is the predominate color. You can do anything on this kind of day, but you don’t get that many of them.
Finally, there’s the dreaded dead day – best to be very careful on these days. Road rage, crazy fits of customer service abuse, mass shootings, and so on, take place on these days. Black days. Best to move carefully, avoid driving, drink lots of water. A bad day to edit. Better to lie on the floor and listen to music, unless, of course, you have a deadline. Funny. Just realized the connection. A deadline on a dead day would be very bad.
If you just lie on the floor all day listening to music, what about normal daily things? Going food shopping, scooping the cat litter of life?
Why obsess about those things? They get done eventually. I always have a nurturing soup in the freezer for those days. Or I whip up macaroni and cheese, polenta, or fried rice. Sure-fire comfort food. Look, you asked. I usually don’t go around talking about these things.
I’m glad you did. I don’t think I’ve ever had an interview with an author quite like this one.
Thank you. I’m flattered.
I take my leave of Thea Miller—and Rose Hips—thinking I’ve just encountered a shape-shifter, someone who never stops evolving, and whose writing literally knows no bounds. We all look forward to what Ms. Miller will do next, but meanwhile, I’m ready for another episode of Rose Hips and her adventures in that sexy garden.