Reaching New Heights: The Kelly Clark Story, by Natalie Davis Miller

Natalie Davis Miller
Author of Reaching New Heights - The Kelly Clark Story and 
Speed to Glory - the Cullen Jones Story 

“Don't be 'a writer'. Be writing.” - William Faulkner

Reaching New Heights:

The Kelly Clark Story 

By Natalie Davis Miller
Zonderkidz Biography, $6.99

ISBN-13: 978-0310725428
Ages: 9-12
Genre: Biography, Kelly Clark, Olympics, Snowboarding, Sports, Athletes, Faith

Swimming with Faith: The Missy Franklin Story, by Natalie Davis Miller
Speed to Glory: The Cullen Jones Story, by Natalie Davis Miller

Featured Author: Natalie Davis Miller

Natalie Davis Miller, author, editor, blogger, mom, police woman, wonder woman, women who write

Natalie Davis Miller has been a professional writer for more than twenty years, on sports figures such as football legend and movie icon, Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger; Olympians Cullen Jones and Kelly Clark, and most recently Missy Franklin (Zonderkidz biographies series). Miller connects with her subjects and tells their stories information with inspiration, and with a personal goal to glorify God with her writing talents, her talents shine through! Having known and worked with Natalie since our oldest children brought us together (twenty-one years ago), I can testify that Natalie has many stories to be told! In addition to all she has done with The Writing Center in Indianapolis, at Brown Mackie College, Natalie used to be a police woman! Personal hobbies? Besides raising her two daughters and writing, she is a "Mad Bead Queen!" I was blessed to be able to visit with you, interview you, and make gorgeous Christmas gifts with you! I can't wait to see what God has in store for you next!

Q & A with author Natalie Davis Miller

When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?

When I was little-little, my mother would be in the kitchen cooking and I would run in to “read” her one of my stories. I wasn’t writing yet; so, I would run in with a piece of paper and my scribbles and I would read her my story. She would say, “That’s really good. Why don’t you go write me another story.” It wasn’t so much a question as it was a directive – and maybe not to get me writing more, but to get me out from underfoot. Either way, it got me writing.

I think I’ve always wanted to be a writer. When I was in elementary school, the author of The Fifteenth Pelican (the inspiration for the television show, The Flying Nun) came to visit. She was dressed completely in black – those cool Laura Petrie black pants (the ones Mary Tyler Moore wore on the Dick Van Dyke Show) a black top and black flat shoes. I thought, this is what a writer looks like. And I thought it was cool. I was always fascinated with books. We had a book mobile come to our neighborhood and you could get on and select a book – and keep it. That was important -owning the book. So, I think that I’ve always had this wonderful relationship with books and writing from a very early age.

How did you come to write Speed to Glory - The Cullen Jones Story?

I had the opportunity to write about Cullen for the magazine Racing Toward Diversity. I thought his story was unique – a 6’5” African American man, an Olympic swimmer who was often mistaken for a basketball player. He was Christian so I pitched the story to Zonderkidz.

Why was it important to tell his story?

An African-American Olmpic swimmer was largely unheard of. Why? I wanted to tell his story and look at the larger story of why such a high percentage of African Americans don’t know how to swim. Jones also participates in U.S. Swimming’s Make A Splash campaign, encouraging all children, particularly minorities, to learn to swim and practice swim safety.

What was your experience working on the Missy Franklin book?

I wasn’t able to interview Franklin because, at the time I began the project, she was finishing high school and on her way to college. Her parents were concerned about her maintaining NCAA eligibility. Additionally, attempts to work with other people within her circle were unsuccessful. Conversely, I was able to interview both Cullen Jones and Kelly Clark. I can’t begin to tell you how far that goes when writing a biography of living subjects. You can ask questions, and questions feed into other questions. They can tell you who else to interview for more insight. With Franklin, I had to do what I could do, which was loads and loads of research. Articles, Facebook, Twitter, and recorded live interviews helped me to put her story together.

What motivates you as a writer?

I definitely live on the intrinsic side of this answer. I enjoy writing. It’s the one thing that I have always felt God meant for me to do – even when I was busy doing other things (I’ve had many careers including being a cop). The love of the craft motivates me. Good storytelling by other writers motivates me. My family motivates me – they believe in me to a degree I’m not sure I deserve. That, more than anything, makes me want to be a better writer.





Swimming with Faith:

The Missy Franklin Story
By Natalie Davis Miller
Zondervan, 2016, $6.99
ISBN-13: 978-0310747079

Ages: Middle Grade
Genre: Biography Memoir, Nonfiction, Olympic Swimming, Christianity, Inspirational

Speed to Glory:

The Cullen Jones Story

By Natalie Davis Miller

Zonderkidz Biography, $6.99

ISBN-13: 978-0310726333
Ages: 9-12
Genre: Biography, Cullen Jones, Olympics, Swimming, Sports, Athletes, Racism, Faith