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: 9780310725428
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

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. 

publisher descriptions:

Swimming with Faith: The Missy Franklin Story
, by Natalie Davis Miller HarperCollins Publishing, Ages 9-12

Genre: Nonfiction juvenile biography, sports, swimming, Missy Franklin
Missy Franklin is one of the most talented swimmers in the world. She is a four-time Olympic gold medalist and currently holds the world record in the 200-meter backstroke and American records in both the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke. She was Swimming World’s World Swimmer of the Year and was awarded the American Swimmer of the Year award in 2012. Swimming with Faith: The Missy Franklin Story details her rise in fame as a swimmer and humbleness in the sport and in her personal life.  

Speed to Glory: The Cullen Jones Story, by Natalie Davis Miller, HarperCollins, Ages 9-12

Genre: Nonfiction juvenile biography, sports, swimming, Cullen Jones
He conquered the thing that nearly took his life At five years old, Cullen Jones nearly drowned. While some people might stay away from water after that, Jones conquered his fear when his mother enrolled him in a swimming class. Not only did he learn to swim, he quickly found that he was a good swimmer… and would become one of the world’s best. Discover how faith, courage, and hard work led Jones to win an Olympic gold medal and set a new world record in his event. Find out what can happen when you overcome fear and strive to become all God calls you to be. Includes a personal note from Cullen Jones.

Reaching New Heights: The Kelly Clark Story, by Natalie Davis Miller HarperCollins Publishing, Ages 9-12

Genre: Nonfiction juvenile biography, sports, snowboarding, Kelly Clark

Snowboarder and Olympic Gold Medalist Kelly Clark had accomplished her life’s goals by the age of 18.
Yet, success didn’t leave her feeling fulfilled. Two years later, at an event in Salt Lake City, Kelly stood at the bottom of the pipe, listening to one snowboarder console another who had just crashed: “It’s alright. God still loves you.” These words led Kelly on a new journey from an Olympian snowboarder into an awesome relationship with Jesus. This story of one of the world’s greatest snowboarders will encourage readers young and old to reach for the next level, knowing that God will be with them, win or lose.

Swimming with Faith:

The Missy Franklin Story
By Natalie Davis Miller
Zondervan, 2016, $6.99
ISBN-13: 9780310747079

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: 9780310726333
Ages: 9-12
Genre: Biography, Cullen Jones, Olympics, Swimming, Sports, Athletes, Racism, Faith