Character Interview: William Miller From An Enemy Like Me by Teri M. Brown

Today, we are featuring William Miller, from An Enemy Like Me, for our Character Interview feature.

About The Author

Teri M. Brown

Born in Athens, Greece as an Air Force brat, Teri M Brown came into this world with an imagination full of stories to tell. She now calls the North Carolina coast home, and the peaceful nature of the sea has been a great source of inspiration for her creativity.
 Not letting 2020 get the best of her, Teri chose to go on an adventure that changed her outlook on life. She and her husband, Bruce, rode a tandem bicycle across the United States from Astoria, Oregon to Washington DC, successfully raising money for Toys for Tots. She learned she is stronger than she realized and capable of anything she sets her mind to.
 Teri is a wife, mother, grandmother, and author who loves word games, reading, bumming on the beach, taking photos, singing in the shower, hunting for bargains, ballroom dancing, playing bridge, and mentoring others.

You can connect with author Teri M. Brown here:
Author Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

The Interview

Welcome to The Reading Bud! We are really excited to have you over. Please give our readers a brief introduction about yourself before we begin.

My name is William Miller. I was born in North Canton, Ohio right before the United States entered World War II. That war shaped my life, not only while the fighting lasted but to this very day. That may surprise you since I was obviously too young to be a soldier. But here is something you should know – war changes people – even when they aren’t the ones doing the fighting.

What is your age and what do you do for a living?  

I’m 76 years old, so I’m retired now. However, when I was younger, I was a carpenter. Although I built some houses, I mostly did renovation work. In my later years, I did what would be called finish work, such as creating mantles for a fireplace or dental molding to a dining room. I gained quite a reputation in my little North Carolina town for my work and stayed very busy.

How you like to spend your free time? 

I have two main hobbies, painting and fixing up old cars. My paintings were never as good as my father’s, so I often went months without getting out the oils. However, I did produce a few that I’m proud of, including one featuring a set of silver wine goblets. You can see images in the condensation. Now, fixing up old cars? That is my true love. I’ve restored over 100 cars. The first one I ever completed was a 1932 Model A coupe with a rumble seat. When I got it, it was nothing more than a rusted-out shell with more holes than metal. I had to borrow money from my father-in-law to buy it, and boy was my wife, Marie, ticked off! However, I fixed it up and sold it. With that money, I paid back my debt and bought another car. Now, 50 years later, I work on cars worth $50,000 or more.

Please share some of your beliefs, principles, motivations and morals (can be social, religious or political or, etc. Anything that will help us get to know you better.)  

There are two things that really drive me. The first is family. Family is at the center of everything I do. I worked to earn money for my family. I created fun experiences over the holidays to bring my family closer together. I would give my life for my family. Without family, what does a person have?

The second driver is patriotism. I love the United States and all it stands for. My father fought in WWII to preserve our freedoms, and I joined the Air Force for the same reason. I think I am a lot like my father in both respects. He had to make impossible decisions because of his love for both.

Tell us something about your family and childhood. 

I loved growing up in a German community. The food was amazing. I remember going to my grandma’s house when she’d be baking. I didn’t know it at the time, but she was a professional baker and candy maker. But for me, as a little boy? It was just grandma making me treats.

One of my favorites was made from leftover pie dough. She would roll out the leftover dough, spread it with butter, and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top. Then, she’d roll it up into a log and slice it up into discs. Once baked, I’d get to eat them hot off the baking sheet.

I wasn’t very good in school. Reading was hard for me. I did fine in math and loved doing anything with my hands. To this day, I’m not much of a reader, unless it is a magazine about antique cars.

There is a funny story about me and cars as a teenager. Well, it is funny now, but at the time? My dad let me drive the sedan, but I wanted the car to look extra special for a date. The steering wheel had a brodie knob, or what my friends and I liked to call a necker knob. You could hold onto the knob with one hand and have your arm around your girlfriend with the other.

Well, I thought it would be cool to move the knob to the right side of the steering wheel. I would still hold it with my left hand, but that would allow my left hand to be across my body.

I took the car out for a test drive and stopped to show my buddies. Everyone loved the idea. However, on the way home, I must have let my mind wander. All of a sudden, I had a thought that my hand was in the wrong place, so I quickly pulled on the knob – and ran into a tree. Needless to say, my father was not happy!

Tell us something about your dreams and aspirations? Were you able to achieve them or are you planning to? 

I dreamed of being an inventor like my grandfather. Although I never actually became an inventor, I did create many things that helped me in the garage or at work. I never let the lack of a part or a tool stop me from completing a job. I just figured out another way around the problem.

What is your biggest fear in life?

My biggest fear is not living up to my father’s expectations. He’s been dead for several years, and I still wonder if he’d approve of what I’m accomplishing.

How would you describe your life in one sentence? 

My life has been a series of events that have led to this moment in time.

What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you? 

My father left for the war, and I had to live with my grandparents while my mother went to work.

Did it change you for the better or the worse?  

That’s a good question. It definitely changed me. After you read An Enemy Like Me, you’ll have to decide if the change was good or bad.

What are your plans for the future?

My life is about at the end. However, I hope to figure out my relationship with my son, continue to work on my cars, and travel a bit with Marie. She has always wanted to go to Australia, so we are planning a trip next winter – their summer.

An Enemy Like Me

How does a man show his love – for country, for heritage, for family – during a war that sets the three at odds? What sets in motion the necessity to choose one over the other? How will this choice change everything and everyone he loves?
Jacob Miller, a first-generation American, grew up in New Berlin, a small German immigrant town in Ohio where he endured the Great Depression, met his wife, and started a family. Though his early years were not easy, Jacob believes he is headed toward his ‘happily ever after’ until a friend is sent to an internment camp for enemy combatants, and the war lands resolutely on his doorstep.
In An Enemy Like Me, Teri M Brown uses the backdrop of World War II to show the angst experienced by Jacob, his wife, and his four-year-old son as he left for and fought in a war he did not create. She explores the concepts of xenophobia, intrafamily dynamics, and the recognition that war is not won and lost by nations, but by ordinary men and women and the families who support them.

If you are a fan of historical fiction with a love for heartfelt, introspective war stories, then you’ll enjoy An Enemy Like Me. This emotional saga explores war and its impacts in unique ways that few military fiction novels do.

You can find An Enemy Like Me here:
AmazonGoodreads | Author Website

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