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CCI Alum Visits Campus as Part of Star Wars Book Tour

Miller pictured here with niece and CCI doctoral student Frances Nichols. Noted pop culture author John Jackson Miller (BS/JEM ’90) stopped by CCI for a visit while in town for a book signing on Nov. 12.

Miller, a science-fiction author and comic book writer, worked at the Daily Beacon during his time at UT as both a reporter and then editor.

“One of my first assignments as a Beacon reporter was being dispatched, with no preparation, to interview then UT President Lamar Alexander,” said Miller. “It so happened that I wore a red plaid flannel shirt that day much like the one he wore on his well-known walk across the state during his first run for governor. It animated the conversation from the very beginning and enabled me to write a piece that helped me earn better reporting assignments in the future.” The UT Daily Beacon story about Miller’s recent campus visit can be accessed at http://utdailybeacon.com/news/2014/nov/12/ut-alum-returns-talk-star-wars-comic-books/.

Miller went on to earn a Master’s from LSU before beginning his career as an editor of a trade magazine for the comic book industry.  He continued working in the comic and game genre eventually writing for a Star Wars comic series. The Star Wars work expanded between 2005 and 2012 when he began writing Star Wars: Kenobi, a novel for Del Rey. The book debuted at #12 on the New York Times bestseller list in 2013. 

Miller has been traveling the country promoting his latest book, Star Wars: A New Dawn.  “I use the skills I learned in journalism classes every day,” said Miller. “Writing effective headlines and writing to be understood never changes even though the media I’m writing for are drastically different than traditional newspapers.”

Miller said he even does his own public relations work at times.  Short staffing and challenges with some book sellers has generated the need for authors to act on their own behalf to promote events and impact press coverage.

As the Star Wars franchise evolves, Miller expects the interweaving of all the Star Wars material to continue.  A current TV show, Star Wars: Rebels airing on the Disney XD network recently referenced a scene from Miller’s first book.  To view more about Miller and his work, see http://www.farawaypress.com.  His Twitter feed is @jjmfaraway.

John Jackson Miller “May the force be with you!”