By Lauren Trumbull
News and Features Editor
DeSales sophomore finance and accounting major, Matthew Miller, published the second version of his first novel on May 15, 2017 titled The Journey Home after an assignment he wrote in high school turned into a 224-page World War II novel.
“[The Journey Home] is about an eighteen year-old boy named Joseph Warren, who volunteers for the U.S. Army during the middle of World War II and goes through the hardships of war while making and losing friends, but while fighting through Europe his company is ambushed, leaving him alone and behind enemy lines. He then goes on a journey to make it back to friendly forces without being killed or captured,” said Miller.
It was not until high school that Miller took his creative imagination to paper. The Journey Home came from a fourpage assignment Miller handed in for a creative writing class during his senior year of high school.
“After completing the assignment, I felt as though I could add more to this short story and kept tacking on new sections throughout the rest of my senior year. It took me about a year to write the whole story and then another four to six months to edit and polish any errors I had,” said Miller.
With a complete novel in his hands, Miller decided to publish his work. Rather than sending his manuscript to different publishing companies and contacting literary agents, Miller took the self-publishing route.
“After doing some research on the best ways to self-publish, I came across a service called CreateSpace, which is owned by Amazon. With CreateSpace, I was able to fill out all the different items to create a cover and a short description on the back, completely free.”
Miller worked alongside his 17-year-old sister Catherine Miller to design the cover. Using her photography skills, Catherine was able to capture her brother’s vision. CreateSpace then approved the title in October 2016, and the first edition was automatically listed on Amazon’s and Barnes and Noble’s website. At time of publication, Miller has sold 10 physical copies and 50 Kindle copies, all through Amazon.
Miller’s interest in the military stems from having a family of World War II veterans. He said that while writing, he was influenced by Saving Private Ryan and the HBO series Band of Brothers. He is currently working on another book, also set to take place during World War II. However, he is still working on The Journey Home.
“I’m still working on my first book through marketing and promotion, which has helped me receive two book signings, on at Moravian Bookshop in Bethlehem on January 6 from 1-3pm, and another at Barnes and Noble and the Promenade Shops on December 23 from 1-3pm,” said Miller.
Purchase a hard copy of The Journey Home online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble for $12.00, or download the book onto a Kindle for $5.00.