Sometimes it is as simple as discovering more about those things in which inspire that true happiness is found. It can also be noted in exploring those passions in depth, and with true purpose, that commitment becoming freeing. And if the stars align just perfectly this hunger can become a most rewarding career. It is this personal truth that has empowered Leawood resident Candice Millard to live out her dream as an author and with this calling an undeniable success has followed.
Millard began her career in 1996 as a researcher for the television division at National Geographic. She credits this experience as a time “where real education” occurred as she was able to make deep connections with experts, develop her craft as a researcher, and obtain meaningful advice that she continues to access daily in her writerly world. It was her curiosity about people that drove her aspirations to delve into these lives and the more she learned the more she wanted to know. She immediately became aware that there was a deeper purpose in telling these stories about great people in history and that purpose was to expose her audience to a very human, very real side of notable people who may be historically mistaken as superhuman. This awareness enabled her to master the genre of narrative nonfiction which loosely resembles a biography that reads more like a heartfelt novel full of meticulously-selected moments and accurate humanistic emotions that effectively tell history changing stories. What makes Millard’s literary contributions stand out is that she purposely chooses a specific event in her subject’s lives and she focuses her novels on that event. This allows her to create such a comprehensive and expressive account of the novels’ focus that her readers are fully immersed in that experience and are able to connect to the events in ways that are simply not possible in a traditional biography.
But all of this does not come by chance. Millard works diligently on each of her pieces by putting forth years of researching, travel, checking and rechecking of facts, and organization and it is only when she is assured that she has accurate sources of information does she begin developing her craft. To Millard writing any less than her best effort would be arrogant and she feels she owes that commitment to her readers. She states, “It’s not enough to write about what they did. You need to also write about their actions and mannerisms, family, enemies, to understand their character and who they are at their core. [Those] private moments of trial where they are scared and sick, that is when you see who they really are. [These are] basic human trait that we all share.”
It is, therefore, no surprise that Millard has frequented the New York Times bestseller list along with other notable accolades including having novels on the Best Novel of the Year lists in the Washington Post and Kansas City Star and although she finds these honors exciting and gratifying it is not what drives her writing. She is moved to produce literature that is true to her passion and even offers this bit of advice to any aspiring writer: “Be true to yourself and what interests you and find the time to write!” Simply put, be inspired.
Learn more about Candice Millard by visiting candicemillard.com.
Candice Millard book titles include:
–The River of Doubt Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey (2005)
– Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine & the Murder of a President (2011)
-Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, A Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill (Available 9/20/2016)