Jenny and Greg Miller first met in 2017 during a Hollywood audition while both trying to find their way in show business.
The Medford Township husband and wife instead found chemistry both on and off the page, striking up a relationship soon after meeting. Five years later, they have two kids and are eagerly awaiting the release of their co-written first book, “Age of Atheria,” a young adult fantasy novel that comes out this November.
The novel has been a nearly-decade long project for Jenny, who first started work on the story in 2014 as a potential TV show. Having gone through various auditions and casting processes on other works before getting started, she was struck by the idea of starting her own story with her own world and characters.
She did so for about three years, while thinking in the back of her head that another person might add some value to the project somewhere down the line.
“I was going through a really, really tough time in my life at the time that I started it,” Jenny recalled. “The (acting) industry can be really cutthroat, and it made me want to really create my own story. So I got to work on a book about a girl that needed to be her own superhero and rebuilding the ashes to step into the kind of higher power that she was always meant to be.
“I was developing the characters and the world around her and everything for about three years,” she added. “ … And it was always in my heart that I felt like I would finish it with someone else.”
During those three years, Jenny continued with auditions for other projects, occasionally putting “Age of Atheria” on the back burner. But after meeting Greg, she felt comfortable and confident enough to introduce him to her project.
At that point, the novel became a joint effort.
“I was working on it pretty hard at the time that I first met Greg, so I introduced it to him, and he understood it in a way that only a creator could,” Jenny remembered.
Greg, originally from Shamong and a former professional baseball player in the Milwaukee Brewers organization after being drafted out of Seton Hall University in 2008, developed a love for writing following the end of his baseball career.
The process of writing as a couple had its challenging moments, but he and Jenny stayed organized, which helped them throughout the process.
“There was a lot of research and ideas that got bounced off one another, breaking things down by index cards and really mapping things out with a bulletin board to keep in mind different characters, different plot lines, different regions of the world we created,” Greg explained.
“We started big with how we wanted the story to start and finish, and then worked from there.”
The book releases at the start of November and can be pre-ordered and purchased at www.ageofatheria.com/.
According to Jenny, the couple want their story to continue through four books. They also wanted readers to apply elements in the novel to their everyday lives.
“We wanted to make sure we were telling a story that had a reason,” she said. “We wanted to invoke emotion inside and to encourage readers to seek more knowledge and look internally. We wanted to spark each person’s internal flame and destiny on Earth, so that they go on their own journey, just as the characters are in our story.”
“Age of Atheria” will be released early next month and can be preordered at www.ageofatheria.com/.