CLOVER — After earning a business degree from the College of Charleston, Clover native Jonathan Miller started making cards and other art out of construction paper that he cut and layered into colorful designs.
When Miller later befriended a friend’s dachshund named Sammy, the idea for illustrating and writing his children’s book series was born. Miller, 33, recently released the third book in the series, “The Adventures of Sammy the Wonder Dachshund.”
Miller, 33, who still lives in Charleston, will sign copies of his new book, “Sammy in Space,” from 1 to 7 p.m. July 13, Saturday, at the Clover Community Center, 120 Bethel St. Books, original art and prints will be sold.
Miller’s first book in the children’s series, “Sammy’s Last Week in Charleston,” was released in 2008, followed by the second book, “Sammy on Safari.” The books tell the adventures of Sammy, a fact checker for the Internet who works with people and other dogs.
His work has been featured on ETV and covered in Vineyard Vines’ summer 2010 clothing catalogue. One of his books was read on Lifetime Network’s hit TV show, “Army Wives.” Miller has spoken at the Savannah Book Festival, S.C. Book Festival and Capital Bookfest.
Miller, a 1989 graduate of Clover High School, visits 130 to 150 schools across the Carolinas and Georgia each year, talking to students about his books, his writing and his art.
Miller said he cuts paper with an Exacto knife into different shapes to create the artwork for his books. He said hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper go into creating the books, and the illustration for one page can take anywhere from 10 to 60 hours.
“I would do books faster,” he said, “but the art work takes so long to do.”
In “Sammy in Space,” Sammy is charged with proving whether Pluto is a planet, since some folks on the Internet have dubbed it a “dwarf planet.” But before he can make the trip, he must go through astronaut training.
In preparation for his journey, Sammy learns how to fly a plane, operate a parachute and build a shelter. In the book, he blasts off on a journey that takes him to each of the planets in the solar system before he arrives on Pluto to gather information to take home.
Miller said he’s planning to begin another book project in the next few months. He said his next book might involve dinosaurs or Sammy’s family tree. He said he’s also considering an e-book.
Miller’s books are available online at sammydogbooks.com.