Depending on who you are and how much you trust the cosmos, you may be excited to learn that this is my year. I know it’s my year because Susan Miller told me.
If you don’t already know who Miller is, add her brainchild to your bookmarks: AstrologyZone, the must-read horoscopes site for six million new readers each month.
It’s been almost 20 years since Miller started publishing free horoscopes on AstrologyZone. Along the way, she’s gained a die-hard loyal following, an app, TV appearances, and a beauty collaboration of Zodiac Oval Soaps ($15) from the beauty brand fresh that comes with an accompanying 2015 horoscope booklet she penned herself.
“I want to be my reader’s best friend,” Miller told me at one of her first public appearances in a year. Even after an illness had her hospitalized for long stretches, Miller continued to write the horoscopes – which include complicated mathematical calculations – from bed.
And it was quite a bit of work. “My booklet for fresh was supposed to be 250 words, and I gave them 2,000,” explained Miller. “I’m isolated a lot. Each sign takes over seven hours to write. It’s always like being in the labor room at the end of the month. But it’s still fun! You have to have a job where you like the hard days.”
Miller’s 205,000 fans on Twitter are especially engaged with the astrologist’s massive output of content, from purchasing her app and TV show to responding to her requests for Twitter questions. Miller loves her fanbase in proportion to her exhaustive success, even asking for feedback on her horoscopes:
“I’ll say to people on Twitter, ‘Was I overly worried about the full moon on January 4? I thought it would be really difficult, but if you tell me that you had a good day, then I need to know that.’ Well, I got like 1700 responses from people who said ‘My cat died, my boyfriend broke up with me, my landlord is selling the building.”
As a fellow writer on the Internet, I was shocked that Miller, as she put it, “reads the haters.” At her level, she has quite a few, some of which have have been less than sympathetic:
“I’m killing myself writing these columns from the hospital. And one fan said, “The real Susan has little vignettes, little stories.”
But Miller can’t bear to let her fans down, even the critical ones, “so you’re seeing a lot more stories in there because of that one girl.” After realizing that two-thirds of American families have pets, she recently added dogs and cats to her repertoire of astrological topics along with your career and love life.
Miller’s tailor-made content feels more motherly than calculated. (“I don’t use ‘problem’, I use ‘challenge,’” Miller said ) Twenty-five minutes past our allotted interview time, it’s clear that Miller is genuinely in love with her profession. She gasped with delight when I told her my birthday, tipping me off that I’ll come across an opportunity for a business trip soon (Greece, perhaps? Just putting that idea out there, universe).
No wonder we can’t stop reading.