Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Julian Miles. 55 last time I checked.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Worthing in West Sussex, UK
Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e., your education, family life, etc.).
Had a basic education, left school at 16, never knew my real father. I worked in bio labs and loading bays before switching to IT and eventually moving into project management.
Recently lost my mum, so just a brother and two uncles remain of the immediate family.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I have an illustrated, limited edition paperback of my nineteenth book,Single White Male(a Cthulhu Mythos novella), coming out for WynterCon 4 (Princes Park, Eastbourne, 7th& 8th October 2017).
Six Degrees of Sky, my seventh annual anthology of flash and short science fantasy will be available worldwide from Amazon before Christmas.
(As with all of my Amazon editions, it will be available as a standard font paperback, an OpenDyslexic font paperback, and for Kindle. It will also be available from iTunes and for all other devices from Smashwords.)
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing at high school – inspired by some pulp biker fiction I was reading at the time- but the topics weren’t considered ‘proper’. After that, I left it be until I started creating worlds for roleplaying games and running long campaigns with deep backgrounds.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always been a writer. I started thinking of myself as an “author on my better days” in 2012.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Not coping at all well with several personal issues early in 2011 led me to revisit a dream: to get some of my work into print. It took me a few weeks of intensive work to collate and sift thirty years of poetry, but at the end of it, I had the first edition of my poetry collection.
Fiona: How did you come up with the titles?
Titles just come. I don’t consciously think them up. A phrase will strike a chord or a word will seem fitting, and from there it’s usually straightforward, unless a better choice surprises me.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My style is rooted in Andre Norton’s fantasy works and heavily influenced by Mick Farren’s cynical dystopias.
The biggest problem I’ve encountered is making sure to provide enough information for the reader to grasp what I intend. That being said, I still believe that the only person who reads and interprets a story as the author intended – is the author.
Fiona: How much your stories are realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
It’s a melange of experience, interviews, other’s narration or writing, and brute imagination.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world, albeit in brief sojourns; I’ve seen a lot of places. However, I haven’t needed to travel, much as the witnessing has helped.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Most of my cover artwork is done by a friend, Simon Mitchener. He creates CGI art and occasionally I see a piece or part of a piece that would suit or, indeed, inspires, a story. From there I do the formatting, titling, and layout.
Some of the simpler covers I create myself, while I’ve also been fortunate enough to secure contributions from established artists like Carl Critchlow.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Giventhat I’ve written over seven hundred stories, and with my first novel being an occasionally brutal piece of vampire horror, I’d have to go with one of the recurring themes: choose your friends wisely.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favourite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
A film producer by the name of Jonathan Glendening wrote a horror novel called Ravenswing a few years ago. I still hope he’ll write more.
I haven’t been attracted to much new fiction of late. As for favourite writers, I’d have to say Mick Farren, although I tend to have favourite books rather than favourite authors.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
There are many people, but the only hardcore supporter who loves my writing and isn’t afraid to give me a hard time about aspects of it would be a young lady named Gemma.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
It would be a fine thing. But, in real terms, unless you get lucky, writing for a living is a good way to stay poor.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Apart from magically having it become an instant cult classic, no.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learn from every book. Nuances of phrase, tricks of formatting, grammatical enhancements, the learning never ends.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
It would depend on which book or story, to be honest. Can I just leave this at not Tom Cruise?
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Just write. All the worrying over details and presentation and formatting and, and, and… Is irrelevant until you have a book, or at least a story. Beware that what you consider a reason to not write yet may simply be an excuse to not writeat all.
Ignore page counts, word counts etc. Write your story, your way.
So, just write. Also: never stop writing. Go as slow as you need, but never stop.
Finally: get at least one proof reader who knows their grammar and isn’t afraid to annoy you.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you for your time, support, and feedback.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Judge Anderson: Year One by Alec Worley.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I have a dark, dry sense of humour that is frequently nowhere near politically correct. As for crying, I’m terrible with scenes in films that have powerful emotions relating to love or duty.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
My real father. Out of curiosity more than anything else.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Playing a card game called Magic: The Gathering.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I can always watch Emmerich’s Godzilla, either of the Independence Days or The Warriors. Recently, I’ve enjoyed The Accountant, Guardians (Zashchitniki), King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Underworld: Blood Wars, and Ghost in the Shell – then again, I like all incarnations of Ghost in the Shell.
Series-wise, I am a diehard fan of Castle (except season 8), Dimension W, Numb3rs, Girls Und Panzer, Zoo, and Psycho-Pass.
I’m an avid watcher of films and series with fantastical themes. So, those named are only the tip of the iceberg that is my favourites stack.
Fiona: Favourite foods, colours, music?
Spicy yet simple: love meat and/or veg. Black or green are my colours and rock ‘n’ roll / rock is where my musical taste has lain since my early teens.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d probably look to taking my playing of Magic the Gathering to competitive levels.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Of all the clever things I’ve considered over the years, the only one that sticks comes from a concept in Andre Norton’s Breed to Come: ‘Gone to Gammage’.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
You can keep an eye on what I’m up to on my personal site: http://www.lizardsofthehost.co.uk/
You can find my books – including direct links for my Amazon paperbacks – on my publishing site: http://www.lothp.co.uk/
My personal blog is https://thesilentjudge.wordpress.com/