It is with the greatest pleasure that I have with me here today Johnny Miles, author of such books as Lauderdale Hearts, Casa Rodrigo, and the recently accepted for publication, Learning To Samba.
Hi Johnny! Thank you for joining me here today Naughty Nights Press! I am very excited learn all about you and your new book and to share it with our followers so lets get started!
1. Can you share a few “interesting facts” about your self?
Interesting, huh? Hmmm. Okay. Let's see. Well, way back, I used to be a phone sex operator and I've done some porn, both in front of and behind the camera. Don't know if that's the kind of interesting you were looking for but it's probably the closest it gets. LOL!
2. What is a typical day like for you?
Oh, I don't have typical days. I'm an independent contractor so every day is different. Sometimes I get to write a little, other days I'm working on my freelance projects, and sometimes in the evenings I work at a theatre box office.
3. What “pet peeves” do you have if any?
Yes. Religion and politics. Bigotry. Racism. Close-mindedness. Adults who put down, emotionally bully, and are deliberately cruel to others are also high on the list.
4. What is the best book you read last month, and would you recommend it to a friend?
Well, I haven't been reading anything new I'm afraid. I'm re-reading the Harry Potter books before the final movie comes out. I've just started the last book and would strongly recommend the books to anyone who hasn't yet read them.
5. When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
I've always known I wanted to be a writer. I just never really pursued it with the resolve and determination you need. I would do it for a while, get rejected, then stop. Then a few years later I'd start the whole thing over again. I was ready to quit until I met Treva. That's when I decided I'd give it one last go and if it didn't work I swore to myself I'd never write another word.
6. How long have you been writing?
Sporadically? Ever since I could remember. Though I didn't like it at first. I did it because I had to. You know, at the beginning of the school year when we had to write about what we did on our summer vacation, or just after Christmas when we'd have to write about what Santa brought us. I only realized I might be able to write when I started making stuff up and started getting better grades at the compositions and themes that were assigned.
7. What was your goal for yourself as a writer when you started? Did you meet or surpass it or did it change for you along the way?
Because I wasn't sure what was going to happen when I submitted my very first ever m/m romance my only goal was to get published. As I said, I was ready to throw in the towel. I guess you can say I surpassed the goal because I wrote a second book that was also published by Loose Id. I recently found out that my third, “Learning To Samba,” will be released September 6 and I'm very excited about that one. The few people who have read the first draft said they felt as if I'd found my voice. It gave me goose bumps the first time I heard that!
8. Do you write exclusively naughty erotic romance?
For now, yes. It's been m/m up until now. Not sure what the next one will bring. However, I do plan on trying to writing m/f and, eventually, try my hand at f/f romance. I also want to write stories outside of the romance genre. In fact, sometime this year I'll be working with Untreed Reads on a piece they've accepted entitled, “Christmas, Baby.” It is most definitely not a romance.
9. How did you decide to write books in your specific genre? Was there anything that influenced your choice?
I think the one thing that influenced me the most, outside of having met Treva and being “challenged” was the fact that I used to write gay porn. I guess now everyone calls it erotica. Being gay gives me an advantage in writing the smutty scenes but that doesn't guarantee you anything. I've ready some pretty crappy sex scenes written by men. In fact, back in the 80s, when I first started writing porn, that's why I did it. Everything I was reading made me want to barf, it was so bad.
10. Do you have a ritual to get you ready to write? Something special you do to psyche you up?
Because I don't write full-time (yet!) I don't really have any rituals. I kinda go with the energy and what feels right. Sometimes, if I have a long period of time to work with, I make my French press coffee, take it back up to bed with me, and stay there to work on a scene or two. Other times I pack up my laptop and head out to a local coffee shop. Or I pick a different room in the house. The spirit knows when it's ready so, I try to get out of the way, which isn't easy!
11. What are the elements of a great erotic romance for you?
For me, it's real and believable characters. They can be historical, sci fi or even fantasy, so the setting doesn't matter to me. But the characters, for me, have to be real. I need to be able to identify with them or at the very least, be so fascinated by them that even if they're total dicks I'd still want to keep reading.
There also has to be a good story because the naughty bits are fun but it doesn't take me on a journey. I want to be taken somewhere. Make sense?
Now, if you'd ask me what was the greatest love story of all time, I'd be hard pressed to pick one. I know you didn't ask but, in no specific order, Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara from “Gone With The Wind,” Rick Blane and Ilsa Lund from “Casablanca,” and The Doctor and Rose Tyler from “Doctor Who.”
12. What is your writing process like? How long does it take you to finish a story from beginning to end?
The writing process for me can vary. Sometimes, scenes play out in my mind as if I were watching a movie and all I'm doing is transferring it to the written word. Other times, it's excruciatingly painful. For example, the last book I wrote, Learning To Samba. I had to stop that one repeatedly because it deals with one man's grief and his inability to move forward, that is, until he meets João, a Brazilian med student.
I had to put myself the lead's position and imagine what it would be like to see my partner slowly fade before me and, eventually, pass away. I can't imagine my real life without my partner of 15 years so I was constantly battling depression until I was finally able to move the main character forward. Only then did the speed take off. I think it took me something like 6 or 7 months from start to finish.
13. What do you love most about writing?
14. What do you hate about it?
The thing I dislike about writing is that sometimes it is extremely painful. It fills you full of angst. At times, because I hold the story so close to me, I can't always tell if what I'm doing is the right thing. I second-guess myself constantly.
As for what I like the most about writing, is the discovery. I can get to explore mentally, spiritually, and physically, without ever getting into trouble. LOL! Frankly, the other really cool thing is that, through writing, I've been able to resolve some personal issues I might not have been able to address otherwise.
15. After writing for hours at a time how do you relax?
I watch movies. Certain television shows. Or I got out for a cup of coffee with friends. Go for a walk. Sometimes, depending on whether or not a scene was draining, I wind up taking a nice long nap.
16. What is your opinion of writer's groups? Do you find them helpful? And how did you find yours if you have one?
I'm assuming you mean critique groups? If so, they can be very tricky. Generally, I don't like a critique group because any of the groups I've ever belonged to were horrible. It revolved around the person who formed it, and anything anyone had to say was invalid. Egos rage supreme. Factions occur and splints the group. It can become very detrimental. A bad critique group can send a blooming writer running back into the closet, so to speak. A good critique group won't rip you a new one. Instead, they nurture you and make comments and critique but in a respectful and suggestive manner. I'm lucky I finally found one. I walked in prepared to hate it. But I wound up enjoying myself, the people in it and the way in which it's run. There are no egos, no pretense. Just people getting together for the joy of writing. It's a small group, too, which is imperative for the success of any writer involved in it. The guy who put it together advertised in the Stonewall Library newsletter because he felt there was a need for a group where anyone was welcome and could read excerpts of their work in a non-judgmental environment.
17. Is writing your full-time job? If not, how and when do you find time to write?
It isn't yet though I look forward to the day when it is. Finding the time is tricky between freelance work, my temp job, promo for my last book, etc. Basically it's catch as catch can. Lately, however I've decided to write only in the mornings. I give myself 90 minutes to two hours each day. So far, it hasn't exactly worked out. Something always comes up which seems to take priority. But when I get hooked on a story? Watch out. You're not going to see me for hours, if not days at a time.
18. Is there a specific bit of advice you would give to an aspiring author who is looking to publish their work?
LOL! Yes. Most definitely. Don't think that you're first book is going to save you from a crappy job you hate and make you millions. You have to work at it, a little at a time. You have to put yourself out there and connect with readers. Sometimes you have to have the faith and belief in what you're doing even when common sense and everything else tells you not to. You have to listen to that tiny voice inside your heart, the one that tells you to keep going. Above all else talent helps, of course. I think more than anything, you just have to want it so bad that you're willing to make whatever sacrifice you need to in order to make it happen. You might lose friends. You might even lose certain family members. You're true loved ones, however, will stick by you.
I think you also can't hang on to just one publication. You need to be willing to go through the entire process all over again after you finish and submit your first book.
This road isn't easy. But when things start to come together it feels so good!
19. How did you decide on a Publisher? What were the factors that convinced you it was the right one for your work?
For me, the only choice was Loose Id. It wasn't just because I met Treva Harte and really liked what she had to say. I got the vibe that she was genuine, ya know? That she's truly interested in the writer, the process, the work and the end result. Loose Id also came so highly recommended by Bobby Michaels that I hadn't really thought of submitting to anyone else since I didn't know any other publishers of the genre.
20. Can you share a little bit about your current release with us? Where can we find it?
Sure! I'd be happy to. My current release is “Lauderdale Hearts.” It's about Blake Hudson, a successful, 39-year-old advertising executive who has everything he could want. He's not rich, mind you, but he's got a fantastic apartment in Manhattan, the perfect clothes, electronic gadgets and anything he could possibly want. But when he suffers a heart attack he discovers that the one thing he doesn't have and wants most in the world, is someone to share his life with. He's kinda forced by his partners at the agency to leave New York for a short while and recuperate in Fort Lauderdale. That's where he meets Ricky Sanchez, a hunky 25-year-old, latin massage therapist who shows Blake that there's more to life than chasing after money.
The book was released by Loose Id this past January and can be purchased through them. It's also available through Amazon, A.R.e and several other distributors.
21. Where can your readers find you? Blog/Website/Twitter or any other links you’d like to share with us please feel free.
I'm part of a Yahoo group called “The Sweet Spot” which also features S.J. Frost and Sloan Parker. The url is: http://groups.yahoo.com/adultconf?dest=%2Fgroup%2FTheSweetSpotMM%2F. My website is: http://www.johnny-miles.com. People can also befriend me on Facebook.
This has been a phenomenal interview and I would like to say thank you Johnny for taking time out of your day to tell us all about yourself and your writing.
I am sure there will be many updating their TBR lists after this!
LOL! Thank you. The pleasure was all mine. It was great fun and you can invite me back to your couch anytime!
About Johnny Miles
Johnny Miles has been writing erotica since 1985. His work has appeared in various magazines but it wasn’t until 2008 that he began to take writing seriously. That’s when he submitted his first m/m romance, Casa Rodrigo, to e-publisher Loose Id.
His second novel, Lauderdale Hearts, was also released by Loose Id. Now, Johnny is spreading his wings and branching out into different genres.
Johnny is currently working on a third romance entitled “Learning To Samba,” which was recently accepted for publication by Loose Id.
He currently lives in Fort Lauderdale with his partner (and silent sufferer) of 15 years, along with 3 lunatic Pugs and a prissy, Prima Donna cat.
His romance novels are available through Loose Id.
For more information about the author, you can visit his website
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