Saturday, September 18, 2010

Love, Jamie by AKM Miles


~AKM Miles~

Tell us a bit about Love, Jamie.

My mother had fallen and broken her hip and was in a rehab facility. As I visited her daily, I began to notice a tech that was, literally, Jamie. The little old ladies loved him because he cared for them so well, taking pains to ease theirs and make their stay a better experience. He joked and teased and flirted with them to make them feel special, all the while getting his job done. I talked with him and he was taking classes to become a physical therapist. I thought, "Boy, you need a book."

What's your favorite part of writing this book?

I like characters, and though I have often been slammed for the fact that I have such nice characters (they're all just so damn nice) I write what I want to see in people. Jamie was a good person and I enjoyed writing him that way. He cared about others and I could see him loving Miss Wilhemina and having the dog and falling for Grant. I haven't seen the guy who inspired the story since, but I know he is still making people happy somewhere.


 I liked developing the storyline with Jamie and Grant, since Grant was new to his feelings and wasn't sure about how to go about things. It was fun.

What can we look forward in the future from you?

I have a novel coming from MLR in the fall called Cold Winters. It is about a sheriff in a small rural town in Kentucky. In December (11th) Something for Santa comes out from Silver Publishing. I have started writing For Gom's Sake!, which is a sequel to Soldier...and seems to be much-anticipated by fans who keep asking for Gom's story. Tommy's was a short one, but this will be a full novel and will come from MLR.

If you could change one thing about your publishing career, what would it be?

I wish I could write faster and better. I don't want to lose any quality, but would like to be able to get more out there. I'm proud of what I've done so far and hope to get better as I go. I need to ignore negative feedback and not let it bother me. There hasn't been that much, but I need to grow a tougher skin.


I wish I could care less about what reviewers say, but I'm just not made that way. I take it to heart. But, that's my problem, not theirs. They come out with their opinion and I just have to live with it. On the whole, I've had fair, good, to great reviews. Some, though, have really not cared for my style of writing, but... alas...The response from the fans makes it all worthwhile. Their letters and encouragement have made this new career a wonderful experience.

Where can we find your website?

I'm working with someone now to get one set up. You can find a complete list of my works here: I intend to get a web site and lose a couple of the blogs and so on, so it can all be more centralized. I need to streamline my information into one or two spots and make it more user-friendly for me to keep it up. Hang in there and I will announce it when it is a done deal.

I really appreciate the support of the reviewers at Literary Nymphs. Thanks for the good reviews!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Truth in the Dark by Amy Lane

Tell us a bit about Truth in the Dark

Okay—bear with me here, I’m going to answer this one in a roundabout way:

I’m a big girl—fairly overweight, extremely weird, and, just for masochistic kicks; I teach high school English in an urban environment. Every year I have to do the same thing: put on my bitch armor and get ready to go face the masses. Now, I actually like kids—I LOVE them. But for the first couple of weeks I have to be a raging bitch, absolutely determined to take no crap, take no prisoners, and to draw first blood whenever possible. It’s a necessary ritual—if I let the students in too quickly, the rest of my year is a disaster, it never fails. And, sure enough, by the end of the first month, there are always the kids who get your jokes, know you’ll help them if they ask, and stop between classes to tell you something funny. By the end of the year, there are kids who will say “Hi!” to you when you’re walking down the halls, just to hear you do the same.

But that vicious period at the beginning, when you have to have your defenses up—that’s brutal. That’s when the nice person you are has to be ruthlessly squashed down, because if you let her show, she’s going to be destroyed. It’s that experience that I tried to channel with Naef, the first person hero in Truth in the Dark. He’s been deformed since birth, and he’s a sensitive soul. The people in his village got wind of this and savaged him. When he’s finally presented with someone who can see past his defenses, it’s going to take a while before he can ever really trust that it is true. Aerie-Smith, the man cursed with the lion’s body, is smart enough to see Naef for who he really is—and strong enough to hold fast against the man’s quick tongue and bitter sense of humor. I love that dynamic—and readers seem to as well.

What’s your favorite part of writing this book? Why?

I wrote this poem a gazunga years ago (that’s a real number you know!) about ‘the writing dragon’—and how it gets a hold of you and doesn’t let go. When the dragon has you, you can be writing along a pathway you’ve been planning for months, and the dialog and the characterization and even the plot just take over on their own. Suddenly, you’re not writing, you’re flying, and the story is riding you, and you just keep writing as fast as you can to see where it’s going to take you. It’s wondrous. Hell—it’s almost divine. The last two chapters of “Truth” were like that—I was flying, and crying, and I just had this ball in the pit of my stomach like the night before Christmas, but better. I felt like I was doing it right—just all the way down to vitals and spine. It was awesome—doesn’t always happen like that.

What can we look forward in the future from you?

Oh gods... that question always gets me to the never-ending writing queue, but I think right now I must tell you about stuff that’s already been accepted! I have three novellas coming up at Dreamspinner Press—Talker, Guarding the Vampire’s Ghost, and Hammer and Air. Vampire’s Ghost is a novella from my self-published work, The Little Goddess series, and it features a much lamented hero from Vulnerable. I can’t wait to see Adrian make his big debut—I think people are really going to fall in love with him! Hammer and Air is another one of the fairy tale covers that Dreamspinner put out, and the fairy tale it’s based on—“Snow White and Rose Red” is not well known—but it was always one of my favorites when I was a kid. This is one those stories that surprised me and took over, and by the end, I was sobbing over my keyboard like Kathleen Turner at the beginning of Romancing the Stone. (I love it when that happens. That usually mean it will move other people too.) Talker is different—it’s sort of a haunting short novella about two college kids taking care of each other, and how we all try to hide our most obvious scars in plain sight.

If you could change one thing about your publishing career, what would it be? Why?

I’d re-edit Vulnerable, Wounded, and Bound (my first three self-published novels) within an inch of their lives. I think they’re all sound work, and I am SO tired of having my story-telling ability confused with my craptacular editing. I got better—MUCH better, with a LOT of help from my friends on-line, and my next three books were damned near professional quality—but those first three books are really dear to my heart, and I’m not sure if they’ll ever get a real shot until they get re-done.

Where can we find your website?

My un-updated, boring website with the hella old photo? That would be at (And I need to have my husband update it this weekend—this is the second time I’ve been asked that question!) My boring, pictureless blog where I talk about knitting, motherhood, and teaching and (sometimes) writing, is at

The Little Goddess series, The Bitter Moon duet, the Promise Rock series, and other Dreamspinner Press titles.

You can find her at: