Jim Miles [jmiles]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
First read? Way too long ago to remember, some kids stories a propos to the mid-fifties I would prsume. I began writing just out of interest in trying my hand at it. After years of reject letters I was about to give up when I found out that my efforts at marketing made it tax deductible and thus continued doing it - with many more rejects, more and more worded kindly and supportively, but still rejected. So my first readrs were all editors who did not like what they saw enough to publish any of it.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
All my recently published stuff can be found at www.jim.secretcove.ca/index.Publications.html
Otherwise an online search of my name will produce some results, and most of my work is published on line at www.palestinechronicle.com before it is submitted to other publishers.
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
My creative process stems from anger, frustration, at the current world situation, stemming originally from an environmental perspective - very fundamental - too many people consuming too many goods - and then expanding into politics, consumerism, militarism, and current affairs, being mostly American foreign affairs, with a distinct and clear anti-empire message. Before sitting down to write all I need is to read or see on TV another act or statement of stupidity or ignorance coming from some politician or corporate personality or some military genius - these comments are quite frequent, then I either sit and write immediately or mull it over for a while trying to organize my feelings into arguments that make a coherent counter to whatever statement.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
I read science, natural history, and for the past five years, as much current events foreign policy material as I can handle while trying to stay sane and keep my day job.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Of a story? Never been successful with that, but as a teacher I find junjior novels much better than adult novels - no pretension, usually great story lines, always human interest.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
First for non-fiction - if I advocate a position I should stand behind it - third for fiction.
What well known writers do you admire most?
Well known..hmmm depends on your definition of well known: Noam CHomsky, Howard Zinn, Chalmers Johnson, Andrew J. Bacevich, Jared Diamond, Ilan Pappe, Jonathan Cook.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
As a non-fiction writer all my characters create themselves: who can beat Cheney, Bush, Karzai, and all the other politicos, and Greenspan and Bernanke - no creation needed, they are all tragic characters.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
No, haven't really tried.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
Everyone who cares to listen about an idea that might change the world in even the smallest way for the betterment of all species.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
FOr sure, I can't read all the garbage that goes around as political commentary and then just leave it. My response is my therapy to my anger, tho there are very few internal conflicts on that topic, I advocate quite strongly my particular beliefs.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Not really, no fan mail here, tho some editor replies are strengthening my perspectives and will to carry on.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
NOt at all.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
All my draghts go to the editor at Palestine Chronicle first, they are usually published without correction or comment. Does someone read them before this? NO, I know my own mind and what I am thinking and if my writing does not satisfy my own perspective I won't submit it.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
None, spur of the moment suits me fine. I'm always checking for new material, whenever the impulse hits.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
Silence and a good dictionary and a computre for quick reference checks.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
ALways on computer. Only print sometimes if I write something that I want to put in my personal journal (not often) I correct on screen via "Spell check", works most of the time.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
Only those sites that publish my work. I don't "chat", have no interest in facebook or any chatrooms, waste of time, phone works efficiently when I need to talk to someone. ANd sometimes a letter, the old fashioned kind, can still carry a lot of weight.
What has been your experience with publishers?
See previous answers near beginning - all fiction has been rejected, much of the later stuff kindly, but still rejected. With non-fiction, very positive for articles and reviews, have only attempted one book length thesis without success.
What are you working on now?
RObert Kagan's "The Return of History" another review of another generally hubristic American exceptionalist.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Either throw them away immediately or show them to someone immediately, otherwise they are just another pile of paper that means nothing to anybody except you.