The latest from bestselling The Woods author Milo Abrams teases readers with a new monster hit. In this interview from Smashwords.com—including news of a big announcement—Milo discusses the real-life influences that inspired his work.
For a great many years before Milo’s stories started appearing across the internet, the dreams of writing a book drifted between his ears. He dabbled in writing for years, and as a young husband and father with a growing family, he knew that he had to do whatever it took to take care of his family.
Living in the “Rust belt” state of Ohio didn’t provide much fertile ground for nurturing his creative dreams, and so he took to Amazon’s KDP as a means of doing something more than wishful thinking. Despite a slow and arduous learning process, Milo kept pushing forward with writing and publishing his novels The Woods and Origins, which deal with the story of a monster in the woods of the Ohio countryside. Following his novels, the novella Waiting For the Fall displayed another imaginative twist, inspiring even more shorter works that followed.
“It was a very inspired beginning. My ambition and ideas were bright and hot with anticipation. I was nearly tripping over myself.”
Inspiration seems to be the hallmark of all creative endeavors. After your second novel, the stories seemed to be rapidly coming into being. What inspires you to write?
I don’t know how to answer that. If by inspiration you mean what drives me to write, and pushes me to succeed—then I would say my family, particularly my wife. If you mean what is the process or thing that generates the ideas, or what is the source of where my writing comes from…I think there’s an invisible quality to life that drives all of existence and emotion. When you experience that, people say it’s from the heart, or God, and while I don’t ascribe to any religion exclusively, I do believe there is an intelligence to life itself, and that the ideas come through me from that.
The very same way that my love for my wife is not generated by me or instigated by anything other than the totality of her existence, and the fact that I simply cannot help myself. I am a coduit, or vessel, that an unquestionable, unquantifiable love flows through. Something like that.
Your most recent works have all been shorter. Is there deliberate reason behind that?
No. At least not anymore. There was a time, after Origins, that I was putting too much pressure on myself solely with the length of the story. It’s something that so many people do, and I needed a way to break away from that. Waiting For the Fall was the first venture into that space, but in practice, was created solely from not planning. With that story, I just had an idea and ran with it.
I’m not a meticulous planner but it was the first time that I just wrote a story out. From there on, I just let the stories be whatever length they were.
Do you have plans to go back to novels?
Absolutely. Novel writing is a unique form of writing. Many people love to read only novels, and I have ideas that are reserved specifically for that format.
What’s something people don’t know about your stories?
They are all connected in some way. If you look hard enough you’ll find the connections. A lot of thought goes into each of my stories. I’m a very deliberate writer. I don’t rewrite, so I try to get it right the first time through. I may not have a famous name but I have twice the heart. A greater story is slowly being revealed. Give it time.
You don’t rewrite? That must make the process take a while?
I edit and am thoughtful as I lay the words like bricks. When I’m finished I’ll read through it again and look for errors and see how it feels, then it will go to my wife. Any rewriting will take place based on her evaluation of it. But I usually have only a draft or two, nothing major. While I’m slow to write, I can still write quickly. When in the thick of it, I average between 500-1000 words per hour, and 2000-6000 words per day.
What’s next for you? Are you currently writing?
I’m always writing. Whether it’s laying the words down or just thinking through the ideas. I’m very proud of everything I’ve made, and so I like to make sure that what I do make is really good. I have to love it, and I want the people who read it to love it too.I actually have a big announcement coming toward the end of summer—maybe end of July to the beginning of August—that will really kick-start some new and incredible stories.
Can you tell us anything more about the announcement? Are you releasing new work?
It’s a big deal, I think. Usually, when people have some sort of big announcement it’s all about themselves. But this is less about me than it is the readers.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
1) Myself (you have to love what you write)
2) My wife (she’s way better than me)
3) Stephen King (not all of it)
4) Some Hugh Howey
5) Maya Angelou
Not in any particular order.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The struggle. I think the two reasons people get out of bed is because they have to get up to work to survive, or their survival is guaranteed, and they love their lives so much that they can’t stand to stay asleep and miss a single minute. I think we’re all working toward the second one. Living the dream or dreaming to live.
You said writing had been your dream. When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
With my wife and seven kids. Playing, fighting, loving. Human stuff. I’m always in some form of writing, though. Mostly mental.
It takes some people years to write a book. How long does it take you?
It really depends. The Woods was written in three weeks, and Origins in four. Since I don’t really rewrite, the editing may take a couple weeks at most with scheduling and adjustments. The shorter stories can be written and completed anywhere from a day to a weekend.
I assume you’re not finished, and always aspiring to write more, so what kind of book would you like to write?
Something that feels like falling in love. A story that instantly grabs your brain and shakes it, allowing the words to slip right past it and go straight to your heart. A book that you can’t stop thinking about after it’s done, that inspires a dozen more sequels and prequels and spin-offs. A story that creates an entire universe around itself. So, pretty much a human being.
Honestly, I want to write my wife’s all-time favorite book for the rest of forever.
Where do you hope to be in ten years with your writing career?
I don’t need much. I don’t need to be the next Stephen King. I would honestly just love to be home and let my work be my writing, and continue to write imaginative and heart-felt stories. I want my readers to love them, and I want to make my wife and children proud.
So, if you won the lottery or money “wasn’t an option”, would you still write?
Absolutely. Only difference would be that every eBook I have ever made and will ever make would be free. I’d also write more.
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