Interview with Amy Miles

How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has opened new doors that I could not open for myself. The ability to publish once and have my books on multiple websites is fantastic. I don't have to fret over figuring out each website's rules on formatting. I don't have to jump from site to site to check sales. It simplifies the process and allows me to save time. My relationship working with Smashwords has been fabulous. I can't say enough praise for the entire Smashwords team!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have always been a writer. It is in my blood. A calling that I always hoped could one day turn into something more than just a hobby. When I sat down to write my first official book nearly three years ago I knew it was a long shot. I knew there were countless people out there with talent and a story to tell...but so did I.

I write to entertain. To give people the chance to escape for a few hours from their lives and dip into a fantastical world. Isn't that why we read in the first place?
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The thing I love most about writing is allowing myself to become my characters. This isn't always an easy thing to do. I have evil characters that I have had to get into their minds in the past and to be honest, it's not a very nice place to be. I experience my character's pain, struggles and successes. I fall in love, laugh and cry with them. I weep when they die, when terrible things happen to them. They are a part of me and yet each has their own voice, their own thoughts and feelings. They become real in ways that I never dreamed possible.

I do not lead my stories. My characters carve their own paths and in allowing that to happen I am much like my readers in that I am simply along for the ride. I hold on tight until the very end and pray that at least one of my favorite characters made it through with me. Experiencing each of my stories unfold has been extraordinary and has touched me deeply. I have discovered things about myself that I truly don't think I would ever have known without this journey into the written world.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are everything to me. Literally. I sacrifice sleep to chat with them. I post pics, knowing that I will make a few of them laugh. I sends cards in the mail just to say hi. I give up writing time just to show someone that I care enough to respond to an email or Facebook message instead of waiting until I have free time. I make them a priority as much as I am able to.

Fans are the lifeblood of any author but it is so much more than that. They are THE reason I write. It's not about money, a title or any other superficial thing. It's about building a relationship with people across the world who simply enjoy a character that I created. I love spinning tales with them. Exploring the what ifs of story lines that I didn't have time to deal with in a particular book. Nothing thrills me more than when I get an email for a teen who has been inspired to write their own story just because they picked up one of mine.

That is what it is all about. Inspiring another person to follow their own dreams.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My upcoming book, unHappy Camper was spawned from a desire to spend the rest of my life living like a gypsy in a camper. I love the idea of tiny living, seeing the country (with my bed in tow) and just not having any roots to hold me back. I guess that's the Navy brat in me that is always eager to move on and see something new.

Although unHappy Camper is a rom com, it also deals with a "middle aged" woman going through an identity crisis after surviving breast cancer. She's lost a physical part of herself that she used to take pride in and now she's having to look beyond skin deep beauty to rediscover her worth. It's a beautiful tale filled with lots of funny mishaps (ie rabid raccoons and a poo geyser), some very real moments of self-worth doubts and the healing power of finding that one person in the world who will love you exactly as you are.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend a great deal of time writing. Far more than I probably should. Most days it seems like my entire life revolves around my book, but when it is a passion it hardly feels like work. When I do have some downtime I like to fish with my son off our dock. I enjoy spending a few hours on a golf course or snuggling up on the couch for a dinner and movie night with my family. I like spending my weekends in state parks hiking or biking. I enjoy doing renovation work or traveling. Since I am trapped in my office for hours on end during the week I tend to prefer getting out of the house and exploring, learning something new and being active.

I rarely have time to read any more, sadly. I find that when I do have the time my mind is overloaded with my own ideas that interfere with my ability to fall in love with any new characters.
What is your writing process?
Most of my books begin with a dream or a random thought. An idea that intrigues me. I like to look at the world differently than most people. I over analyse most things. When some people might not even have a reason to care, I will spend hours wondering "what if." I notice tiny details in everything. I spin plot ideas in a few minutes that leave most people either confused or stunned. Ideas for books come to me with great ease. Having the time to write all of them is another matter.

At the present time I have well over 40 separate book ideas locked away, waiting to be used. Considering most of those are for trilogies you can imagine that I have more than enough ideas to keep me going for years to come. I also have more than 15 novels started and in various stages of development at the moment.

When a dream or idea hits me I have learned to stop and immediately write it down. Sometimes simply writing the idea is enough. Other times I have to drop everything and just write. It might only be a chapter or three. Sometimes I will lock myself away and emerge with 20k words written on a book that I might not have time to touch for two years, but none of that time is wasted.

People speak of not ignoring your muse. I think that writing is very much an intentional and planned activity but I also believe that when you are called to write something, you do it. No matter what. Deadlines can be stressful and there are times that I become sick of writing a particular book near the end, but I push through, knowing that as soon as I finish I can begin a new creation.

Writing is work. At least it should be. It is not easy nor is it frivolous. Each person has their own way of doing things. My way would probably make most people nervous. When I put my mind to it, and I have done this several times, I can write a 100k novel in one week. I don't like to do that, mostly because I am forced to ignore my poor family but I work well under pressure. I set insane deadlines on purpose knowing that it pushes me to be better. Once the deadline is met, and I never miss a deadline, I will begin the process of edits and rewrites. This is where a story truly begins.

I work hard and play hard. That is my way of writing.
How do you approach cover design?
I'm a very visual writer so I usually need a cover image completed before I ever start writing the book. I need a face to go with my main character. A feeling that the cover is meant to express. Without that, I might end up shifting away from my goal halfway through the book and loose direction.
What do you read for pleasure?
I'm an eclectic reader so I love to jump through multiple genres. I love anything that has fantasy mingled in with a bit of romance. Suspense is great. A little thrill or mystery is always good too.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Being real with people has been the best way to cultivate relationships with my readers. I share my life on social media. I post pics of my family and our homestead. I crack jokes to make people smile. Post silly cat memes when I see lots of drama hitting the publishing world. I just try to get to know people. Take the time to show that I care about them. I never wanted to be that author who took for granted that people spend their hard earned money on one of my books. I want them to know that I appreciate them.
Describe your desk
Oh, my. I'll be honest...it's usually a disaster. Chaotic and messy but in an organized way. I know where everything is. The problem is that throughout my day I tend to need every piece of it so it's a necessary clutter.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I was gifted a Kindle Fire for Christmas a couple of years ago, but I'm a diehard iBooks fan when reading on my phone. I tend to download ebooks on both so that I can easily read no matter where I am.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up as an only child who was also a Navy brat. We moved a lot, which meant that I lost friends every couple of years and had to start all over. Being the new kid all of the time was hard. So I turned to books. They became my friends. And they never had to leave.
Published 2018-07-11.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Hollow Earth
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 86,080. Language: English. Published: October 30, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
Ferrying the dead was my job. Now I’m stuck pretending to be a bloody Royal. Aed saved my life and now I’m his betrothed, but my heart refuses to leave Devlin in my past. My love life isn’t the only problem. The Lorcan are changing. They won’t stay trapped behind the wall of Hollow Earth for long. I’ll need Aed and his army if we hope to win the war, but will I be a friend or his bride?
The Ruby Eye
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 14,230. Language: English. Published: November 28, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Paranormal, Fiction » Children’s books » Readers / Chapter Books
A curse that will be broken. A soul eager to be released. A mystery unraveled. When three young friends discover that the Trickster Ghost has found a way to break the curse, they must risk it all to keep him trapped or darkness will be unleashed on their unsuspecting town. Join Tommy, Jack, and Becky in THE RUBY EYE.
Jasper
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 87,400. Language: English. Published: September 12, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Working for a high-end escort service in the heart of London, I pride myself in keeping clients at arm’s length. At least that is until Jasper Theron crosses my path and challenges everything I believe in. When my co-workers start turning up dead, I find myself trapped in Jasper’s world of sex, lies, and hit men. Nothing is as it seems...
Netherworld
Series: The Hallowed Realms. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 93,590. Language: English. Published: October 10, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
Flatline. The moment when one life ends and the next begins. That’s my cue. My job as a Banshee is to ferry the humans to the afterlife, not to fall for one. A war of monsters is waging in my world. He won't be safe with me and yet we seem to be tied together in the Netherworld.
Savage
Series: The Immortal Rose Trilogy. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 79,320. Language: English. Published: July 18, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
The world has changed. Humans live, fall in love and return to the dirt from which they came, but for Roseline Enescue, time stands still. A hundred years pass without word from Fane and she begins to doubt that he ever truly existed at all. Her husband, Vladimir continues in his ruthless pursuit to destroy her spirit. Soon it is no longer survival that she longs for...but blood.
The Trickster
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 11,060. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Readers / Chapter Books, Fiction » Children’s books » Paranormal
A curse passed down through the ages. A soul trapped in limbo. A mystery to be solved. When three young friends decide to spend the night in an old abandoned house, rumored to be the haunting place of the Trickster ghost, they will get more excitement than they bargained for... The Trickster is a children's adventure/mystery chapter book perfect for ages 7-11. Inspired by a 4th grader's ideas.
Zombie High Chronicles 1
Series: Zombie High Chronicles. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 55,140. Language: English. Published: June 20, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Thriller & Suspense, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Horror
My name is Roan Sterling. I’m 17. I’m not infected. Three months ago my world went to hell. Dead Heads. Stiffs. Lame Brains. We had a lot of names for them to replace dad, sister or son. Something flipped a switch in their brains and the lights went out, but I suspected that the blackout was only temporary. I’d seen things I wasn’t supposed to. Life at Zombie High was about to get a lot bloodier.
Waiting on Us
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 48,130. Language: English. Published: December 29, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » New adult, Fiction » Romance » Adult
When an accident brings Elliot Carter and Claire Sullivan's lives crashing together, they learn that they will have to fight for more than survival, but the bonds formed in seclusion will soon be tested. When Elliot's father arrives to rescue them, declaring her unfit for his son, Claire will suffer the consequences of deciding to shoulder the burden of a secret that could destroy both of them.
Obsidian Flames (A Short Tale)
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 18,920. Language: English. Published: November 17, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
1647, Windsor Connecticut Fear of witchcraft was not brought about by the God fearing people of my village but through the whispers of a demon clothed in seductive crimson. It was she that destroyed my town from within, tore my family apart and sent me to an innocent's death. I am not a witch but I will burn as one. Most people thing the witch trials began in Salem. They are wrong. This is my tale
The Rising Trilogy Complete Box Set
Series: The Rising Trilogy. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 308,840. Language: English. Published: April 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
The Rising Trilogy box set: Defiance Rising, Relinquish and Vengeance Illyria has never known a life without the Rebellion. Instinct. Survival. Nothing else matters…until she ventures out into unknown territory and is faced with an enemy that proves even more fierce and determined than she ever thought. Illyria must discover if she has the strength to sacrifice her heart to save mankind.
In Your Embrace
Series: Cherished Hearts (standalone novels), Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 61,000. Language: English. Published: June 24, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Romance, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
A man without hope. A woman with a grave diagnosis. A man weighed down by tremendous guilt. Each will learn that all things happen for a reason...even when it costs them everything. How would you find the faith to carry on?
Vengeance, book III of the Rising Trilogy
Series: The Rising Trilogy, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 104,070. Language: English. Published: April 29, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
A heart never forgets true love. Peace comes to Calistead under Illyria’s reign. At Eamon’s side, there are many things to celebrate but peace is fleeting. Dreams of a man with piercing blue eyes haunt her. She feels certain that she knows him, or worse, that he knows her too. When an attack imprisons her, Illyria discovers a strength within to survive. Mercy is not an option. She needs vengeance
Desolate, Book I of the Immortal Rose Trilogy
Series: The Immortal Rose Trilogy, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 98,250. Language: English. Published: April 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
(4.00 from 1 review)
A wedding massacre. An innocence stolen. Mortality stripped away. In a single night, everyone Roseline Dragomir has ever loved is slaughtered before her eyes. Alone in the world and bound by a solemn marriage vow to a vicious murderer, she must find a strength buried deep within to keep going or risk completely losing herself. Will she uncover a will not just to survive...but to fight back?
Evermore, an Arotas novella
Series: The Arotas Series, Book 4. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 13,230. Language: English. Published: March 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Paranormal
With a single vow and a swift blow, everything Roseline Enescue held dear is stripped away. The battle is over, but the victory is far from sweet. Laying Gabriel to rest in the Enescue family mausoleum beside her beloved friend, Fane is the hardest thing she has ever had to do. With an eternity of loneliness stretching out before her, Roseline withdraws into herself but love finds a way.
The Arotas Trilogy Box Set
Series: The Arotas Series. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 241,660. Language: English. Published: February 26, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Roseline Enescue didn't ask to become an immortal, to have all of the guests are her wedding slaughtered or be forced into marriage with a man whose lust for blood would one day ignite the vampire legend. Follow Roseline as she battles against the bonds of a forbidden love in Forbidden, experience her journey to save her soul mate in Reckoning and battle to protect humanity in Redemption.
Relinquish: Book II of the Rising Trilogy
Series: The Rising Trilogy, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 102,160. Language: English. Published: December 30, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
The rising is over, but the war continues to rage. King Aloysius knows Illyria exists and will stop at nothing to possess her. Jealousy drives a wedge between Illyria and Eamon. When Bastien reveals himself as her guide into enemy territory, an ambush lands them in captivity. Illyria is faced with the truth that she is not ready to face her destiny…or let Bastien go again.
A Love Restored
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 63,540. Language: English. Published: September 27, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » New adult, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Ashlyn Doyle is a sweet wallflower by nature, but as personal assistant to a bestselling erotica author she must throw herself into her work. Meeting Slade Collins on the streets of London may be more than she bargained for. Determined to make a mark on the world, Slade Collins leaps at the opportunity to be a cover model, but as Slade moves toward his dream he learns fame isn’t everything.
Redemption, Book III of the Arotas Trilogy
Series: The Arotas Series, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 85,510. Language: English. Published: July 18, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
Roseline teeters on the brink of insanity. A string of gruesome murders A tremulous pact. Lives hang in the balance. Two deadly tasks. An epic battle. Redemption is coming…
Reckoning, book II of the Arotas Trilogy
Series: The Arotas Series, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 71,660. Language: English. Published: July 16, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
A love torn apart. A truce among enemies forged. Friendships severed. A destiny revealed. A vow broken. A Reckoning is coming. The prophecy binds them all together, but will they break before the end?
Forbidden
Series: The Arotas Series, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 85,610. Language: English. Published: November 4, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Paranormal, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
(4.50 from 4 reviews)
Roseline Enescue didn't ask to become an Immortal, to have all of the guests at her wedding slaughtered, or be forced into marriage with a man whose lust for blood would one day ignite the vampire legend. Willing to risk everything for a chance at a normal life, Roseline escapes to America. But her transition into the human world isn't easy, especially when she meets Gabriel Marston.
Defiance Rising
Series: The Rising Trilogy, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 110,140. Language: English. Published: August 18, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Illyria has never known a life without the Rebellion. Instinct. Survival. Nothing else matters…until she ventures out into unknown territory and is faced with an enemy that proves even more fierce and determined than she ever thought. Bastien is infuriating, dangerous and annoyingly gorgeous. Eamon is familiar, comforting and turning into a man before her eyes. Both want her heart...but she is