Interview with Milo James Fowler

When did you first start writing?
I was 12 when I grew tired of The Hardy Boys and decided to start writing my own stories. Most of them were terrible, but I had a lot of fun. Novels, short stories, comics. I took a break from writing between college and the first few years of my career, but thanks to my wife's encouragement, I've been back at it in a big way for the past 8 years.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I enjoy my characters, and I enjoy sharing them with the world. Every time one of my stories is accepted for publication, I see it as validation that there is an audience for my work. Smashwords has made it possible, once the rights revert to me, to share these tales with a wider audience via their eReaders.
What are you working on next?
I'm in the process of finding publishers for 6 of my novels. One is currently under consideration by a small press, and another is being considered by an agent. I'm also revising a weird/horror novella I wrote earlier this year.
Who are your favorite authors?
Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, and China Mieville
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I've got to check my email for acceptances/rejections! Acceptances make my day, of course; rejections are permission slips to send my work where it really belongs. As a teacher, every day is another chance to try to inspire my students to love writing.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not teaching or writing, I like to read, surf, swim, mountain bike, play guitar, eat Mexican food, and watch science fiction in all its forms.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes indeed: It was about a violinist who played for his village as they drifted off to sleep. In the morning, he asked for tips, but they all slammed their doors in his face. I typed it up on a manual typewriter, and I still have it. But I'm not sure what it was really about.
What is your writing process?
I try to write 1,000+ words of new material every day that I'm working on a project, and the rest of the time, I'm revising. Or I'm writing flash-sized tales in spontaneous bursts. Write1Sub1 has been a great motivator to keep writing, and it's a supportive community of fellow writers honing their craft.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Gizmo is a 2009 Kindle, and he's definitely my eReader of choice. Sometimes I'll read on my iPad, but nothing beats Gizmo's glare-free screen.
How do you approach cover design?
I have almost as much fun with my covers as I do writing the stories. I look for free, commercial-use images that remind me of an element from one of my stories; I resize the images and choose the right free, commercial-use font, and I tinker until I'm content. I don't spend anything on republishing my reprints; I take care of all the formatting and covers myself. They're not the best I've ever seen, but they're definitely not the worst.
What do you read for pleasure?
Right now, I'm reading WOOL by Hugh Howey. Up next will be either JOYLAND by Stephen King or IRON COUNCIL by China Mieville. I also have RAILSEA by Mieville on Gizmo, so that's another option. I always try to be in the middle of a good book while I'm writing. It inspires me to get my stories out there where they belong.
Published 2013-09-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Beyond: Space Opera
Pre-release—available August 12, 2015. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 30,180. Language: English. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
GET READY FOR SWASHBUCKLING ACTION AMONG THE STARS. This collection includes humorous action and adventure alongside stories with heart. You’ll travel the galaxy to far-flung planets, meeting heroic humans and aliens alike — even a mech and a clone. There may be lions and jet packs, to boot. No pigs in this space, but otherwise, all bets are off. Strap in, and prepare yourself for a wild ride!
Roadkill Joe: Post-Apocalyptic Hero
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,380. Language: English. Published: April 4, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
Joe ain't no hero. He just wants to die. The kids they call him "Roadkill" on account of how them Horrors sucked him up into the sky to have their way with him, then dropped him in the middle of a street full of traffic. His back's hurt him something fierce ever since, but otherwise, he's right as rain. That's not to say life's been a bed of roses—unless all we're talking about is the thorns.
Tales of a Suburban Samurai
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,900. Language: English. Published: March 11, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Adventure » Action
Armed with a samurai sword he purchased on eBay, twenty-something Darrel sets out to right the wrongs he perceives in his parents' quiet neighborhood. With a loose grasp on reality but a firm hold on his katana, Darrel learns the hard way that saving the day isn't as easy as the real heroes make it out to be. Short Stories - Humor / Adventure
Yakuza Territory
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 26,130. Language: English. Published: February 28, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
A detective with no way out. A telepath with something to prove. Struggling to survive the night, one private eye must rely on his wits to solve a mystery where he's outnumbered, outgunned, and trapped inside a police station with a soulless killing machine.
Immaterial Evidence
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 27,880. Language: English. Published: February 28, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
To avoid the fury of a local mob boss, Charlie Madison has been hiding out in Little Tokyo. But when an old friend lures Madison back into the city to hunt down an invisible criminal--if he can--federal agents swoop onto the scene. Embroiled in an unimaginable mystery, one private eye must rely on his wits to solve a case where the evidence is immaterial, and the odds are stacked against him.
Doppelgänger’s Curse
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 15,710. Language: English. Published: February 28, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
A woman stalked by her double. A detective in over his head. In a city where the cops are on a mobster’s payroll, private investigator Charlie Madison stands in the gap. When a wealthy young socialite asks him to help her catch a threatening stalker, he takes the case. But things aren’t what they seem, and Madison has to act fast before he’s framed for murder. Novelette - Crime Noir / SciFi
Girl of Great Price
Price: Free! Words: 12,930. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
In a city run by a powerful mobster, nobody wants to play the hero. Private investigator Charlie Madison just wants to pay the rent. When a little girl goes missing and no ransom demand is made, Madison takes the case. Time isn't on his side. After 48 hours, it's unlikely an abducted child will be found in one piece. But Madison's a champion of lost causes, and he'll be damned before he gives up.
Dahlia and the Ronin
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,570. Language: English. Published: November 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
Dahlia, the last human child, has been summoned to a banquet in her honor by the Elders of the great council. Her escort, Brawnstone the trollgre, must carry her through the dangerous ruins of a human city, deep into the abandoned warehouse district where the feast is to be held. No one knows this little girl's dark secret -- not even Dahlia herself. Short Stories - Science Fiction / Fantasy
Maikro - haiku & microfiction
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 3,460. Language: English. Published: September 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Asian poetry, Fiction » Science fiction » General
Maikro collects 99 haiku and 34 works of microfiction, most falling in the speculative fiction realm (science fiction, fantasy, horror) with a few literary pieces tossed into the mix wise elder wordsmyth telling tales of earth that was blue skies in our minds
Coyote Cal - Tales from the Weird West
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 43,370. Language: English. Published: July 10, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Western & American frontier, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
In these thrilling tales from yesteryear, Coyote Cal and his trusty sidekick Big Yap encounter a wizard able to change his shape at will, a scheming witch, a confused zombie, la chupacabra grande, bloodthirsty vampyres, and other sordid fiends. Our heroes will have to rely on their wits, skills, and loads of hot lead to ensure justice prevails. Short Stories - Weird Western / Horror / Humor
Out of Time
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 18,770. Language: English. Published: June 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Out of Time collects three un-timely tales: "One More Tuesday" - Josef finds himself trapped with only one way out—and a life or death decision once he discovers how to free himself. "Leap Day" - Joan experiences a time distortion in her own apartment, and she must weave her knowledge of the past and future in order to survive the present. "The BackTracker" - A future noir detective story.
Captain Bartholomew Quasar: Starfaring SPACE
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 15,650. Language: English. Published: March 24, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Parody
Join Captain Bartholomew Quasar & the crew of the Effervescent Magnitude for 15 hilarious starfaring adventures as they confront bands of space pirates, grumpy Goobalobs, dangerous annihilation bots, and a villain with the fastest thumbs in the quadrant. Short Stories - Science Fiction / Action and Adventure / Humor
1 Dozen - Short Tales of the Strange and Spectacular
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 12,430. Language: English. Published: February 23, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Horror » General
1 Dozen collects 12 flash-sized tales in the slipstream, horror, and science fiction genres. On the surface, they might appear to have nothing in common; but there is a thematic thread that weaves them all together: Ties that bind. Each of these tales is about a relationship of some kind: family members, friends, enemies, or something in between.
Unseen Things
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,310. Language: English. Published: August 24, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
Unseen Things collects 7 flash-sized tales in the slipstream, horror, and science fiction genres: "From Scheol My Soulfire Burns", "Imaginary Friendships Aren't the Easiest to Break", "You Kill Me", "While She Sleeps, Mountains Tremble", "Darker Ever After", "Autonomic Zen and the Art of Destruction", and "A Monster By Any Other Name"
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 17,130. Language: English. Published: August 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Horror » General
Alienated collects six dark speculative fiction stories: "Roadkill Joe", "Insight", "In His Eyes", "Reverie", "Mo's", and "Doppelgänger Mine".
Soul Smuggler
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 22,410. Language: English. Published: July 22, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Horror » Crime
Who is Mercer? Coyote. Soul Smuggler. A body-hopping, phantasmal anti-hero. A disenfranchised spirit doomed to inherit the earth, cursed by both Heaven and Hell. An enemy of God, but no friend of the devil. Soul Smuggler collects 7 Mercer tales: "The Coyote," "Soul Smuggler," "The Second Option," "Abomination of Desolation," "Mercer's Ghost," "The Coyote's Word," and "Coyote for Breakfast."
Beneath the Surface
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,370. Language: English. Published: July 4, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Twenty years after the world's end, the earth is a desolate place. For Willard and his people, their bunker has provided everything they've needed over the past decades; but now it's time to strike out into the unknown and rebuild civilization. The problem: Willard doesn't want to risk contamination on the surface, and everyone who's left the bunker on a scouting mission has returned...changed.