Poet and Science Fiction writer Julian Miles envisions post apocalyptic scenarios and mind blowing characters. With more than 13 books under his belt, in 25 different editions, his work questions human nature and the constant quest for success at any cost, in the darkest scenarios. One of his latest works the second edition of “A Place in the Dark” is a vampire novel that brings about a grim reality, where humanity’s progress is merely a background to the machinations of supernatural beings. Julian’s work is available in many formats, including eBooks for every device. He has just added eight Open Dyslexic paperback editions of his books to his collections; one of the pioneers in the introduction of this format to a wider audience.
Do you think humanity will destroy itself?
Not necessarily, I don’t think it’s going to be a world war, the people who control the money don’t want a great conflict; the real challenges future societies will face is in terms of resources. There are too many people on this planet,and have been for some time. Besides, we as a society have never been here before-old ways and wisdoms are increasingly irrelevant. You don’t have to be fit to survive any more, you don’t have to compete any more, it’s just enough with being. Which can be detrimental, as what humanity does really well is to adapt, and we have adapted to the current political/economic system too well. The problems start when we see deprivation on a big scale in apparently wealthy Western societies.
Why dystopian societies are so present in your work?
Because conflict brings the best and worst of people. And those who would lead are often not community-minded.
From where your inspiration come from?
Inspiration comes from books I have read, films, something I listened to. Sometimes, I see a situation and I have an emotional reaction to it, which gives a starting point to something possibly unrelated to what I have seen. I think fiction writing only works when you don’t expose yourself completely. You have to be careful not to tell more of you than your characters. However, poetry is more about the author than the reader- you have to be very personal, and honest, to write poetry successfully.
I’m also inspired by other Science Fiction writers such as Andre Norton, Michael John Moorcock, Guy Gavriel Kay and Mick Farren.
Nurture or Nature?
A mix of both.
Religion or Atheism?
I don’t have any problem with any religion, unless they decide I have to follow their ways.
In many ways, I think humans need rituals: you may not have a religion, but you follow your football team religiously every week.
Do you identify with your characters?
I do – I think a writer has to. Although I may not like them, in most cases I have some sort of sympathy towards them or the situation they find themselves in.
Do you think self publishing is the future of writing?
Nowadays, most of the publishing houses only look for the next commercial success. Whereas, self- publishing encourages writers to spread their work widely, limited only by their imaginations and their resources. Amazon gives writers worldwide distribution; therefore, my paperbacks are available to any English speaking reader across the globe without the hideous shipping costs of getting one of my books from the UK.
Digital platforms are also a good way for distribution. E-books are dynamic documents which in many ways redefine the way you publish due to their flexible and user-definable formats. But publishing them is essential as they are incredibly popular. To answer the specific question: a see a future where authors use traditional and independent platforms simultaneously.
How do you approach a book project?
I start with an idea, I write down few lines and from there I develop when the inspiration takes me – sometimes immediately, often later on. After my work is finished I review it exhaustively- reading it until I get sick of it. Then I send it over to my proofreaders and editors who highlight all the changes I should/could make. I have two team of proofreaders, so it’s a thorough process. As I write fantasy, I like to make sure the story is consistent from beginning to end. While the book is being proof- read I’ll start to work on the cover, deciding which image would work well with the content, etc.
Why writing over other formats of expression?
For me writing is a progression of, and from, storytelling. I have also been an avid reader since an early age- creating my own stories was a natural progression for me. I started writing when I was about 15 years old.
The turning point came on 5th January 2011; I sat down and decided to turn a dream into reality. I gathered all the poetry I had, winnowed it down to a decent selection, and by the end of January I had my first printed book in my hands.
What are you working on at the moment?
My sixth annual science fantasy flash and short fiction anthology, Gammafall, will be published in June/July. The illustrated magazine/book anthology ” Walking Home” will be published in September. I’m also aiming at finishing two novels this year: the first, Stalking Time, is a science fantasy novel set in a very far future. The second, Winterblast, is set in the same world as A Place in the Dark, but with completely different characters. It’s an action horror story about two mortal hunters who have spent their lives hunting things people don’t believe in. Now they’re after something even the monsters don’t believe in.
Where do you see yourself in the near future?
Writing and publishing more stories.
More info: http://www.lizardsofthehost.co.uk/