Here’s an author interview from Johnny Miles.
Find out what he had to say…
- How did you start writing erotica?
Back in the early-to-mid 80’s, I was getting increasingly more frustrated with the stuff I was reading in gay magazines. I kept complaining to my then partner how crappy some of it was and how I could do better. He egged me on by saying, “Instead of complaining about it why don’t you just do it? Write some and submit it.” So I did. And the rest, as they say, is history!
- What’s your favourite published work of yours and why?
I think in a way they’re all favourites for different reasons. I love the one I just submitted, even though I haven’t heard back from the publisher yet, because I feel deep down inside that it’s my best piece. The last one I like because it’s really starting to get my name out there. And I love my first one because…well…it was my first! But these are all erotic romances. I also like some of my non-romances simply because it’s pure smut and sometimes, you just want a little stroke material. Know what I mean?
- What erotic authors do you enjoy reading?
Strangely enough, I don’t read much erotica anymore. To me, it’s like once I read it I’ve gotten off. The mind-fuck is over — for now. It’s like having loads of one-night stands and not having to feel guilty about them. Though, I must say, I think Treva Harte writes some damn good sex scenes! So does Kate Douglas.
- Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Inspiration is a funny thing. Fickle, too! Inspiration comes from all sorts of sources. Most times it’s never from the same place twice! I could be walking down the street and see a really hot guy or maybe he’s an average (to me) sort of bloke, but he’s got super sexy lips. Or beautiful eyes. Or a magnificent rear! Hmmm. I’m sorry. What was I saying? What was the original question? LOL!
- Do you have any unusual writing rituals?
Not yet. But I wouldn’t mind developing some! I’m sure they’ll come yet.
- Where’s your favourite place to write?
I don’t have a set place. I write anywhere and everywhere. Just depends on my mood. I can hit the coffee shop or write at my desk. Sometimes I even stay in bed and work on a piece; of story. I guess it just depends on my mood. I listen to my hunch a lot when it comes to writing and go where the energy feels best.
- Who is your favourite character from one of your stories and why?
I like all my characters. Strangely, the ones that stand out the most are Raul Velasco and Adelina de Rodrigo; both are from my very first story, “Casa Rodrigo,” which was published by Loose Id. I think I really like Adelina because she was a strong and practical woman and progressive for her time — mid-1600s Spain and the wife of an import/export merchant. Raul, however, is mean and nasty. He was loads of fun to write and I find myself wanting to dig deeper to find out more about him. Raw and passionate with a chip on his shoulder type of bad boy. Really more on the dangerous side but I think that was just time, age and the inability to fit in with society.
- Do your nearest and dearest know what you do, and if so, what was their reaction when they found out?
My two sisters know. They’re pretty cool about it. In fact, I’ve sent them copies but I don’t know if they’ve read them or not. My partner, of course. He knows and he’s all for it! My mom, not exactly. She only knows about “Casa Rodrigo” and that it’s a love story between a plantation owner and one of his slaves. As for the pure smutty stuff? No. Only my partner knows that. Some of our friends know about all of it and some are receptive, some are not. None have asked for autographed copies yet though. I guess that’s good! Hopefully that means they want to be friends with me because of who I am and the writing just happens to be a part of it.
- What was your ideal career when you were a child?
LOL! I wanted to be so many things as a child! Policeman. Fireman. Doctor. Lawyer. Eventually, as I grew a little older, I fantasized of being a published author. But never, in my wildest dreams, did I think I’d grow up to write porn, let alone be a phone sex operator as well as being in front of and behind the camera! At least I’m writing. That’s fairly close, right?
- How do you get yourself in the mood to write?
I’m not at the point yet where I can just turn it on. I’ve experienced it, but I’m not even close. I have to do a lot of pep-talking to myself and meditating. Oh, and good music helps. It’s important to play the kind of stuff that will help invoke the type of scene you’re looking for. Trent Reznor’s “Downward Spiral” always helps!
- What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
Pay no attention to reviews. Mostly because a bad review can send a writer spiraling. But that’s also the worst tip because a well-written review can truly help you get motivated and light a fire under your ass.
- If you get writer’s block when you’re writing, how do you get around it?
I try to think about what I’m unhappy about. Is the character doing something out of the ordinary? Has the plot taken a different turn? Are the people I’m creating running away with me while I try to hang on to the reins? Usually, for me, writer’s block means I didn’t think something through properly or past a certain point. I try to go back and correct it. Sometimes, though, I can’t. That’s when I have to step back and mull over it. I bounce ideas off my partner but usually I retreat mentally. Next time around I think I’ll try working on a new story so I can have two going at once. I think that will help pull my focus away from where the block is and hopefully something will fall into place mentally and unblock me. Ugh. I just realized. This sounds like I’m constipated!
- If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?
Though I like my characters and some stick out more than others, I’ve yet to write one that I was so mad about as to bring to life.
- Which author, erotic or otherwise would you love to meet and why?
That’s easy! J.K. Rowling. Armistead Maupin. They’re the two that stick out the most. Their books have truly been a wonderful escape for me.
- What’s your favourite genre within erotica and why?
I’d have to say m/m, primarily because I’m gay and I love men. From just hanging about to them being naked and, well, you know. I really, really, really like to watch men. I don’t even need to participate! I can do that in my stories and, frankly, sometimes stories are more sexually stimulating than real life.
- What are you working on at the moment?
Other than “Learning To Samba,” which I’m still waiting to hear about, I’ve been floundering. I’ve started nearly a dozen new stories and that’s not counting the many that I’d started in the past. I’m going back and forth between two, though. The first is about a college student with his own cleaning business who falls in love with his professor. The other is a menage between a straight woman, a gay man and a lesbian who wind up living together in a remote part of California.
- What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on? Did you succeed?
I think every story you take on is a challenge. At least, that’s how it is for me. Will I remain focused and motivated? Will I lose steam? Will anyone read it? Will I lost interest along the way? What if there’s no conflict? I think each story is a mountain we must climb because it’s about the journey and the view from the top, once you get there. And then, of course, there’s climbing down. Do you walk a slippery slope? Is the terrain treacherous? Or will I be able to reach the other side of the mountain unscathed, without any tumbles and spills?
- What’s your biggest writing achievement? Why?
I’d have to say “Casa Rodrigo” is my biggest achievement. It deals with slavery, first of all. Apparently a touchy and difficult subject for many to read about. It’s also my biggest achievement because it was my first full-length novel that had full-blown characters and a plot as well as some very erotic and graphic moments. I think getting that first novel under my belt is, without a doubt, my biggest achievement thus far.