Interview with Erynn Miles

Erynn Miles’s story, Music in D Minor, appears in the Winter 2006 issue of Shimmer.

Questions about the story

Where did the idea for Music in D Minor come from?
I honestly have no idea.

Do you work with a critique or writers group?
No, not anymore. I think it’s valuable to have someone critique and lend an unbiased view of your work. Unfortunately, in my experience, many writer’s groups consist of people idly talking about how they need to write something, but need others for motivation, and never end up bringing anything to the group. Or it’s the blind leading the blind. But I’m sure there are some great groups I’ve never heard of out there somewhere.

How did the story change as you developed it?
The plot and characters didn’t change much. Mostly I tweaked and tightened a lot of the wording. And the ending a few times.

Do you have any cut scenes/outtakes/etc that might be entertaining/informative? Any interesting anecdotes?
No not really. Most of what I cut was neither interesting or entertaining, which is why it had to go.

Questions about writing

Who do you write for? Yourself or someone else?
I write for other people, certainly, while remaining true to myself. I’ve never understood marketed artists claiming they do things solely for themselves.

How long had you been submitting before you made your first sale?
Almost 6 years. It may have happened sooner, though, had I not been so lazy about the marketing aspect.

How did you celebrate your first sale?
My boyfriend took me out for a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich and I jumped up and down (not at the same time).

What writing projects are you presently working on?
I’m somewhere in act two in my new full-length play and I’m writing a short story.

Does popular culture/entertaiment influence your writing?
Absolutely!

What time of day do you prefer to do your writing?
It used to be late at night and now it’s early in the morning.

Favorite short story read this year?
Too many to name.

Favorite book read when you were a child?
Where the Wild Things Are

Random questions

If you could trade places with anyone, who would it be? And Why?
I would never trade places with anyone because that would be kind of weird, wouldn’t it? I like the idea of earning my place in life. Although I wouldn’t mind borrowing some good qualities from my favorite authors.

Do you believe in ghosts or the supernatural?
No, but I love writing about them.

If you have a day job, what is it?
I work for a financial firm. A likely place for a writer.

Fast food: Yea or Nay?
I’d like to say “Nay”. But sometimes I slip and it’s “Yea”.

Favourite food?
Kraft Mac and Cheese dinner (powder cheese kind only). Followed closely by Sushi.

Favourite restaurant?
Right now it’s the diner in my neighborhood called The Little Corner Restaurant. I’ve become a regular. They have the best coffee and their soup and sandwiches are to die for.

Name one place in your hometown that you love to go to and would recommend to others to visit.
I’m originally from the suburbs of Indianapolis and it’s really boring there. The Children’s Museum is always fun, though.

What are some of your hobbies?
I enjoy folk and ethnic dancing, blogging, trying strange foods and wine, reading, going to see plays and readings, hiking, movies. God. My life reads like a personal ad entry.

Cat or dog person? (or something else, like birds, iguanas, or even evil robot monkeys?)

I am the proud owner of two cats because they’re practical city dwelling pets, but I love all animals and have had several pets growing up. Except ferrets. I will never like ferrets. To me, they are the sketchy rednecks of the animal kingdom.

Is there anything that you would “sell your soul” for?
I don’t believe in a soul, so I’d probably sell it for just about anything the buyer had to offer. If anything were possible, I’d love to hang out with some of my favorite dead people that I will never get to meet. Like Orson Welles or Oscar Wilde.

All-time favourite movie?
I have way too many favorite movies to pick an all-time favorite.

If you had a working time machine what advice would you give a younger self?
I don’t think I would do anything of the sort because, knowing my younger self, if anyone were to approach me from the future, that in itself would blow my mind and I would likely just sit around being overly philosophical about it, become obsessed, and never get anything worthwhile done.

Do you have a secret skill that you never get to show off? (i.e. ambidextrous writing, blood-curdling screams, double-jointed, badmitton champion…)

I can’t say I have too many talents, but come to think of it, I am pretty good at hopscotch.

Quiz: How many writers does it take to change a lightbulb?
I don’t believe I’ve ever changed a lightbulb with a writer before, and I’ve changed one before by myself so . . . one?

Speculative fiction for a miscreant world

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