Interview: Tamela Miles

IMGL1254Tamela Miles is a California State University San Bernardino graduate student with a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development and a former flight attendant. She grew up in Altadena, California in that tumultuous time known as the 1980s. She now resides with her family in the Inland Empire, CA. She’s a horror/paranormal romance writer mainly because it feels so good having her characters do bad things and, later, pondering what makes them so bad and why they can never seem to change their wicked ways.

She enjoy emails from people who like her work. In fact, she loves emails. She can be contacted at tamelamiles@yahoo.com or her Facebook page, Tamela Miles Books, as well as @jackiebrown20 on Twitter. She also welcomes reader reviews and enjoys the feedback from people who love to read as much as she does. Ms. Miles has a current short novella 3 book series on her writing plate, entitled the Hell On Heels Series. For those who are already excited about it (yippee!), please feel free to check out the author’s soundtrack playlist for Hell On Heels on YouTube.com, listed as Hell On Heels:Songs from the Edge by Tamela Miles.

A compilation of all of her short stories, entitled Rock Paper Scissors, which includes four new short horror/paranormal romance stories is now available from Broken Publications.

RockPaperScissorsBookCoverBrokenPubTell us about your new release. Thanks to the The Book Breeze for taking time out to interview me! I’m pleased to have the opportunity to share a few things about me and my writing. ROCK PAPER SCISSORS is my first horror/paranormal romance short story anthology and it’s newly published by Broken Publications. It features stories that are classic, leave-the-lights-on horror to softer, but still intense paranormal romance.

What led you to write this book? I wanted to share my writing visions with readers, let them take a peek at what unfolds in my mind. I like to think that those readers who enjoy my writing really are seeing very similar to what I see when I craft a horror story that scares me as I’m writing it and also fall in love with the darkly atmospheric romantic elements in my paranormal romance stories. I wrote strictly as a hobby for about 25 years until 2011, when I decided to self-publish my work. The decision to do that came from my disappointment in reading novels and short stories that ended with an unsatisfying conclusion. For days afterward, I would re-work the stories in my head, coming up with endings that made me happy. In spite of reading some not-so-great books, I realized that many authors spend a considerable amount of time creating something tangible they’re proud of and share it with the world. I said to myself, “Well, what about me? If these other authors can do it, why not me, too?”

Which is more important characters or setting? Setting definitely takes backseat when I’m writing. The process of crafting a story always begins with envisioning strong characters who, I’m convinced, have always been in the back of my mind begging me to bring them to life on the page.

Do you people watch for character inspiration? I love watching people for character inspiration! I’ll typically see an unusual face in a crowd and the face sticks with me before, invariably, I make that stranger a familiar face with a character name. It’s not just faces – I’m always absorbing what goes on around me, like an intriguing voice or overheard conversation that I use as a basis for a new story.

Which book impacted you as a teenager? I loved, loved any and all Christopher Pike novels, usually written for tweens and teens. I spent countless hours reading his books and tried to figure out what made him such a great author. I now know that a lot of it was sheer hard work and persistence, as well as a vivid imagination.

Do you read the same genre you write? Yes, absolutely! I love losing myself in paranormal romance and horror fiction so much that even tv takes a distant second to my reading.

Have you ever written a scene that ‘creeped’ you out? Oh, yes! I often write about angels and demons, holy war kinds of things. I was writing a particularly dark scene, both in terms of horror and emotionally. Putting the characters words on the screen made the whole scene just a little too real and I had to stop because the Santa Ana winds (which come to Southern California every year around the holidays) were blowing so fiercely that it was like a perfectly creepy backdrop for the scene of good vs. evil that I was working on. The intense alternative rock music I had playing in the background only made it worse! What social media do you participate in? I’m on Twitter as @jackiebrown20 and I have a Facebook author page, which is Tamela Miles Books.

What’s next for you? I’m excited and overjoyed to announce I’m very recently contracted with The Wild Rose Press for Book 1 in my Hell On Heels Series, entitled “Heart of a Hunter”. It’s a solid paranormal romance, which I’m proud of! Once the editing process is complete, I anticipate a 2016 release.

SleepingSLEEPING BEAUTIES, Tamela’s first short novella which introduces the beautiful ladies of The Trifecta trapped in a nightmarish landscape, is now available.

Excerpt from ROCK PAPER SCISSORS short story, “One”

Anya and Ethan were seated across from each other in the college cafeteria, their plastic plates and soda cans pushed to the side of the table. The place was humming with activity as students exchanged hurried goodbyes on their way to their next class.

“Sleeping better these days?” Ethan inquired, laying one long leg on the empty chair.

Anya smiled tiredly. “Sadly, no. I used to be dead to the world as soon as my head hit the pillow, but now…,” she trailed off. She rested her chin in her hand, shaking her head. “And, my love life sucks right now as my little brother pointed out this morning.”

Ethan grinned. “Ah, yes. More tidbits of wisdom from the idiot Chris.” His gaze moved away from hers to just above her head and licked his lips. He appeared to be in deep thought. “Chris has a real respect problem,” he said softly.

Anya blinked in astonishment, leaning forward on the table. “My dad said the same thing this morning. Chris and I have always been at war.” She rolled her eyes.

Ethan rubbed his stubbled chin and gave her a warm smile. “You need to craft your life just like we craft our stories, Anya. Your life is like a story, slowly unfolding from one day to the next but you maintain control over the main character. You need to shape things to be the way that you want them, not wait around on some mythical predetermined course of events to make your decisions for you. Fate is what you make it.”

Anya nodded. “Yes, I agree. I have sort of taken my hands off the wheel when it comes to my life. I’m guilty of drifting. Ever since I broke things off with my last boyfriend, I’ve just been drifting from one day to the next, I guess.” She shrugged. “I suppose I really was in love.”

She stood up, grabbing the handle of her rolling bag. “Gotta run, Ethan. I’ll be late for class. Call me tonight?”

Ethan nodded, rising to his feet. He caught Anya in his arms, hugging her fiercely. He kissed the top of her head. “Things often get better. You’ll see, things will be as they should be again soon,” he whispered. She kissed his cheek and headed out of the place with a wave.

As Anya exited the cafeteria, the buzzing returned, louder and more insistent. She paused and rubbed her forehead. “It’s all in the telling,” a voice said in her mind, chuckling. She turned around quickly, expecting to see Ethan directly behind her. He wasn’t there, just as her dad hadn’t been there in the kitchen earlier. But I heard his voice so clearly, she thought to herself, heading down one of the concrete paths to class.

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