WHO ARE THE KINDLE ALL-STARS?
A series of 20+ short interviews with the team behind the Kindle All-Stars short story anthology ‘Resistance Front’ posted daily in the run up to its publication.
Please be sure to check any relevant images and links for each individual at the end of their interview.
Today, I’m chatting with Miles Cressman.
FS: How did you come to hear about the Kindle All-Stars project?
Miles: When I was more active on the site Kindleboards, I saw a small topic about it and was very curious. I decided to give it a try and could not have been more happy with that decision.
FS: What’s your contribution called?
FS: And without giving too much away, what’s it about?
Miles: It’s about three central characters: Plot, Sentence, and Word. Each of these characters are striving towards a Point, but they’ll only get there if the writer who creates their journey allows them to. It’s a deconstruction of the writing method we all undergo.
FS: What was the main inspiration behind it?
Miles: The Deconstructionist literary theory of Jacques Derrida, who proposed in the ’70s that literature is three-dimensional, and because of that we can “play” with language, creating and destroying it at the same time.
FS: Did you write it specifically for the Kindle All-Stars, or was it written prior?
Miles: This story was written approximately two years ago for a creative writing challenge on a different forum.
FS: Obviously the primary goal behind this anthology is to make some money for disadvantaged and abused children. But secondary to that, it is to promote fresh, new writing talent – the punk rock of literature – and show that Indie writers are out there, dedicated and working hard to produce Class-A work.
If people take notice of what you’ve written for this anthology, what do you hope the outcome is of that attention?
Miles: I hope that people will seek out my novels as I am writing them, and I hope to have two out by the end of the year.
FS: How do you write? Are you a plotter? Do you fly by the seat of your pants? When do you write, and where? I write at night, at the dining table, when the kids are in bed and the place is finally peaceful and quiet. And I work everything out on paper before I sit down to write. What have you found works best for you?
Miles: I tend to write late at night on my couch in my living room, with earbuds on listening to either jazz, jazz hiphop, downtempo electronica, or classical music. I prefer flying by the seat of my pants and seeing where takes me. I know where the end goal is, but the journey might take a few side paths.
FS: How did you find the editing process with Bernard? I found it to be like a smack in the mouth and a pat on the head at the same time, saying “I like this” at one point, to a specific sentence, and then “You need to stay in Active Voice!” the next. I learned a lot, and I think I have a much stronger piece of writing now than I did when I submitted it. What was your personal experience?
Miles: My experience was very similar. A lot of his critiques were even-handed; at times he would lauding the way I write, in others he would be berating me for making silly mistakes. It was an educational experience because it showed me, straight up, where my problems were and why I kept making them. It was pretty awesome, actually. I never felt like he was giving up on me.
FS: Is there anyone in particular who’s contributed to the anthology that you’re excited to be included alongside?
Miles: William Vitka is a member of a forum I frequent, and I’m looking forward to his contribution the most. He’s a great writer, and a cool dude.
FS: We know that there will be a KAS 2 at some point. Plans are already afoot. Is there a dream name you’d like to see involved in it the next time around? Me personally, getting published in a book that includes a story by Alan Dean Foster is one of those “Wouldn’t it be great if one day…” things that I can now tick off of the list.
Miles: If I could be in an anthology with fantasy giant George R. R. Martin, I just might have a heart attack early. But damn, it’ll be the best heart attack ever. It would be wonderful to check that off on my personal bucket list.
FS: So when you’re not helping to fight evil, what do you get up to in real life?
Miles: I work as a tutor on my school’s campus teaching foreign exchange students English; primarily, I teach them how to speak, write, and read English but at the same time teach them common college student slang and American culture. I also work as a caregiver for an old lady, cleaning her house and doing minor things for her every day.
FS: Are you working on anything now? Anything you’d like everyone to know about?
Miles: I am continuing work on The Dream Cosmopolitan, which I hope to tentatively have finished by the middle of November. That’s all I have in the pipeline for now, and I’ll be taking a break to drum up some ideas for The Dream Fragments, the third novel, which will be a series of short stories.
FS: And to your readers – both potential and existing – is there anything you would like to say? They might be reading this months after Resistance Front has landed, wanting to know more about you. What would you like to say to them?
Miles: Support indie authors. You’d be surprised how incredible their work may be, and even though there might be thousands of them now, their voices need to be heard and read. Keep on the lookout for the next Kindle All Stars anthology, it’ll blow your mind just like the first one.
FS: Thats it! Time’s up! Hopefully we’ll the chance for a much more in-depth chat at some point in the near future when KAS is out on sale!