How long have you been writing? What got you in to writing?
I took a few classes in creative writing at university, but I managed to scare myself off by setting my standards way too high. I thought that if I wrote a novel, it would have to be a profound work of literary genius that would change people's lives. Eight years later I discovered the joys of slash fanfiction and realised I could write fun, sexy, romantic stories simply because I enjoyed doing it.
Where do you get your ideas for your stories, characters?
Anywhere and everywhere. Stories accumulate details over time and I'm usually planning them in my head for at least six months before I start writing. I tend to mine my memory for characters because I've known so many unusual and interesting people over the years - that's one of the good points about having moved house and changed jobs so many times!
Are you a by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of writer, or do you have to use an outline to put your collective thoughts into some semblance of common sense?
I use a very rough outline - maybe a line per scene - and then I proceed to ignore it as the first draft will come out the way it needs to. I've discovered there's no point in planning in detail as my characters keep surprising me while I write.
Tell us all about your latest or upcoming release. What inspired it?
Barging In was inspired by my two years living on a narrowboat on the canal near Bath. The experience was a real eye-opener about all the things we take for granted when living in bricks and mortar houses, like mains water, electricity and sewerage. It was also an initiation into a society of outsiders, and there was a definite "us against them" mentality among many of the boaters. I always knew I wanted to use that setting for a novel one day - I just had no idea it would be a gay romance!
If you had super powers, what would they be? Why?
I want to fly! I remember running around with wings made of branches when I was a small child, convinced that if I just flapped hard enough I'd eventually manage to take off. When I have flying dreams, which isn't nearly often enough, I can swoop effortlessly through the air. It's such a rush.
What genre haven’t you tried yet but want to in the future?
I'm drawn to steampunk style. I love the combination of brown leather, those fabulous tailored clothes, and the crazy brass clockwork machinery. I have a vague idea for a madcap steampunk adventure story I'd like to write one day, but it's fairly far down the queue of novel ideas at the moment.
What is one thing readers might be surprised to know about you?
I couldn't ride a bike until the age of twenty-six, when I moved onto the boat and needed a way of getting into work. There's nothing like learning to ride a bike right next to a cold, murky canal for focusing your mind on staying upright!
If we asked your muse to describe you in three words, what do you think they might say?
He'd say I was stubborn, opinionated and perfectionist. I'd say the same about him, of course!
What authors can be found in your library of books?
Within the m/m genre, I'm a particular fan of K.A. Mitchell, Jordan Castillo Price and Josh Lanyon. As far as wider reading goes, I love Terry Pratchett dearly, and also adore Margaret Atwood, but you'll find many different contemporary authors on my shelves.
Have any guilty pleasures you want to share with us?
I don't feel guilty about indulging in any form of pleasure, except perhaps smoking the odd cigarette when out drinking with friends. I do have a love affair with dark chocolate, cake and ice-cream, but that's something I celebrate (in moderation)
Is there anything you’re currently working on that you can give us a taste of?
I've been publishing Boats in the Night as a freebie on my blog, and have nearly finished the novella. It's an m/m romance and features a fire-juggling, free-spirited traveller named Smutty whose boat breaks down at the bottom of Giles' garden. Giles is an uptight, upper-middle class man who's just been through a bad break-up. They shouldn't go so well together, but for some reason they do.
If this sounds like your sort of thing, you can check it out on my website here, or wait until I've had it properly edited and self-published as an ebook (hopefully before Christmas)
When creating your characters, do you have models in mind or are they totally fictional?
I don't generally use pictures of actors or models, but I always have a strong idea of what characters look like. I prefer to either base their looks on real people I've known or come up with something entirely of my own creation. While I get a bit sick of reading about unfeasibly good-looking men with washboard abs, I do reserve the right for all my male heroes to have attractively pert arses.
If you could be an immortal, what would you want to be? Why?
A Greek God - they had the most fun! The company of other immortals would be a must, as I couldn't stand watching human friends and lovers die while I went on living.
What is the hardest/the easiest part of writing for you?
The hardest part is making myself carry on writing even when beset by doubts about the project and tempted by a new and shiny idea. The easiest part is coming up with new ideas and characters. As you can probably tell, these two elements are related…
Are you in control of your characters or do they control you?
They definitely control me and downright refuse to do what I ask them to. This is good, though. I trust them to know how they would react in the scene I've set up for them. However, it does mean that sometimes I think I'm writing an argument and it ends up as a sex scene, or vice versa!
Please tell us where we can find you on the web.
My website and blog are over at http://josephinemyles.com/ You can also find me over on Goodreads and Facebook, and I expect I'll get dragged kicking and screaming onto Twitter one day…
Thanks for popping by and I wish you continued success in your writing career.
COMMENT TO WIN: All comments during the Barging In blog tour will be entered into a prize draw for a 10″x7″ signed and mounted print of my photograph of the Kennet and Avon canal, near Bath – as used on the cover of Barging In! What’s more, the stretch of canal shown here is the very part where Dan first crashes into Robin – ah, happy memories!
The more comments you leave, the more chances to win. Please remember to leave your email address in the body of the comment so I can get in touch with you. I’ll make the draw on 2nd October, 9pm GMT, so you have until then to leave your comments
Sneak peek into Barging In by Josephine Miles
When the boat’s a rockin’, don’t come knockin’!
Out-and-proud travel writer Dan Taylor can’t steer a boat to save his life, but that doesn’t stop him from accepting an assignment to write up a narrowboat holiday. Instead of a change of pace from city life, though, the canal seems dull as ditchwater. Until he crashes into the boat of a half-naked, tattooed, pierced man whose rugged, penniless appearance is at odds with a posh accent.
Still smarting from past betrayal, Robin Hamilton’s “closet” is his narrowboat, his refuge from outrageous, provocative men like Dan. Yet he can’t seem to stop himself from rescuing the hopelessly out-of-place city boy from one scrape after another. Until he finds himself giving in to reluctant attraction, even considering a brief, harmless fling.
After all, in less than a week, Dan’s going back to his London diet of casual hook-ups and friends with benefits.
Determined not to fall in love, both men dive into one week of indulgence…only to find themselves drawn deep into an undertow of escalating intimacy and emotional intensity. Troubled waters neither of them expected…or wanted.
Contains one lovable tart, one posh boy gone feral, rough sex, alfresco sex, vile strawberry flavoured condoms, intimate body piercings, red thermal long-johns, erotic woodchopping, an errant cat, a few colourful characters you wouldn’t touch with a bargepole, and plenty of messing about on the river.
Getting the front end against the bank was fairly straightforward, even if it did make contact with an ominous grating sound. But then there was the back to steer in, and everything he tried seemed to make it swing out farther. Not willing to concede defeat, Dan crunched away at the gears, swung the tiller arm around and churned up the canal into a muddy soup.
And then he’d gone and done it. Got the boat wedged in diagonally so that he was nearly caught up in the branches of an overhanging tree on the wild side of the bank, while the front end was where he wanted to be—the towpath side.
“Jesus, not again,” someone called behind him.
Dan whirled around and his stomach did a nauseating little flip. Sodding perfect! It was Tattoo-guy again, standing astride a beat-up old bicycle with one of his trademark glowers directed Dan’s way. Okay, so he was wearing a T-shirt this time, but there was no mistaking that piercing gaze and air of contempt.
“Uh, I don’t suppose you could help me out, could you? I seem to be stuck.” Dan gave what he hoped was an ingratiating smile.
Tattoo-guy stared at him for a long moment, then shook his head, dismounted and chucked the bike against the fence. He strode over to the front end of the Faerie Queen and hopped on deck, making his way down the side of the boat like a monkey. Watching him move along the sticking-out shelf—the gunwales, that’s what it was called—Dan couldn’t help but admire the economy of his movements. For a big bloke, he was remarkably agile.
Within moments he fetched up on the back deck and loomed over Dan, radiating annoyance. “And what exactly were you trying to do this time? It’s not wide enough to turn here. Anyone with half a brain should be able to see that.”
Dan bristled. “I’m not an idiot! I was trying to moor up where you told me to, on the tourist moorings.” He gestured at the sign, nearly clipping Tattoo-guy’s arm. “The stupid bloody thing wouldn’t go in the right direction, and then I got stuck on something. Shit, are we going to have to get someone to tow me off it?”
Tattoo-guy raised his eyebrows. “What you’ve somehow managed to do is get stuck on the shelf. You can’t see it, but it runs along under the water to protect the wildlife on the bank.” He stared pointedly at the bank behind him, and Dan coloured.
“Oh, bugger. Sorry ’bout that. It was the first time I’ve had to moor up, and I couldn’t work out how to get the back of the boat to go the right way. These crazy things steer all back to front.”
Those dark blue eyes gave Dan a look of utter disbelief. “How long did they spend teaching you how to steer? All of five minutes?”