Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. Those of you who are not a member won’t be aware that the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit it is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sorts of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers. Over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, I shall be chatting with my guest about their work in progress, or latest book release.
Today I’m talking to dystopian writer, Myles Stafford. Welcome to the tearoom, Myles and tell us about your writing.
Thank you for your invite, Paula. As far as strong writing points for me, that’s easy. I write in the first person. I find it to be a difficult way to write, since the character who is speaking can only speak of their knowledge in the moment, or look back and speak about what they learned later. When an author writes in the third person, they can write with full knowledge of everyone and everything. Still, I prefer the first person medium since it gives the reader a greater sense of who the protagonist really is, her thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams, and so on. I learned this technique as a boy from Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author of the “John Carter of Mars” and “Tarzan” series. I’m not aware of anything that Mr. Burroughs wrote that was not in the first person.
On the topic of personal influences for my writing, in addition to Edgar Rice Burroughs, I would add J.R.R. Tolkien. I’ve written a pilot script for the series, and have submitted it for consideration, so I would have to add that I am influenced by and prefer gritty, realistic visual work, such as that produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, James Cameron, and the people who put together “The Walking Dead” series. I would add, too, that I feel a visual adaptation of these books must be realistic, visually impactful, fast paced, and include a musical score that stands out as exceptional on its own, such that it becomes a recognizable part of the story.
Needless to say, I’m very proud of “The Killer Angel” series. To me, the protagonist, Nicki Redstone, is an amazing person, and someone whom we can love and believe in – a real hero who we could use today.
I do have a couple of unfinished projects, of course. I built the framework for a self-help book for middle managers, which is where I spent most of my career working for large outfits, whether corporate America or the military. Maybe I will finish it one day. I also have chapters of “The Killer Angel, Book Five” complete or partially complete. Will I ever finish it? I just don’t know. I have other things that would be easier to write, but I am on hiatus from writing, at least for a while.
You asked about the discipline of writing, research, hours and so on. Although my work so far is mostly fictional, I like to make certain that all aspects are technically accurate, so I will do as much research as necessary to be carefully accurate. I believe this is essential to good writing. Beyond that, I am an undisciplined writer. My view is that good writing is a creative process, not something that comfortably lends itself to a word count. I don’t follow that logic for producing something wonderful. I suppose that assigning oneself to a set number of hours for writing would work, but I tend to write when I have creative thought, then it just explodes on pages, and I can’t get it all down fast enough. When that happens, it just flows, sometimes late into the night. I write what I like to read, and always seek to avoid the typical, boring formulas that are so rampant in books, television and movies today. To write using a formula that “works” means that the story is there for commercial success, versus being something creative, fresh and thought-provoking.
To me, enjoyable, entertaining fiction requires two important ingredients (at least!) – One: A goodstoryteller. Two: A reader who can believe. I think that my books contain a story about a very real person who survives in a dystopian, apocalyptic future. If you can believe in her, then you will be engulfed and entertained by her story. And if you are, I’m happy.
Thank you again, Paula, for your kindness in inviting me to the Clubhouse Tearoom Chat. It’s been a genuine pleasure.
Thank you for joining me, Myles in the tearoom. If you would like to find out more about about Myles’ writing and books check out the links below:
If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Members’ Books, don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops, too.