PDB: Can you pitch 18 DAYS in 25 words or less?
A dark journey into one man’s mind as he struggles to cope with a horrific tragedy in his personal life. Not for the faint-hearted.
PDB: Which books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?
I enjoyed the latest Irvine Welsh book, Skagboys. It’s his best since Filth in my opinion. Also Gary Neville’s autobiography is well worth a read.
The last film I saw that I really enjoyed was a John Huston one called Wise Blood. It was made in 1978 though so it isn’t really recent. I’ve been watching an Italian drama called Romanzo Criminale. The first series was on Sky Arts last year and the wife and I enjoyed it so much that I trawled the four corners of the internet looking for series 2 on DVD. I eventually bought it off Amazon Italia for an obscene amount of money and about three weeks after we finished it they put it on Sky Arts as well! It was worth it though, I think it’s the best TV show I’ve ever seen. Better than The Sopranos, miles better than The Wire (bafflingly overrated) and it just about shades Twin Peaks. If you’ve not heard of it, find it. Its brilliant.
PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?
It is essential that a writer is an objective reader. I absolutely loathed the analysis of other people’s work when I was doing A-Levels, etc. If you immerse yourself in a story without trying to consciously work out why it’s good you will sub-consciously pick up much more than if you sit and pick it to bits. It must be a really empty experience to read like that.
PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?
I’ve written a couple of scripts but I’ll need to improve my writing of dialogue before I really have a go. It does interest me though. 18 Days could easily be made into a film. If I had the time, resources and know-how I’d make it myself. Any budding directors who want a project, you can have the film rights if you pay my gas bill for a couple of months.
PDB: How much research goes into each book?
Well this is my first book and I have to say I hardly put any research in at all. It’s all about mood and atmosphere. Some of the more disturbing bits are wildly exaggerated versions of stories I’ve heard or experiences I’ve had, and the settings are places I already know.
PDB How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?
I’m still learning but I wouldn’t have got to correspond with a fraction of the people I have if it wasn’t for Facebook and Twitter.
PDB: What’s on the cards for the rest of 2012?
I’m going to become a complete publicity whore in order to sell 18 Days!
Bio: Allan Miles is from Hull. You can find him Twittering here.