Interview with Velda G. Myles, author of “Intoxicated by Amber”

Writers are often associated with loner tendencies;is there any truth to that?

I believe there is some truth to the statement that writers are loners. Show me a good writer an I’ll show you someone who has had some real in depth conversations with themselves. The better the writer, the more time they’ve spent observing and the less time talking and socializing with others. With introversion comes introspection.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

Before I started to write, I used to read all the time. Now I find that reading the words of others clouds my own thoughts. There are times, when reading the material of others, that I don’t know what is original and what is someone else idea just getting jumbled in my own thoughts. I’d rather keep my ideas new and original. I still read currents affairs. I just stay away from written works like novels and poems.

Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?

I’d like to think I’m pretty smart vernacular pretty broad. I proofread my own work. My daughters are just a bit smarter than me. When I want to make double sure, I have them proofread me.

What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion?

The most important thing about a good book to me is that it should make you smile and sigh when you complete it. If it was a book worth reading, the completion of the book should be bittersweet emotions of being sorry the book is over at the same time being glad that it ended. The should be some type of resolution for the main character that you should have either fallen in love with or learned to despise. You should never walk away sad or mad that you read the book. Maybe it had a sad or unexpected outcome, but you should not be remiss for having read it.

Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

My current novel Intoxicated by Amber is a memoir, so yes, it is completely about a time in my life. It is about my life with and the very tragic death of my fiancé who succumbed to his battle with alcohol at the tender age of 52. My memoir was my grief therapy after the crippling loss that I could not process by communicating about. So I began to journal. On the suggestion of one of my brothers, one of my sisters, and one of my friends, I published it. They were all in agreement that my book would help someone going through a similar situation.

Have you ever designed your own book cover?

I designed both the cover and the title to my first self-published novel. This was a memoir and very near and dear to me. Without giving away too much, the title says one thing. But if you look closely at the image on the cover, it hints at something else. I wanted the reader to be intrigued enough to read and find out how the title and the image tied into the story. It was not without a lot of thought.

What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title?

The cover and the title are how I have generated so much social media interest in my book. The image initially draws people in, then they view the title. When the two are put together, it makes readers want to find out why someone is Intoxicated by Amber to begin with.

Any advice you would like to give to your younger self?

The advice I would give my younger self would be to start writing earlier. My 8th grade teacher Margaret Vandevier told me that I had I knack for writing. I still have a paper on which she wrote, “you always make me laugh”. I didn’t realize until almost 40 years later that I had a talent for writing. I continued to write but for personal gratification. I never dreamed of publishing anything until tragedy struck in my life. I’m sorry I didn’t pursue it when I was younger. So where ever you are Mrs. Margaret Vandevier, you planted a seed.

Do you recall the first ever book/novel you read?

Though I cannot recall the name, the first chapter book I read was a bout a little girl who had magic powers. She did not want her father and her brothers to go duck hunting so she gave them wings and she gave the ducks arms so they could hold the guns. To make a long story short, having to trade places and face the prospect of being shot made her father and brothers never want to hunt again.

Tell us about your writing style, how is it different from other writers?

I have been told that my writing style is very colloquial and that I write like I speak. I’m comfortable with how I speak so I don’t find this the least bit offensive. I try to speak in such a way that I am understood by both the layman and the scholar. My father thought it would be a great idea to have his children to read the dictionary when we were growing up. He thought it would give us an edge. That’s not to say that I feel a need to speak over peoples’ heads to feel superior either. I just speak for the occasion and the audience.

Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?

Intoxicated by Amber is just the first in a series. Amber is not done yet. She has two more volumes before her destruction is complete. My readers will just have to stay tuned.

People believe that being a published author is glamorous, is that true?

Though there may be a certain amount of glamour that comes along with being able to successfully pen a great story, often there is a very painful story behind it. There is no glamour behind having your heart ripped from your chest all for the purpose of having a story to be able to tell.

Have you ever marketed your own books yourself?

Promoting myself has proven to be the most daunting task. All I’m trying to do is tell my story to someone who needs to hear it. If I could just do this from the confines of my living room through an agent, I would. I don’t want notoriety or fame. Remember authors can be socially inept? I prefer my quaint little house on my quiet little cul-de-sac. But alas, there’s this thing called marketing. This means coming out of my comfort zone to explain why this subject means so much to me.

Do you need to be in a specific place or room to write, or you can just sit in the middle of a café full of people and write?

I write in my oversized chair in the living room. The same chair my lover and I used to sit in to watch tv, to sleep, to just talk. I intentionally positioned this chair where I have a perfect view of the mountains, through the trees, out of my big picture window in beautiful Colorado. There is no place greater for divine inspiration than this.

If you were given a teaching opportunity, would you accept it?

I would love to help some young mind to articulate a story that they have in their head but are not sure how to get it out. Everyone, no matter who, has a story to tell. We just don’t all know how to put it to paper. Penning the words is a talent not everyone has. Our individual stories are so much more relatable when we put them into words.