Sunday, 14 October 2012


BLURB supplied by Author

Assula is the story of a young man who becomes—quite by accident a vampire, but with the unusual proclivity of biting butts instead of necks.
The premise of the story is that only those with evil in their hearts become vampires, all others simply die when attacked by a vampire.
What sets Assula apart is that he was apparently attacked by a very powerful vampire, perhaps Dracula himself, the same evil fiend who turned Assula’s Uncle into a vampire.
While the premise of the story is obviously meant to be humorous  and yes, at times even salacious there are serious themes  regarding the pain of being different, of not being able to share the truth with others when you’re sure you won’t be believed, as well as the fear of abandonment.

But Assula does have quite a romp in New York and London and you never know, perhaps even lurking behind you.

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My name is John Miles and I was born in Upland, California and I currently live in Wenatchee, Washington U.S.A

When I was a kid I wanted to be a fighter pilot or a German Shepard---alright I’ll admit I wasn’t a very smart kid.
This book is self published, I tried to get it published by the traditional route, but the book is unusual and it doesn’t fit easily into a genre or category and so I didn’t have any luck.
 I like the idea of self publishing anyway because it gives me more time to try and build an audience for the book than a publisher would allow.
As for the future, well I have a couple of ideas, one of which would involve a private detective and one that would involve a 19th century adventurer.
First and foremost I would hope that anything I would write would be entertaining.
Not long ago I saw an interview with Simon Cowell where he said that if he had a choice of being a three star Michelin chef or McDonalds he would rather be McDonalds and I agree.
I would much rather write books that the critics hate, but the people love than to write 1500 page tomes that people feel they must have on their book shelf but never bother to read.
I am planning on a new book, but I have yet to make up my mind regarding the private eye or the 19th century adventurer. I have no plan to do a series at the moment though.
I’ve been asked many time’s where the idea for Assula came from and it’s simple really—too much beer. Well perhaps a little more explanation is required.
One lazy Saturday afternoon I was watching Dracula---the Francis Ford Coppola version---with some friends. We had all seen the film many times and we were well into our cups when someone made a joke about a vampire that bites butts instead of necks.
We all had a very good laugh but the next day the idea stayed with me and I began to write and soon I discovered that there was virtually no end of adventures that a forever young man could embark upon.
I have at times been asked if I would gift a book to a reader who offered to do a review and the answer is yes, I am happy to since they are after all the ones that the book is intended for.
I do not seek reviews from friends or relatives, though I do have a girlfriend who is pretty good at spotting spelling or punctuation errors.
I have found that reviews from people who know you---for me anyway—are not good. They are either too easy or too hard on you and both are equally bad.
I do however read and reflect upon all of the reviews I get from those whom I don’t know. Even those who claim to be just blogger’s rather than professional reviewers. Their opinion counts and their likes and dislikes might very well reflect those of other readers.
I would never ask a reviewer to change a review, but if I felt the review was unduly harsh I would not hesitate to point out to them and to anyone else who would listen that their harsh tone might well say more about them than about my writing ability.
I have been asked why the title Assula, where did that come from?
All right, stay with me now.
Vlad(the implaler)Tepes Romanian patronymic Dragwlya is a diminutive of the word Dracul or “the Dragon” used by his father who was a member of the chivalric order of the dragon.
Hence Vlad Tepes was sometimes called Dracula which would mean son of the dragon. In more modern Romanian usage the noun Drac has been adopted to mean devil which has led many to believe that Vlad the Impaler was considered devilish. That name would certainly have been deserved, but that was not what was intended at the time.
Now then, regarding Assula, well one day in a park full of gypsy’s Assula bit an old man in the butt, said old man screamed to high heaven and Assula barely got away. Soon someone noticed that the old man was drunk and so his story of having been bitten on the behind was disbelieved.
One of the gypsy’s joked that it would be a fine thing indeed for an old ass biter to be running around London—and in one of the royal parks, no less—biting butts, to which the old man said no, the man that attacked me was young.
To that someone said, well maybe he was the son of the original ass biter, which prompted another gypsy to say, that would make him Assula. Hence the legend of Assula---such as it is—was born.
Now finally I know you’re wondering well, if Assula’s real name isn’t Assula what could it be? Smierfarts Necula. Now you may ask, do I find irony in a vampire who has the word nec in his name having no interest in necks? No, none at all!!!
Now then regarding the very nice book cover for my book, I owe many thanks to the lovely young Ms. Laura Shinn who proves daily that you really can work magic with just a couple of stock photographs and Photoshop.
Most of the character names in this book came pretty easily save one, Assula’s stuffed bear.
I thought it would be amusing for Assula to have a stuffed bear, but the story setting predates the creation of the Teddy Bear.
After much thought it hit me, one day Assula was looking through a world atlas and became fascinated by a place name, Chappaquiddick Island and hence he gave his new stuffed bear the name Chappy.
As for character traits, they do tend to develop as the story goes along, for example I originally thought Assula would not be terribly bright or brave, but as the story progresses he demonstrates the ability to be both when the need arises.
For that reason when I wrote Assula, I did do a brief outline but I tried to leave room for the characters to grow.
I have never really based characters on anyone I knew, but if someone I knew asked me if a character was based on them---and assuming that they did not seem unhappy about it---of course I would say hey, you got me!!!
Regarding the question of whether there are hidden messages or morals in Assula, well that is kind of tough.
For example, I do point out in the book that prior to the twentieth century most people were executed solely on the basis of notoriously unreliable eyewitness testimony.
Does this mean that I’m against capitol punishment or that I think most people should be?
Well frankly, no. I think that most people favor capitol punishment.
After all, there were few tears shed when Osama Bin Laden was killed, or Ted Bundy or Tim McVeigh and would anyone really not have wanted Hitler to be executed had he been caught?
No the issue is how we can ensure that capitol punishment will be judiciously applied and that I’m afraid will remain a vexing problem for some time to come.
One problem that we have along these lines is a lack of understanding regarding history among the young.
So many people fail to grasp the importance of history.
They find it boring when it’s taught in school---to the extent that it still is-- because they seem to be encouraged to learn dates and the names of people with no real context.
The fact is that no society can understand where they’re going if they don’t know where they’ve been and of course they can never understand anything like capitol punishment without the proper historical context.
There are some people who seem to think that books don’t transfer well to movies, but I would submit that the two are apples and oranges.
Movies are visual where as reading requires the use of imagination---the “mind’s eye” if you will---to take you on the journey that the writer lays out for you.
 Movies also bow to things like political correctness. For example one of Tom Clancy’s books had Arab terrorists as the villains, but the film changed that to Neo-Nazi’s.
 There are some who believe that ebooks will, perhaps soon replace printed books. I hope that never happens. Ebooks are wonderful things, but there is still something to be said for having something that you can feel and smell and put on a shelf.
I once tried to read war and peace and couldn’t get through it, but it did look cool sitting on my book shelf and when asked if I had read it I would reply, ‘Why yes I did and what a great book it is!”
Sometimes the question is asked, “Do you have advice for a young writer?” Whenever I am asked that question, I am reminded of something that the late actor Jack Lemmon said to Jay Leno years ago regarding that very thing only about actors.
Mr. Lemmon said that when a young person came to him wanting advice and said, “I want to be an actor,” he would ask “Do you want to be an actor or do you need to be an actor?”
Usually the person would stare blankly, not fully understanding the question and so he would continue, “the only way you will ever become an actor is if you need to be one, to the point that if someone came up to you and said that the computer says that the odds are overwhelmingly against your ever becoming a star or even coming close to getting the career that you want and you say I know and then go about the business of doing it anyway.
Today writers have a much better shot than ever thanks to online sites like and
Writers have a much better chance of getting their work noticed over a period of time rather than being given a few weeks—at most—by a publisher after which if the book doesn’t sell they are unceremoniously pulled from the book store shelves and sent to the recycle bin.
So with that said, I guess there’s nothing left for us to do but get on with it.
Thanks for reading this and if you would like to follow me I am milez5 on both face book and twitter.

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