Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Guest Blogger Johnny Miles: Inspired to Samba

When Kayla Jameth first asked me to be a guest on her blog and talk about my latest release I was delighted. Hell, who am I kidding? I was tickled pink!. I felt the way I would imagine a schoolgirl might feel when asked to the first school dance.

    Me? You want to take me?

    In a way it makes sense she be the first. Even with all my personal issues when writing “Learning to Samba,” if it hadn’t been for the picture Kayla posted on the FB group, Inspired Writing, the story might not have ever been written.

    I was going to do a bit of self-promo but instead, I got the idea to write about something slightly different yet still connected to the story rather than just pimping it out.

    But what to write about? What to say? What to touch upon? Then, of course, self-doubt came in but I quickly slapped it in the face and told it to fuck off. I have no room in my life at the moment, thank you very much. Not when I’m working on myself and trying to become the best me that I can.

    That’s when it hit me.

    So, after repeatedly starting this post -- picture me in front of a clunky Royal typewriter with enough sheets of crumpled paper to litter the entire floor -- I decided to step aside and let my self-conscious take over. I found myself writing about something I find absolutely fascinating; the apparently random connections we make and the inspiration that comes as a result.

    I don’t know how anyone else does it -- I can only speak for myself -- sometimes inspiration comes in spurts. It might be a word or two. A feeling is invoked. A phrase might possess me. Sometimes even an image comes to mind. It often starts the way a fire does; small, hopeful, quick to extinguish. But when that little fire finally flares to life, step back because it’s going to roar and will engulf you in it’s embrace.

    Just like that fire, inspiration can strike at the most inopportune time, in the most unlikely of ways and from unexpected places. What you…and others…think, say and do can affect it as surely as you can influence it.

    And that’s where the connections come in.

    As in real life, even here in cyber space, we’re all connected. Be it through social networks like Facebook, our own blogs or others we follow, what we say and do to one another -- negative or positive -- affects us in ways we’d never dreamed possible.

    Think of a bad review you might have received. Think of the negative, divisive comments you might read about politics, or any other subject that means something to you. Think about someone who was nasty to you at a shop or driving down the road. Or perhaps you received rude service when you ordered your meal?

    Real life isn’t much different from the cyber world but there is one very big difference. In cyberspace, people can hide. They say what they want without fear of repercussion and move on with their lives without ever knowing who they might have devastated. Or worse, not caring.

    However, by the same token, there are equally wonderful things that can happen on the internet! People leave uplifting messages online, we share and commiserate with one another because, get this folks, the bottom line is that we are all the same in the one place that truly counts. Our hearts.

    And here’s where the inspiration fits.

    Because we never know when inspiration will strike next, as writers, it’s important a part of us always remains listening -- tuned and alert -- to that most ethereal of lovers; and then be ready to follow it no matter where it might lead you. Even if it’s down a path you never expected.

    That’s what I did when I saw this picture posted on Facebook.

    Kayla, who has a hard-on for plot bunnies, like I do for coffee, posted the one that took hold of me and wouldn’t let go; not until I focused all my time and attention to it. In short, I followed my heart and listened to that whisper that said, “Come with me. I have something to show you.”

    And I went because I had to, knowing that if I didn’t, I’d always wonder.

    “Learning To Samba” is most definitely a work of fiction. First and foremost, that’s something every reader should always know about any book they open. But this one is very personal to me as it took me on an emotional journey. I had to put myself in the place of narrator in order to make the feelings more realistic.

    I didn’t like the places I had to go in order to get to that depth. They frightened me and forced me to deal with the inevitable loss of a loved one; assuming I’m the one to survive my partner of 15 years. But I managed, somehow, to move on.

    “Learning To Samba” is about more than just learning to leave the past behind and look forward to the future. It’s about closure, life, and all the good and bad that comes with it. It’s about love, romance and, yes, even passionate, kinky sex.

    It’s about coming to terms with family and personal issues.

    It’s also a love affair with what is, to me, one of the greatest cities in the world.

    It’s even a story about the love affair you create with yourself.

    Ultimately, I think “Learning To Samba” is what you, the reader, get out of it.

    Stepping back, I realize that at the heart of the story is the fragile and beautifully unexpected connections we make with perfect strangers, and the things that inspire us as a result of those connections.

    Think about the people whom you’ve come into contact with. What connections have you made that inspired you to…whatever? What little, possibly insignificant thing, caused you to write something? Or to pass on some random act of kindness?

    As I close this post, it’s raining here in Fort Lauderdale. I’m listening to something in my music collection with a mournful saxophone. The combined sounds make me feel melancholy but wonderfully alive and strangely optimistic about connections and the inspiration that will come.

Thank you, Johnny, for giving us a look at how you find inspiration. I love trying to spark inspiration in others with my plot bunnies. I'm glad this one took flame in your heart and soul and produced such a wonderful story.

I'm glad to take over promoting you and "Learning to Samba." So with no further ado, may I present...

"Learning to Samba" by Johnny Miles

Blurb: After traveling through Europe trying to recover from a loss, reclusive romance novelist Brian Oliver returns to his childhood home in order to find himself and re-establish a severed relationship with his sister. What he unexpectedly discovers, however, is that even an old dog like him can still learn new tricks. Especially if the one teaching is João da Silva, a 25-year-old Brazilian hot-ass with a major thing for Daddies.

Brian soon realizes that with forgiveness and acceptance comes great emotional freedom if he and João can rekindle the deep and burning lust for life he’d once had. Do love, sex, and passion have an expiration date, or can Brian Learn to Samba?

The excerpt from "Learning to Samba" is too long for me to add it to the post, but here are the direct links to the book and the excerpt on LooseId's website. I strongly recommend that everyone read this taste of a  Johnny's newest work. I can tell you that I am loving his story of love lost and a new love found.

Excerpt from "Learning to Samba": http://www.loose-id.com/excerpt.aspx?ID=1435

"Learning to Samba" at LooseId: http://www.loose-id.com/Learning-to-Samba.aspx


  1. I'd ask you to the high school dance too. Care to be my date?

    I'm tickled to have had a part in inspiring "Learning to Samba" and am looking forward to seeing just what you have done with that hottie in the window.

  2. Johnny, I'm so glad Kayla's photo inspired your story. A picture of a castle inspired my book, Love Bites and the sequel. Your muse was searching for the right way to speak to you. And a conversation we had months ago established a connection between us on a very different level. Yes, the Internet is a wonderful thing. I wish you brilliant success with Samba and everything else you touch.

  3. I have been looking forward to this story ever since you posted teasers in the spring. I love how one photo inspired it. I have yet to find just one pic to inspire one of my books, but I find inspiration in music, movies, certain actors and random things people say. I suppose that's why we writers always refer to having a 'muse.' One never knows when she will show up and inspire us!
    Best of luck on the success of your latest book!

  4. @Kayla: LOL! Yeah, I'd go! I'm going to have to learn to work faster. These story ideas are coming fast and furious and it's starting to feel like I won't have enough time to do them all. But looking at where I've been and what I've done, this is a far better gig than any I've ever known. It truly is one to kill for. Thanks for pimping me out!

  5. @Margie: Thank you so much. It truly is amazing how I've connected with people like you, Kayla and so many others. The Muse moves in mysterious ways. I started re-reading the story again last night and I moved myself to tears and got goose bumps. I hope that means something. If nothing else, I'll know I've given it my best. Thanks for the well wishes. I wish you the same.

  6. @Deanna: It's funny how you say that because up until that point, I hadn't been inspired to write on what the picture expressed. I guess I was in the right place at the right time, eh? But I do believe in a collective unconscious, just like Jung had expressed. The Universe, Muse, Whatever, transmits and we simply receive. We just have to be ready to jump before someone else gets it. Thank you for the well wishes. I wish you the same.

  7. It's a date, Johnny! I'll hold you to it at GayRomLit.

  8. Oh wow - love this blog and the story sounds amazing . . . can't wait to curl up with my kindle and be swept off my feet! :D