Miles Nelson

Meet the Maker - Miles Nelson

What do you do?

Hey there! My name is Miles, and I’m an author, illustrator and Freelancer living in Durham! I love to write about strange worlds and stranger creatures, and I illustrate all my books myself. Science fiction and fantasy are my favourite genres, and I tend to blur the boundaries between them; my alien designs tend to veer into the fantastical, and my fantasy worlds often feel distinctly alien. Despite this, I’d like to think the characters within them feel genuine and real, with the otherworldly setting allowing me to tell timeless stories with an element of fairytale whimsy. 

Aside from Riftmaster, I have also written a novella entitled The Forge and the Flow, which can be found and read in its entirety, completely for free, on my website. This one was written as a gift to my husband on our wedding day, and I think it makes a great taster for those wanting to read a bit more of my work.

Outside of writing and illustration, I love to design and lead masterclasses for young writers. For this, I had my start in New Writing north.

How did you get started?

I have been writing for fun pretty much my entire life, but I only started considering it for a career path several years ago. The very earliest ‘writing’ I can remember was when I was 4 or 5, before I could even read. 

Back then, I’d sit on my grandad’s lap and tell him what to write. When that was done, he’d give me the paper, let me draw the pictures, then staple them together to make my own books. In a way, not much has changed! My grandad is still one of the first people to read my books to this day, and I’d love to see if he still has any of those old books. Unfortunately they’re probably long lost to the folds of time.

Is this your full time job?

Despite working on writing and illustration 7 days a week, surprisingly not! Several nights a week, I can be found scanning shopping at a local supermarket, which is what pays the bills. I dream of being a fulltime author one day, though!

Where do you create?

On my couch! It’s a riveting lifestyle that probably isn’t very good for my back.

Tea or coffee?

I’m not a big fan of coffee, but I could consume twice my weight of tea in a single day if I wasn’t so prone to forgetting about it until it’s cold.

Where is your favourite local place?

My favourite place has to be Houghall woods. I could sit for hours there in the quiet, just watching the world go by. That place, especially seeing all the creatures that live there, fills me with such joy. I don’t think anywhere else in the world can boast such a marvellous blanket of bluebells in May. 

If we’re judging by the amount of time I’ve spent in a place, though… probably the charity shops. As a book collector I’ve found a veritable goldmine of hidden gems there. I love the strange ones, the books no-one’s ever heard of, and especially the ones about animals. My favourite is about mammoths who live on mars.