Mash Stories Interview Miles

20 Mar 2014

Mash Stories interviewed me to go along with the win. They asked about my stories, discovering the competition and writing in general.

S.E. Sever: How did you hear about Mash Stories?

Miles Rausch: Through Twitter. I think Mash Stories started to follow me, I checked out the site, and sent myself a note to read more about the contest.

S.E.: What tempted you to submit a story to Mash?

Miles: The small word count made completing a story feel very doable, even as I was working on other writing projects. The three mash words combined with word count added a moderately restrictive block which helped bring out the creativity. There was something appealing about crafting a simple story around these parameters.

S.E.: How did you come up with the idea for your story? Did anyone inspire you?

Miles: My idea for this story came whilst watching airplanes fly over my kids’ daycare. Initially, I considered describing the plummeting plane as taking “nearly nine minutes to fall 50,000 feet” but was unable to complete the necessary research. Lovingly, gently, I placed some beautiful, damaged people into the plane and gave them small redemptions. Everyone performed admirably. Still, despite their tragedies, I would have them do it all again.

S.E.: Tell us about your background.

Miles: I’m a web developer by trade. I have Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics, but I’ve always remained active in artistic pursuits as well.

S.E.: Have you been published before – any books or short stories?

Miles: I’ve had some poetry and short story work published in the literary magazine published at the university I attended.

S.E.: Tell us about your relationship with writing. How did you start? How long have you been writing?

Miles: Like most writers, it’s been a lifelong relationship. Only in the past year have I decided to get serious about writing. I realized I needed to get these stories out of my head, for my relief and (hopefully) someone else’s enjoyment.

S.E.: Do you have any role models or a mentor who guide you?

Miles: I’ve been fortunate in my life that I’ve never had anyone tell me I can’t write, and I’ve had enough tell me I can. It puts me in a sweet spot of feeling encouraged without having unreasonable expectations. It’s prepared me for weathering the storms; I know I’m a good enough captain to hit dry land.

S.E.: What’s next for you? Do you have any other projects coming up so Mashers can see what else you’re up to?

Miles: I don’t have any other projects I’m ready to talk about. I try to write regularly on my website,, and I spend a fair amount of time on twitter @awayken. And, of course, I’ll be submitting to MashStories, trying to get lightning to strike twice.

Quick Fire Round with Miles Rausch

My passion, except writing, is … my family, particularly my children and my wife, and a good television show.

My childhood ambition was… to become a paleontologist. Later, I decided I would make my living doing computer programming, and I would realize my artistic dreams by writing on the side.

I write because… the stories in my head won’t stop bothering me.

My favorite book is … Jurassic Park because … I’ve always been a kid who loves dinosaurs. One thing Crichton doesn’t beautifully is to weave stories around hard science. There’s so much inspiration in physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics, and Crichton managed to wrap that inspiration in great storytelling. Jurassic Park is one of his greatest examples of that.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given … is “Show, don’t tell.” It was meant as writing advice, but it applies well to life in general.

This interview first appeared on the Mash Stories blog.

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