Tamu Miles was a single mother when an old boyfriend came back into her life and changed everything.
“We were together in high school and then he moved and I didn’t see him for years and years,” Miles said. “When he came back into my life he immediately said, ‘You have to go back to school. You’ve got to do what you dreamed.’”
That encouragement eventually led Miles to finally pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an author.
“I have been writing short stories and poetry for as long as I can remember,” she said. “My mother was a writer as well and it has always been something that I have wanted to do.”
On March 9, Miles will be one step closer to realizing that dream when she hosts Shooting for the Stars, a fundraising party at the Longwood Brew Pub for her upcoming science-fiction novel.
Those who attend the Shooting for the Stars event will have the opportunity to name the upcoming novel and donate to Miles’ crowdfunding campaign, which ends on March 13.
“This is my last push to get the funding that I am striving for,” Miles said. “It’s a double function. To read an excerpt from the novel and let the public know what I am doing and who I am.”
The science-fiction novel is about a princess named Aiyana, who is a bodied incarnation of one of the 12 zodiac signs, and her struggle to fulfill her destiny.
Miles resides in Lake Cowichan, but grew up on Salt Spring Island. It was on Salt Spring that her novelist aspirations were temporarily put on hold after she became pregnant.
“I had kids pretty young and I wasn’t able to finish my Grade 12 or continue on to post secondary education,” she said.
In the years following the birth of her son, Miles worked a number of minimum wage jobs and helped run a cleaning business with her mother. However, it wasn’t until she reconnected with her old high school boyfriend that she decided to return to high school and then enrol in the creative writing program at Vancouver Island University.
“My son was about 13 when I was able to finally go back to school and do what I had always dreamed of doing, which was taking creative writing and pursuing my career as a writer and as a novelist,” she said.
After graduating, Miles moved to Vancouver Island and became the editor of the Lake Cowichan Gazette as a way to gain experience as a writer.
“Journalism wasn’t my first choice,” she said. “But it was a way to learn my craft and get my name out there a little bit.”
Miles eventually left the paper and began focusing on writing her upcoming novel, which she hopes to release next summer.
“My goal is to have it editor ready by April,” she said. “Hopefully by the end of the year it will be ready to go to send off to a press because I am going to self-publish.”
As each day passes, Miles inches closer to realizing her childhood dream. She credits the support she’s received from her old high school boyfriend, whom she married eight years ago.
“He believes in me even when I don’t believe in myself,” she said.
Although she plans to create a science-fiction book series, the story of how she met her husband is something she would eventually like to turn into a novel.
“Someday I’ll be able to get it down on paper,” she said.
Shooting for the Stars takes place at the Longwood Pub on Monday (March 9) from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Seating is limited, please call 250-749-6406.
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Check it out! My Shooting for the Stars event made the front page of the Arts section of the Nanaimo News… http://t.co/NQeIJiFBkO
— Tamu Miles (@TamuMiles) March 5, 2015