is the only child of Glendon and Kathryn, and a writer himself. At the
of six in East Lansing, Michigan, he was composing rhymes and a few
years later illustrating (badly) his own comic books. Perhaps it was
inevitable after being force-fed the classics of English literature
while still in short pants that he became a writer in this little family
nest of authors. English was his best subject in high school in
Arizona and he subsequently received his B.A. in English literature
from Claremont McKenna College in California. Thereafter,
a year spent as a VISTA
Volunteer at Acoma Pueblo (the fabled "City In the Sky")
New Mexico, was followed by six months as
commercial copywriter and part-time DJ at a rock radio station in
Phoenix. After a lengthy cruise with his parents to Australia and New
Zealand, it was back to grad school, getting an M.A. in
Telecommunications at the University of Southern California and minoring
in film studies at USC's famed film school.
in his hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona, Miles began writing scripts
while teaching film history and screenwriting at Scottsdale Community
College. At the same time he was fashion modeling
and starring in
local TV commercials (Hi Health Stores, real estate developments) and
driving General Motors test cars for their sales videos. His head wasn't into acting, though, and he moved behind
the camera permanently after his author father allowed him to adapt his
latest novel, a Western entitled The Shootist, on spec. Book
screenplay sold in a package to Frankovich Productions and Dino de
Laurentiis, and the subsequent film starring John Wayne launched Miles
into Hollywood's orbit. By then he had founded the first
screenwriting course in Arizona State University's Creative Writing
Program, while adapting his second assignment, his dad's family
Christmas story, The Melodeon, for Joanne Woodward and CBS.
became A Christmas To Remember on the Eye network in 1978, which still
appears occasionally in holiday TV reruns.
his first original screenplay, Hard Travelin', Miles moved back to
Los Angeles in the early 80's, spending several early years
there teaching a screenwriting class he also founded at his alma mater,
Claremont McKenna College, in southern California. In the years
since Miles has written over a dozen screenplays, both
adaptations of his late father's novels, optioning several and
selling others, which unfortunately now languish with movie star owners
and at defunct production companies and studios (see a list of his
the past few years Miles has written a bi-monthly Western movie review
column for The Roundup, the official magazine of the Western Writers of
America, and occasionally free-lanced articles for The Arizona
Republic, The Los Angeles Times, and Persimmon
Hill, the quarterly magazine of the
National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. One of these articles,
"The Duke's Last Ride, the Making of The Shootist," won a
Stirrup Award from the WWA as the Best Article to appear in The Roundup
in 1994, and was later expanded into a lengthier piece on "The
Westerns of Glendon Swarthout," for a 1996 special issue of
Persimmon Hill about "Hollywood and the West." Miles
wrote another lengthy article on "America's First Cinema Cowboy -- William S. Hart." Miles' interview with novelist Ron Hansen discussing the making of that author's novel-to-film,
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,
ran in the Winter, 2006 issue of Persimmon Hill. The latest
paperback reprints of two of his father's classic novels, Bless The
Beasts & Children and The
Shootist, also include Miles'
introductions to these special anniversary editions.
also edited the first collection of his late father's short stories,
some never in print before, Easterns and
which was published by Michigan State University Press in the summer
of 2001 and is still available in print.
is a member of the Western Writers of America, the Writers Guild, and the
University Film and Video Association.
Miles lives in Playa del Rey, near the airport and beach, where he enjoys
body surfing, bike riding on the beach path, as well as riding horses
occasionally and hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains. In 1997,
Miles got further involved in film by writing and
directing a short 35mm. comedy, Mulligans!, based
upon an unpublished
by his late father, Glendon.
Mulligans! became a
hit on the international circuit, playing in 42 film festivals while winning 8
prizes for its wacky humor. Mulligans!
also aired nearly 50 times on the Women's Entertainment channel, a short film record for this female-oriented national cable TV channel.
Videocassettes and DVDs of Mulligans! are available for
$20, which includes postage, from the director at 8180 Manitoba Street,
#354, Playa del Rey, California 90293.