Miles Away From You by A.B. Rutledge is a story about young love, loss, and the drastic distances we sometimes have to travel in order to move on.
About ‘Miles Away From You’
Miles loved Vivian when her parents couldn’t accept she was transgender. Loved her after she swallowed a bottle of pills and was put on life support. Fought for her in a court battle over the rights of a body. Now, he has reached his breaking point.
Miles travels to Iceland, planning to spend time alone. Instead, he meets Oskar, who helps him honor Vivian by photographing her empty boots against the beautiful landscape.
Told through a series of instant messages, Miles’ journey forces him out of his comfort zone and begins the process of healing his broken heart and finding the strength to let go.
Find ‘Miles Away From You’ on Goodreads
Exclusive ‘Miles Away From You’ cover reveal and interview
As a debut author, what has been the most unexpected part of publishing your first novel?
At the risk of sounding like a greeting card, I have to say it’s amazing how far a little bravery has taken me. Every step of this journey has involved me holding my breath and pushing send. It’s been scary, but so rewarding.
What made you decide to write this story, and what has been your experience with the LGBTQ+ community?
I always joke that I wrote this book because I’m terrible at the ukulele! At the beginning of 2015, after struggling with my first novel for a couple years, I decided to quit writing and try my hand at music. Two months of terrifying my cat with bad ukulele strumming later, I thought maybe I should pick up that writing thing again.
I have always been interested in writing LGBT+ characters, particularly featuring voices that don’t have as much representation as others. Like Miles, I identify as demisexual and I’ve often felt like an outlier, but writing this story has brought me so many amazing new friends and a place in a community that I wasn’t sure I was a part of for most of my life.
What books inspired you to write this book?
I think I spent most of my high school years with a copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower in my hand. I wanted to write a similar epistolary novel with a bit of a technology update and a totally unique setting. Speaking of settings, I was also inspired by Francesca Lia Block’s Necklace of Kisses. I loved the idea of a character checking herself into a hotel to heal a broken heart. I originally wanted Miles Away From You to blur the lines of reality and magic the way Necklace of Kisses does, but the deeper I got into Miles’ story, the more I felt it needed to echo real life. I like to think some of the magic is still there. It is set in Iceland, after all.
What was your reaction to seeing the cover for ‘Miles Away From You’ for the first time?
I’m an artist, so I’ve been dreaming about what my cover might look like for as long as I’ve been dreaming about this story. When my editor asked me for ideas, I sent her a collage of inspiration images I’d been saving for just that moment. I was really hoping for something like the Jackaby cover — a double exposure photograph of a character blending into his setting. A few weeks later, the designer sent us several mock covers. I liked them, but they weren’t what I’d been picturing in my mind. Until I got to the last one. There it was, a double-exposure photograph of a boy in a hoodie fading into a forest. It was exactly what I was looking for!
I was even more amazed when I noticed the cover model was wearing several bracelets, just like I do every day. This cover was truly meant to be!
About the author
A.B. Rutledge is an optician from Southeast Missouri. She likes ’90s alternative music, dresses with pockets, and leaving Halloween decorations up all year long. When she’s not up at 3 a.m. scribbling out stories, you can find her in her art studio covered in paper scraps, paint, and cats. Miles Away From You is her first novel.