Sam Mills is from Maidenhead, Berkshire. He studied Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Oxford. He currently lives in London, writing and working part-time as a tutor.
He began writing fiction in 2015. After graduating from university, he took an internship in New Delhi where he wrote the first draft of a novel in his spare time. Afterwards, he started working on short stories, self-publishing a collection in January 2017. He has since been published in a handful of places, including the Raw Art Review, the Temz Review and Quail Bell Magazine. His recent story ‘A Day in the Life of Amadeus Gordini’ was awarded an Honourable Mention in the John H. Kim Memorial Prize for Short Fiction at the Raw Art Review. He is currently writing a novel.
Q: If you could travel back in time, which of the great writers would you like to meet and why?
A: Primo Levi. There are many writers I would like to meet but, of course, the quality of that meeting would depend on how far the enthusiasm was reciprocated. Primo Levi’s writing is full of warmth for humanity and a desire for future generations to live through better times. I imagine him as an exception to the rule never to meet your idols.
Q: Is there a book that you keep going back to, and if so, how many times have you read it?
A: I read Labyrinths by Borges whenever I can’t find something to read but feel like I should be reading. I’ve been dipping into that collection and The Book of Sand for over a decade and I always find something new rereading those stories.
Q: What is the least interesting part of writing for you?
A: I find second drafts low-key unenjoyable. I love getting the words down in the first draft, and I like the third and fourth drafts because everything feels like it’s coming together. But the second draft is stressful. The whole thing needs working on. It’s an annoying in-between of the creative and technical parts of the process. It’s a headache.
Q: If you could teleport yourself anywhere, real or fictional, where would it be and why?
A: Assuming I could come back, the edge of the universe, because what could be more spectacular?
It was a miserable evening in November. Odilio – legendary restaurant critic for England’s most prestigious food magazine – bound purposefully along the shiny, waterlogged pavement, through the crowd of rain-drenched commuters, ducking into shelter every so often, skipping the puddles and potholes that threatened to dampen his stride. Only a riveting professional assignment could …