MILES  SWARTHOUT

Miles SwarthoutMiles is the only child of Glendon and Kathryn, and a writer himself. At the age
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") outside Albuquerque, 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.

Back 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 Glendon Swarthout 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
and 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. 
This became A Christmas To Remember on the Eye network in 1978, which still appears occasionally in holiday TV reruns.

Finishing 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
originals and 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 screenplays below).

For 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.

He also edited the first collection of his late father's short stories, some never in print before, Easterns and Westerns, which was published by Michigan State University Press in the summer of 2001 and is still available in print.

Miles 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 short story
by his late father, GlendonMulligans! 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.

HOME | NOVELS | FILMS | FAMILY BIOGRAPHIES | SCREENPLAYS
BOOKS FOR YOUNG ADULTS | PLAYS | POETRY | ORDERS | CONTACT US