BLACK HISTORY MONTH SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW – MILTON DAVIS

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what does it mean to you to be a black writer in this society?
I dabbled in writing for a long time, since I was in the fifth grade. I didn’t decide to get serious about it until I turned 45. I feel it’s very important for us to have a voice in all aspects of this society. We have to tell our own stories in order for there to be some semblance of truth in this society, culture and world.
Do you write full time, or do you have another full-time job? What is your educational background?
I write part-time. My full time job is as a technical director for a small chemical  company. I have a Bachelors in Chemistry.
How do you best meet the challenge of juggling your day job (if applicable) and/or your family, against your writing career?
I block off at least one hour a day for writing and another hour for editing and other writing related work. My children are grown and gone, so I have a good amount of time to spend with the art. And I make sure I give my wife priority when it comes to my schedule and events.
What genre(s) do you write in, is there a favorite and which do you feel have had the most important impact on the black community? Traditionally, in mainstream media, blacks have been vastly marginalized in Speculative Fiction and fiction in general, how do you see that changing and what impact will your work have on making those changes?
I write in a variety of genres; sword and soul, Steamfunk, Cyberfunk and space opera. Of all of them, Sword and Soul is my favorite. I think they all have an effect, but I feel science fiction has the most impact on black readers because it puts us in the future under our own terms. As far as the mainstream, times are changing. Readers are demanding diversity, and the powers that be must conform.
Who are some of the major writing influences who most inspired you?
My biggest writing influences are Charles R. Saunders, James Baldwin, Frank Herbert and Phillip Jose Farmer.
Do you listen to music when you’re creating? If so, what type?
Music is an essential part of my writing. I listen to jazz mostly, but I’ll throw a little reggae in every now and then.
How long does it usually take you to complete work on a book?
It usually takes me about three months to finish a book.
What does your writing schedule look like and how many hours a day do you write?
I write probably an hour a day, two hours on weekends. I write in the morning; that’s when I’m the most creative and focused.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I hate outlines.
How many books have you written?
I’ve written 21 books.
As a black author, do you feel a personal responsibility to the black community to create content which not only entertains, but also uplifts and educates?
Yes and No. I write for myself first and foremost. However, I do make sure that what I write is of the highest quality I can produce. I do want my books to leave people with a positive sense of self, and I want them to be a temporary escape from this world.
What type of research do you conduct and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
The level of research depends on the subject matter. I’ve done extensive research into African/African Diaspora history in order to write Sword and Soul and Steamfunk. The time I spend researching for a particular book will vary based on the subject matter.
What are some of the best resources you’ve found for research?
The internet is your friend. I also have an extensive history book collection I’ve built over the years that is very helpful.
How important is it that black creators work together to encourage, empower and educate the black community through their work?
I think its vitally important that Black creators work together. We operate under this notion that there’s only so much our there for us, and even less for Black creators. I don’t believe that. I think there’s plenty for all of us, especially if we work together. We might not get rich, but we can be comfortable and provide the content our people want and need.
What does literary success look like to you?
Literary success to me is two-fold. I want readers to like my work, and I want to be able to pay my bills. Awards and all the other stuff isn’t significant to me. If it happens I’ll happily accept it, but it’s not something I crave.
What legacy do you want your work to represent and resonate in the black community and the world?
I’m not concerned about a legacy. If anyone says anything about my work, I hope it’s that they enjoyed it and that it made them happy.
What are some of the upcoming projects you’re working on?
I’m currently working on the sequel to Amber and The Hidden City, Amber and the Enchanted Sword. I also plan on completing my From Here To Timbuktu series, as well as a few anthologies.
How can the readers learn more about your work and follow your career?
You can find me at www.mvmediaatl.com and www.miltonjdavis.com. You can also find me on instagram as @obadoro and Facebook as Milton Davis.

Author biography:

I’m a Black Speculative fiction writer and owner of MVmedia, LLC, a small publishing company specializing in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Sword and Soul. MVmedia’s mission is to provide speculative fiction books that represent people of color in a positive manner. I’ve written seventeen novels; my most recent is the Sword and Soul adventure Son of Mfumu. I’m the editor and co-editor of seven anthologies; The City, Dark Universe with Gene Peterson; Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology and Griot: Sisters of the Spear, with Charles R. Saunders; The Ki Khanga Anthology, the Steamfunk! Anthology, and the Dieselfunk anthology with Balogun Ojetade. MVmedia has also published Once Upon A Time in Afrika by Balogun Ojetade and Abegoni: First Calling and Nyumbani Tales by Sword and Soul creator and icon Charles R. Saunders. My work has also been featured in Black Power: The Superhero Anthology; Skelos 2: The Journal of Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy Volume 2, Steampunk Writes Around the World published by Luna Press and Bass Reeves Frontier Marshal Volume Two.

BLACK FRIDAY SALE!

The Kobo Black Friday Sale
***LIMITED TIME ONLY***
Friday, Nov 29th through Monday, Dec 2nd!
My short story collection, The Best Is Yet To Come is on SALE!

TODAY get your copy of The Best Is Yet To Come, for only $0.99!
CLICK THE LINK FOR DETAILS!
#writemind
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-best-is-yet-to-come-27

THE BEST IS YET TO COME

AVAILABLE NOW!

PERSONAL RENEWAL

It’s March.
We’re already into the 3rd month of 2018 and you may find it odd that I’m talking about resolutions.
I’m not referring to the hollow New Year’s traditions which most people make with earnest intentions, but usually fall short and say, “Well, there’s always next year!” No, I’m talking about PERSONAL RENEWAL. It’s about real, attainable and determined change.
It’s taken me years to come to this point in the road of my journey and I can’t afford to turn back, backslide or waste another moment or squander any opportunities I’ve been blessed with. At nearly a half century in age, time is of the essence.

JFA 5
So, starting yesterday, almost a week before you’re reading this, I came to recognize that there will be some extensive changes in what I do and how I do it.
This not only applies to my writing career, but also to every facet of my life. In fact, the changes started much earlier, but I am now starting to take stock of them regarding my writing.
To my loyal readers, expect more from me, expect better from me and expect more of me.
To those who may be joining me at this point in my journey…stay tuned, TBIYTC (The Best Is Yet To Come)!!!

Codename: Knight Ranger Official Blog Tour Master Link List

Codename Knight Ranger Official Blog Tour Banner

KNIGHT RANGER POSTER ART 2My blog tour in support of Codename: Knight Ranger launches Monday, 2 November 2015! Check out Seventh Star’s announcement here. This blog post will serve as the master list, and I’ll add live links to the each post as soon as I know they’ve gone up.

It’s going to be an exciting week and I hope you come back frequently to check it out.  I want to thank all of the book bloggers who volunteered to be a part of the fun.

The complete blog tour is as listed:

Monday, 2 November 2015
On Cloud Eight and a Half (Guest Post)

Tuesday, 3 November 2015
Author Interview with Pete Welmerink

Wednesday, 4 November 2015
Armand Rosamilia Guest Post
RJ Sullivan Top 5 Post
Book In The Bag Author Interview/Guest Post

Thursday, 5 November 2015
Darkling Delights Author Interview

Friday, 6 November 2015
Beauty in Ruins: Science vs Superstition, Military vs Monsters? (Guest Blog)
Sheila’s Blog (Guest Blog)
Bee’s Knees Reviews

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Please check in regularly to see the list fill in, and leave a comment below as the tour progresses and to let me know what you think.

Thanks & remember TBIYTC!!!

Sign Up For The Codename: Knight Ranger Blog Tour (Urban Fantasy/Spy-Fi)

Tomorrow Comes Media invites you to return to the world John F. Allen introduced in The God Killers, in a week-long celebration of his latest urban fantasy release, the Urban Fantasy/Spy-Fi novella Codename: Knight Ranger! The tour runs from November 2, 2015 through November 8, 2015, and you can sign up by clicking HERE!

KNIGHT RANGER POSTER ART 2Synopsis: Captain Alexandre Cornelius “Neal” Du Bois is a US Army Ranger and decorated war hero. When his unit is ambushed by supernatural hostile forces while in Afghanistan, only Neal survives. When he wakes up in a secret government facility, Neal discovers that his whole life has changed forever.

A shadowy government agent named Elijah Bishop arranges for Neal’s brain to be transplanted, without his permission, into a bio-engineered body capable of amazing feats. Armed with advanced body armor and weaponry, he becomes the epitome of the Ultra Soldier.

To protect his family and those closest to him, he must let the world and everyone he loves believe he is dead. With assistance from Dr. Avery Clarkson–the scientist responsible for his new body–Neal reluctantly utilizes his superhuman abilities to work for Bishop and his organization called G.E.N.E.S.I.S. (Global Espionage Network of Elite Supernatural Intelligence and Surveillance), in order to track down those responsible for the slaughter of his unit and keep the world safe from supernatural terrorist forces.

JohnAllenAuthorPhoto_NewAbout the Author: John F. Allen is an American writer born in Indianapolis, IN. He is a member of the Speculative Fiction Guild and the Indiana Writers Center. He began writing stories as early as the second grade and pursued all forms of writing at some point, throughout his career. John studied Liberal Arts at IUPUI with a focus in Creative Writing, received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force and is a current member of the American Legion. John’s debut novel, The God Killers was published in 2013 by Seventh Star Press. John currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife and son.

LATEST CODENAME: KNIGHT RANGER REVIEW!

KNIGHT RANGER POSTER ART 2

Here’s the latest review for Codename: Knight Ranger!
“There are enemies that exist beyond general human awareness and comprehension; enemies thought to be products of lore and nightmares. The premise of Codename: Knight Ranger, an exciting science fiction thriller written by John F. Allen, is that monsters are real. Werewolves, vampires and a variety of creatures thought to be frightful products of human imaginings are indeed substantive…and lethal. A select group of humans are at war with these monsters.
Ranger Captain Alexandre Du Bois becomes an unwilling participant in this invisible war when his unit in Afghanistan is ambushed. The captain suffers catastrophic injuries. In fact ‘catastrophic’ drastically understates his condition. Du Bois dies but is brought back to life by means that becomes key to his subsequent alteration. Thanks to an enigmatic organization led by a mysterious mastermind named Bishop, Du Bois is outfitted with a new body complete with enhanced capabilities, a kind of six million man on mega doses of steroids. To top it off, he’s provided with a super durable armored suit, packed with enough fire power to shred an army. But the transition from ordinary man to ultra-soldier becomes a jarring shock to Du Bois’ senses. Not to mention the costs that his commitment as an ultra soldier entails, a cost that deeply embitters him. Having never consented to this transformation, Du Bois bears enmity toward the person responsible for his condition: Bishop. Nevertheless, Du Bois is a soldier, and he will do his duty, because if he doesn’t, the monsters win.
Knight Ranger is a short but delightfully satisfying read. The build-up leading to Du Bois’ demonstration of his abilities gives the reader a rich insight into his state of mind. There is a lot of flashy hi tech in this book which I enthusiastically imbibed like literary crack. When Du Bois finally goes into the field, the action is hyper fast, hard hitting and explosive. I’ll expect no less of the sequel.”
~ Ronald Jones

Codename: Knight Ranger is Available Now!

HELLO EVERYONE!!!

JFA Press Kit Pic 2I’m extremely excited to announce that starting today my novella, Codename: Knight Ranger​ is available through Amazon (ebook immediately & print starting next week), Barnes & Noble (ebook only) and createspace.com (print immediately). Follow the links below to pick up your copy and remember TBIYTC (The Best Is Yet To Come)!!!

KNIGHT RANGER POSTER ART 2
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LNHRvQ
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1Qf5qOZ
Createspace.com: https://www.createspace.com/5402826

EXPLORING FICTION FORMS

EXPLORING WHEN, HOW AND WHY I USE CERTAIN FICTION FORMS     

Most people are familiar with the fiction forms of novels and short stories. However, there are three other forms which exist and are on the rise amongst many writers these days; the novella, the novelette and flash fiction.
While none of these three fiction forms are new, they are different from their more contemporary counterparts. In this blog post, I will distinguish those differences and explain why and when I choose to use them in my own writing.

***Please note***
The average word count for novels will vary based upon genre and who you ask. The word count which constitutes these other fiction forms will also vary, however there is a general range that’s accepted and I am illustrating the range which I use.

FICTION FORMS

  • Novels: Works of fiction which are 50K+ words in length.
  • Novellas: Works of fiction which fall between 20K and 50K words in length.
  • Novelettes: Works of fiction which fall between 7K and 20K words in length.
  • Short Stories: Works of fiction which fall between 1K and 7K words in length.
  • Flash Fiction: Works of fiction which are fewer than 1K words in length.

Why I Use Certain Fiction Forms

Let me first say that I encourage writers to explore ALL of the various forms of fiction at least once. DO NOT limit yourself based upon the preferences of another writer or their suggestions. That said, I mostly untilze the following fiction forms in my work: Novels, Novellas and Novelettes.
This is a personal preference, as I tend to do quite a bit of world building and write character driven content. These three forms are what work best for me and the stories I tell. Every writer is different, some use less number of forms and others use all five.
If you’re not familiar with my work, I write speculative fiction which covers a variety of genres and sub-genres. My work is also heavily influenced by comic books and action cinema. Because of this, one of my biggest influences on how I use these fiction forms is the comic book format and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in particular.

When I Choose to Use a Particular Fiction Form

Novels
I use novels for works which feature prominent characters within my literary universe, dubbed the Ivoryverse. These stories tend to have far reaching significance and consequences within my world and therefore I need more time to properly develop the characters involved.
The events depicted within my novels/novel series, resonate throughout the Ivoryverse and have an impact on every other character in every other work, at least in some significant manner. This is similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe catchphrase, “It’s all connected.”
For example, the Ivory Blaque novel series is the hub for my other works of fiction within the Ivoryverse, hence the name. As the first novel in the Ivory Blaque series, The God Killers, is a first glimpse into the Ivoryverse, all other stories which follow are in some way connected to the events which occur within that novel series. Although, it should be noted that the stories told in the novels are self contained and can be read individually and independent of other works. However, reading all of my works maximizes how in depth your understanding/following of the Ivoryverse will be.
Also, I DO NOT leave cliffhangers! I use what I term, “Epilogue Bridges.” What the Epilogue Bridges do is give the reader a glimpse into how the novel they’re reading is connected to the next novel in the series and/or other works such as novellas and novelettes. In this regard, the title character(s) have resolved (at least for the most part) the conflicts which they faced within the novel and there is a clear beginning, middle and end to the story. Epilogue Bridges are like the end credit scenes in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie that sets up the anticipation for next film.

Novellas
As I write stories which delve deeper into the Ivoryverse, yet don’t feature the character Ivory Blaque and are centered around another important character, I choose to write those stories as novellas.
My novellas are almost like annual, digest sized, single issue comic books with self-contained stories about a specific character or group of characters. These works tend to focus on one character, three at most and they usually have one general setting. Now just as I lay down these general “loose” rules, I am just as apt to break them.
Depending upon whether I intend to publish the novellas as a “One & Done” work, which I don’t plan to visit again or expand upon in the future, I will generally follow the one character, one setting focus rule. I use this for stories which fill in gaps between novels or novellas with the maximum word count which serve as part of a series. An example would be where a minor character, or group of characters in a novel resonates with my readers and they inquire about the further exploits of this character(s). I use the novella form to further develop the character(s) and provide stories for my readers using characters who will not recieve their own full length novel series. As all of my stories/books are written by me and I DO NOT utilize ghost writers, I have to limit the characters who receive full length novel series and gauge reader response as the whether I explore a novella series for the characters who don’t quite make the cut.

Novelettes
The third fiction form which I use in my writing is the novelette. This form is like a monthly comic book or weekly TV show if you will. The stories are short glimpses into the lives of certain characters who may have appeared and/or been featured in a novel or novella. Noveletes serve as a vehicle to either fill in gaps between novels and/or novellas, but can also be used as serialized installments which will be collected into a larger body of work and marketed as a volume collection of inter-related stories. Think, seasons of a TV show or collected editions of single issue comics. While these stories may not be chock full of character development, they do offer the reader a visit with a character(s) they would otherwise have to wait a year or longer to get.

This year I plan to set some things into motion which will maximize my writing output, further flesh out my literary universe and exponentially increase my body of work. This not only allows for me to get more stories written and shared with my audience, but it also allows for me to position my properties for the possibility of being developed in other media forms into the future.

Copyright © 2015  John F. Allen. All rights reserved.

CYBER MONDAY SALE FOR THE GOD KILLERS & MORE!!!

Hey everyone! Now that we’ve recovered, or at least we’re on our way to recovery, from Thanksgiving and Black Friday, we have Cyber Monday to look forward too!

TGK OFFICIAL COVER ARTToday, and today only, the ebook version of my debut novel, “The God Killers,” will be on sale for only .99 cents!

That’s right, only ninety-nine pennies and you can own a copy of “The God Killers!” So, if for some strange reason you haven’t already purchased my novel, now is your opportunity to do so and at a HUGE SAVINGS!

Click here to purchase: The God Killers

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But wait Johnny, there’s more!

REVISED_SWORD_COVER_1200X840Not only is “The God Killers” on sale, but also the anthology, “Thunder on the Battlefield: Sword, Vol 1,” featuring my most acclaimed short story, “Forest of Shadows!”

Click here to purchase: Thunder on the Battlefield:Sword, Vol 1

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SEVENTH STAR PRESS

SEVENTH STAR PRESS

Also, follow the link below to enter into the Seventh Star Press, “Feel the Fire III Contest,” offering a Kindle HDX (7 inch screen) as the grand prize with bonus entries for tweeting and posting about the sale. Only USA-based winners can receive the Kindle grand prize, if an international winner is chosen, a cash prize of equivalent value will be substituted and sent via PayPal. Contest entries will end at 12 AM EST on Monday, December 22nd. Winner will be selected that Monday.

Click here to enter: Feel the Fire III Contest

After you enter the contest, feel free to look around at the other wonderful Seventh Star Press titles, written by other exceptionally talented authors, also on sale for .99 cents during Cyber Monday!

Thanks and remember TBIYTC (The Best Is Yet To Come)!!!