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.

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)!!!

CELEBRATING DIVERSITY WITHIN SPECULATIVE FICTION IS NOT DIVISIVE OR SEPARATIST

WHAT WE CAN ALL LEARN FROM BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH

 

Last month, I ran a series of blog posts spotlighting Black Speculative Fiction Month. BSFM was designed to acknowledge and spread the word about black authors and artists within the speculative fiction genre.
In and of itself, speculative fiction is mostly represented by whites and thus doesn’t usually have protagonists of color. That said, the readers of speculative fiction are mostly unaware of black authors in the genre.

One of the intentions of BSFM is to not only celebrate the achievements of black authors—which can be easily overlooked by the mainstream audience—but to also inform and educate the readers and potential reader of speculative fiction that diversity does exist and that various racial and cultural groups are being represented.

Many within the black community don’t read speculative fiction because they see it as either silly—too far removed from reality—or dominated by whites who often exclude any characters of color. So, most of the black community isn’t even aware that black speculative fiction authors exist. This is where BSFM comes into play.

The month long celebration informs those within the community and in the mainstream who don’t know, of the existence of black speculative fiction authors. This is an effort to not only inform readers of black authors, but to also bring new readers to the genre of speculative fiction as a whole.

I was confronted by an individual who felt that having BSFM was divisive and separatist. I attempted to explain that his interpretation of the celebration was not at all its intent. I tried to point out the goals I stated earlier, but unfortunately to no avail.

Sure, as you would expect most black speculative fiction writers have a predominately black cast of characters, whereas most white speculative fiction writers have a predominately white cast of characters. We write within our framework of experience and what comes natural and to me there’s nothing wrong with that. I have white characters, Asian characters, etc… in my work(s), as white authors have black characters within their work(s). But how I approach any character I create—regardless of race—is to make them human, first and foremost. I don’t get caught up in trying to make them conform to typical stereotypes in order to assert authenticity. To do this, creates a caricature of an ethnic group and does almost nothing to develop the character as an entity.

I have enjoyed books where the cast of characters were all white, but I never got particularly angry or disgruntled, nor did I urge those creators to include token blacks to make their work more balanced. I write stories with black protagonists and a predominately black cast, not in answer to my white counterparts, but because that’s what comes naturally to me. It’s not divisive or separatist to write what you know.

It wasn’t too long ago that the mainstream public refused to acknowledge, let alone publish or feature black speculative fiction authors. If we as a group wanted to be seen or heard, we had to do it for ourselves. Now, there is a slow movement to integrate black creators into the mainstream however, much more is yet to be done and  celebrations like BSFM only help to foster diversity within the world of genre fiction by spreading the word about those outside of the mainstream’s purview.

A lot of people I know within speculative fiction are coming together to explore our differences and learn something new about other people and to me that’s a good thing. It has always been my idea that when I’m reading speculative fiction, I’m looking for a bold new adventure. What could be more different than to step outside of the box you’re accustomed to and explore a more diverse take on genre fiction? I’m not sure how making people aware of diversity, exploring new cultural takes on genre fiction and authors writing within the scope of their experience is such a bad thing.

BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT #25

TODAY’S BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT IS BALOGUN OJETADE!

1014308_10151651562099253_183144284_nBalogun is the author of the bestselling Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within and screenwriter / producer / director of the films, A Single Link and Rite of Passage: Initiation.

He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk – a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at http://chroniclesofharriet.com/.

He is author of three novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the science fiction gangster saga, Redeemer; and the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika and contributing co-editor of two anthologies: Ki: Khanga: The Anthology and Steamfunk. He is also co-creator of the soon-to-be-released role-playing game, Ki-Khanga™: The Sword & Soul RPG.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once Upon A Time In Afrika

 

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Balogun can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Afrikan.Martial.Arts and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Baba_Balogun.

 

BE SURE TO HELP CELEBRATE BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH BY CHECKING OUT THE WORK(S) OF THIS WONDERFUL CREATOR & REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!

BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT #24

TODAY’S BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT IS WAYNE RILEY!

allknightzteamWayne Riley is the brainchild behind All Knightz, a team of animators, graphic designers, illustrators and writers who are together most notably responsible for the animated series known as ‘Hard Wired’. Their aim is to give you a whole new fresh take on how you view comic books and cartoons by giving you a different kind of character that you and your children will always remember as well as a new way of story telling that will encourage you to look deeper into the stories from our African history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BE SURE TO HELP CELEBRATE BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH BY CHECKING OUT THE WORK(S) OF THIS WONDERFUL CREATOR & REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!

BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT #23

TODAY’S BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION SPOTLIGHT IS MILTON DAVIS!

 

 

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Milton Davis works as a full time chemist and a part time writer. He is finally fulfilling my dream of writing by self publishing his novels and stories. His publishing company is MVmedia Publishing and Beyond.

 

 

 

 

Some of his titles include:

  • Meji: Vol 1 & 2
  • Changa’s Safari:  Vol 1 & 2

Anthologies he’s published and had work appear in:

  • Griots: A Sword & Soul Anthology
  • The Steamfunk Anthology

MEJI VOL 1 BOOK COVER

GriotsWoman of the WoodsSteamfunk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn about other titles and purchase copies of his work(s) visit the company website @: http://www.mvmediaatl.com/

Check out his blog Wagadu @: http://www.mvmediaatl.com/Wagadu/

 

BE SURE TO HELP CELEBRATE BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH BY CHECKING OUT THE WORK(S) OF THIS WONDERFUL CREATOR & REMEMBER TBIYTC!!!

BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT #21

TODAY’S BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION MONTH SPOTLIGHT IS SUMIKO SAULSON!

 

Sumiko SaulsonSumiko Saulson’s blog “Things That Go Bump In My Head” focuses on horror fiction writing and features author interviews, writing advice, short stories and editorial pieces. She is the author of three novels in the science fiction, horror and dark fantasy genres, “Solitude,” “Warmth”, and “The Moon Cried Blood”. She is also the author of a short story anthology by the same name as her blog. A published poet and writer of short stories and editorials, she was once profiled in a San Francisco Chronicle article about up-and-coming poets in the beatnik tradition. The child of African American and Russian-Jewish American parents, she is a native Californian, and was born and spent her early childhood in Los Angeles, moving to Hawaii, where she spent her teen years, at the age of 12. She has spent most of her adult life living in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

 

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

http://sumikosaulson.com/books/

COMICS

http://sumikosaulson.com/comics/