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Welcome to Milton Davis

milton-aarl

Where are you from and where do you live now? I’m originally from Columbus, Georgia. I currently live in Metro Atlanta, Georgia

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I’m a research and development chemist by training and a science fiction and fantasy writer by choice. I write science fiction, fantasy, steampunk and other types of fantastic fiction based on African/African Diaspora culture, history and tradition.

Where do you find inspiration? I get inspiration from a variety of sources; current event issues, music, art, reading history and other sources. You never know when the muse will strike.

Are your characters based on real people? My characters are very seldom based on real people. I don’t want to piss off anybody I know. I have based a few characters in my historical fiction novels an real people, usually historical figures.

Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off?No. That’s a waste of time in my opinion. Besides, I wouldn’t want someone I don’t like to soil the pages of what I do for enjoyment for any reason.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? I have a collection of historical reference books where most of my info originates. I also do a lot of research on the internet. I also utilize the Auburn Avenue Research Library archives. They have one of the largest collections of books by and about people of African/African Diaspora descent in the country.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? Mine is a message of inclusion. It’s simply if you don’t see yourself in something, put yourself there. That’s what I do with my books.

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) For me the story is the most important thing. So I would say solid plot, great world-building, technically perfect, great characters.

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? My books are available in e-book and print format. I’m considering audio but haven’t made the leap yet.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I hire editors but I also edit after the editors. I want the editor to look for typos and/or grammatical errors or some logical issues. Other than that don’t touch the story. I self publish so my stories will reach people exactly the way I write them.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? We are. There is this belief that you must suffer through the gauntlet of mainstream publishing to be a true writer. That’s bullshit. There also the image that if you’re self publishing it’s because your writing wasn’t good enough for a ‘real’ publisher. That’s bullshit, too.

Do you read work by self-published authors? Yes. As a matter of fact the majority of the books I read are by self publishers, mainly because they are writing the type of books that I’m interested in reading.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews?How important are reviews? Reviews are important but I don’t think writers should comment on them. It sets a bad precedent and can work against the writer. People will be reluctant to not only  review but also read a book by a writer if they have to fear retaliation.

When buying a book do you read the reviews? Yes.

What are your reviews on authors reviewing other authors? Another author is just a reader when he or she reads. So they should be allowed to review another writer. In many cases their reviews may be more insightful because they practice the craft.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? A book is a more immersive experience. It has the room and the time to build a more complete world and draw the reader deeper into the story.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? Write every day, write to finish, and don’t spend forever on the first draft. Writing is revising.

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? I just finished reading Everfair by Nisi Shawl. It’s an enjoyable alternate history tome.

Can you name your favourite traditionally published author? And your favourite indie/self-published author? My favourite traditionally published author is Charles R. Saunders. My favourite indie author? That’s tough. I’ll say it has to be between Balogun Ojetade and Ronald Jones.

What are your views on authors offering free books? I don’t agree with it except on rare occasions.

Do you have any pets? No.

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