I’d like to welcome Sword and Soul author, Milton Davis. Please take some time to learn about this exciting genre and his call for submissions on a new women’s soul and sword anthology.
Milton, thanks so much for agreeing to interview with me. I love your work with sword and soul.
First, can you tell me a little about your writing career and the works you’ve published.
Although I dabbled at writing since the early eighties, my writing 'career' began in 2005. That's when I pulled together all my notes began writing my first two novels.
Can you describe the sword and soul tradition? Is it a new genre? What is at the heart of sword and soul?
Sword and Soul began over thirty years ago with the publication of the first Imaro story by Charles R. Saunders, so I wouldn't consider it new. Charles was a lone wolf, the only author writing sword and Sorcery from a completely African perspective. He didn't coin the name Sword and Soul until recently when asked what he would call his work. The heart of Sword and Soul is its reliance on African culture, tradition, history and mythology as its foundation for stories.
Is sword and soul for African Americans only or would others enjoy it?
Sword and Soul is for everyone, although I can speak only for myself when I say the focus is on people of African descent. We of the Diaspora have similar yet different experiences, but the one common thread that links us is our history before the slave trade. However, as you know a good story is a good story, and people from all persuasions have read and enjoyed Sword and Soul.
I’ve learned that there’s a strong sword and soul community. Can you talk a little about this and what they expect to see in written works?
We're a small community for now, but we are strong. One of the things that I've tried to do is find and connect with other brothers and sisters writing or thinking about writing Sword and Soul. What the people in this community want to see the most is themselves. They want stories with characters that look like them and represent them in a non-stereotypical way. They want to see themselves as heroes and sheroes, too.
Has the larger fantasy community been accepting of sword and soul? Please explain.
From what I can see the fantasy community has been very accepting. Despite Charles's longevity and following there are many people who still aren't familiar with Sword and Soul. Whenever I've been privileged to introduce it to a fantasy fan the response has been very positive. Many newcomers feel it's been long overdue.
I’m totally excited about your call for submissions on a women’s sword and soul anthology. Can you talk about the scope of the project and where authors will find submissions requirements?
I 'd like to start by saying that our sisters have been embarrassingly under-represented in this genre. Griots: Sisters of the Spear is our way to rectify that and to pay homage to women of African descent. The main requirement of the anthology is that the main protagonist must be a woman of color and must portray that character is a positive, heroic light. The first Griots anthology has been accepted very well and I anticipate that Sisters of the Spear will be accepted the same way.
Any other thoughts or information that you’d like to share?
Thank you Alicia for giving me this opportunity to speak on Sword and Soul. I hope everyone reading this blog will continue to support the genre and if they've never heard of it will take the time to see what we're all about. They won't be disappointed.
Milton Davis, Author – Milton Davis is owner/publisher of MVmedia, LLC . As an author he specializes in science fiction and fantasy and is the author of Meji Book One, Meji Book Two and Changa’s Safari. Visit him: www.mvmediaatl.com and www.wagadu.ning.com.