Tag Archives: Judy Blue

Author Interview: Brooklyn June Miller

A few months ago, I was hearing a buzz about June Miller’s book, Color. Cut. Clarity. I honestly didn’t know who he was and it was my first time hearing his name. So I went on a little mission and researched. Well, I was able to see his work, but I only came across one interview with the lovely Kisha Green. Since he lived in New York City, I decided to hit him up and ask him if he would be willing to meet with me in person for a live interview. To my surprise, he graciously accepted. I was fortunate enough to get to know the man behind the pen. He is a talented, perceptive, intelligent, and wise man who I am grateful to now call my friend. Without further ado, here is my interview with Brooklyn June.

1) What part of Brooklyn did you grow up?

I was raised in Bed-Stuy and Fort Greene.

2) What did you aspire to be as a child?

As a child I always wanted to be a doctor. I remember my mother giving me a medical book for Christmas too.

3) I read you loved writing since public school? Was there a particular teacher that motivated you?

When I was in public school, I was lucky enough to be in gifted classes and in the 5th and 6th Grade my teacher, Mrs. Ronni Freed took a big interest in my intelligence and ability to write creatively. She was the reason I became valedictorian of my graduating class.

4) Did anyone else in your family write?

No, no one else in my family writes. I believe my ability comes naturally.

5) What are some of your favorite books and authors and why?

My favorite book is Black Boy by Richard Wright. This was my first grown up read and I escaped into a world of reading that further sparked my love for the written word. Before then I read a Judy Blume book, Are you there God, it’s me Margaret. It was my sister’s book but I loved reading so I devoured all her girly books like Nancy Drew mysteries. Then I read a book by Claude Brown that changed the way I looked at writing, Manchild in the Promised Land. That book took me somewhere dark I’ve never been but would soon find about in my later years.

6) Was there a particular book that changed your life?

Black Boy, it awakened me. I needed to know what my ancestors went through as a people and my journey to learn my history begun.

7) Do you write full-time or part-time?

I currently write full-time.

8) How did you perfect your craft as a writer?

I have to say that I’m not sure. I’ve never read a book on writing and have no formidable background. I listen to those readers who support me and try to give great, original stories.

9) Do you have anyone you look up to or influenced you?

The person who influenced me to write was my sons’ mother. She read a journal I was keeping and told me I should turn it into a story. She read urban books at the time.

10) Do you have a writing routine or ritual?

I don’t have a routine per se, but my best time to write is in the wee hours of the night when there is nothing but me and the characters talking.

11) Do you write every day?

Every single day.

12) What do you want your readers to get from the books you write?

My first book, This Game Has No Loyalty, I wanted to tell an authentic story of the pitfalls young people face when making choices due to the circumstances of your environment. After that series, I wanted to give readers great stories that would entertain but also leave them scratching their heads at the end.

13) How many books do you have published?

I have over fifteen books published.

14) Usually how long does it take you to write a book?

For a full length novel, it will take me a month and a half to two months. For 35,000 words, that’s within a month.

15) Do you use an outline or freestyle?

Long hand or typing? I honestly don’t write outlines. I have a concept and the characters in my mind and I just start typing and let the characters tell the story.

16) What was your most favorite and least favorite book to write and why?

My favorite to write was Victimized-Buchanan’s Secret. It showed my true ability to write outside of what everyone else does. I don’t have a least favorite because I love all my stories, if they sell or not.

17) How do the stories or characters come to you?

Some of the stories pop into my head from something I’ve been through or seen, other times I sit down and try to think of something original but not too far fetched and develop it into my own.

18) What was the best experience you ever had as an author?

My best experience was being summoned by a woman who had heard about me and was suddenly intrigued by my work.

19) What lured you to the dangerous life of the streets?

I wasn’t lured, I chose my life. I wanted fast money and was fearless when I was younger.

20) What was the greatest lesson you learned in that life?

The Game Has NO Loyalty.

21) Did something happen that propelled you out of the game?

The birth of my daughter made me realize that I no longer had to live a selfish life, I had someone to live for.

22) I read that you were enrolled in college, what was your major?

Ha. I graduated from New York City Technical College and my major was Microcomputer Business Systems (whatever the hell that was).

23) Was your first novel This Game Has No Loyalty based on your life?

Loosely.

24) When did you branch out and start Four Shadough Publishing?

I was laid off and decided to start my company.

25) How were you discovered by Ashley and JaQuavis?

K’wan put in a word for me and at the Harlem Book Fair, Treasure Blue introduced me to JaQuavis. I received a call from him some months later and the rest is history.

26) Do you consider yourself an urban writer or something else?

I would say urban because my stories are set in urban environments, but I offer more than an urban experience.

27) What would you tell the youth of today?

If they would listen, get an education to secure a career and change the stigma and deadly cycle we all get caught up in. I would also tell them to learn THEIR history so they can understand society a little better, when armed with knowledge, you have the upper hand.

28) What projects are you currently working on?

Three projects, Improper Love 2, Sheba and Reno 2, Muffin’s Story and hopefully a part two to Color Cut Clarity.

29) Is there a dream you want to fulfill?

I’m living my dream.

30) Last, but not least, what is the best advice you would give to someone who is just starting out as a writer?

Learn the business end of the industry so you will not fall victim to the system.

Thank you for a wonderful interview, Brooklyn June.

June Miller is the published author of, This Game Has No Loyalty, an urban street fiction novel depicting real life on the streets and the love relationships within those parameters.

His love of writing was first discovered in public school where he dazzled teachers with his creative short stories and intriguing poems. His writing was officially acknowledged locally when one of his stories was featured in his class yearbook.

As June reached his teenage years, he abandoned his love of writing for the dangerous life on the streets of Brooklyn. Although he was educated, the excitement of the street life interested him and he quickly took part in petty crimes, which soon elevated into the introduction to the infamous drug trade where he became a major distributor of illegal drugs out of state. During his illicit activities he was apprehended and convicted then later incarcerated. Once released on parole, he reclaimed his spot in the drug trade and continued trafficking illegal drugs, the threat of violating parole a fleeting thought. His youth and inexperience in life fueled his desire for illegal tender without the thought or regret of contributing to the destruction of his community.

As time passed all of his relationships, social, personal and romantic, became strained due to the nature of his business. His life lacked stability despite the illusion of financial comfort. He was responsible for himself so there was never any balance in his life until the birth of his first daughter, who changed the way he viewed life…her life. June decided to make changes in his life and immediately enrolled into college where he rediscovered his love of writing, showcasing his literary abilities that were recognized by his English professors.

While pursuing his degree, tragedy struck and one of his closest friends was brutally murdered. Overcome by anger and revenge he channeled his emotions into something that came to him naturally, he wrote the story. It didn’t heal the wound to his heart but was therapeutic in helping him express feelings no one knew about. The story was buried along with his feelings for 10 years until one day he came across it after coming from a funeral for yet another fallen youth to the same game he had given up. At that moment he decided to write a story, a true to life account of what happens in the streets with hopes of reaching the youth by delivering vivid accounts of the pitfalls of the street life that is not taught to them and at the same time, promote literacy in these communities because it’s the gateway to learning and sparking mental creativity.

June began penning his novel This Game Has No Loyalty and incorporated his own experiences into his writing to produce the “realness” his story needed to capture his audience.

June is also the author of This Game Has No Loyalty II – Hustle for Life and This Game Has No Loyalty III – Love is Pain published by FourShadough Publishing, a book publishing company that is rooted in the promotion of literacy in urban neighborhoods here and abroad.

You can follow Brooklyn June Miller on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Posted in Author Interviews, writing | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment