Author Interview: Freddie Milano

Hello, little foxes. I’m super excited to introduce a new spot in our site where we’re going to put the spotlight on authors of color who write romance! Today’s first interview is hosting Freddie Milano, author of A Honeyed Light.

Kunal, relative newcomer to the strange town of Harmony, has his hands full preparing for Diwali. That should be enough to keep anyone’s mind pre-occupied, but Kunal can’t really ignore that he’s nearly thirty, single, and still buried in the closet.

Out of town at a gay club one night, he bumps into Oscar, proprietor of Harmony’s only sex shop, and figures his secret is now officially out. What he doesn’t expect is a slow seduction, or to have to decide what it is he really wants in life.Goodreads

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hi everyone, I’m so glad to be here! I’m Freddie Milano and I’ve been reading and writing for as long as I can remember. I’ve always had a love of fantasy, mythology and the paranormal, so it’s often you’ll find an element of at least one of those in my writing. I’m a Black woman from New York City who identifies as biromantic, greysexual, but I just usually say bisexual for ease. I started writing because I just had a lot of stories I wanted to tell. I used to make up stories to act out with my Barbie dolls, to tell my mom, my friends, anyone who would listen. So I started writing them down and I haven’t stopped.

What made you want to write romance?

I have been reading romance since I was probably too young to do so, but it was rare that I saw myself reflected in what I read. When I was reading, I didn’t see brown people in love. I didn’t see brown queer people in love. I didn’t see two people in non cis male/cis female relationships in which both were people of color. So I decided to write it myself. A Honeyed Light is the direct result of wanting to see two non-white men fall in love and have it end happily.

Do you have any go-to marginalized voice in romance? If yes, mind sharing some?

Beverly Jenkins, Alyssa Cole, Seanan McGuire. Beverly Jenkins wrote the first Black historical romances I ever read. She continues to be the loudest voice in the genre. I fall in love with everything Alyssa Cole writes, including genres I don’t normally read. Seanan McGuire writes incredibly developed characters who are people of color, asexual, bisexual, transgender, disabled, and so many kinds of marginalized, and she handles them all with utmost respect.

What’s one trope you’ve read you would love to write?

Trapped together, soulmates, pretend dating, and forced to share a bed are my favorite tropes. I hope to one day write an uber-romance that combines them all!

Where do you like to read? What do you need for a good long reading session?

I can honestly read anywhere (subway, doctors’ offices, bathtub, living room, bedroom). All I need is some quiet (or my headphones) and a really good book, and I’m set for hours!

What other projects are you working on?

I’m working on a couple of things, including sequels to A Honeyed Light! I wrote a short story, A Happy Medium, for the Gone with the Dead anthology that featured two people from Harmony, and that’s getting expanded into a novella. And then we’re getting a story about Olli’s, Oscar’s best friend from A Honeyed Light. Separate from Harmony, I also have a fantasy short story that will be coming out as a novella (no more details on that yet but I hope soon!) and that too will have a sequel. So, there’s a lot on the horizon!

You can connect with Freddie on Twitter and buy A Honeyed Light on Amazon.