Author Camille A. Collins is sharing her love for an often underrepresented genre with her recent contribution to the Black Punk Now anthology. I recently spoke with her about ‘Glow.’
Tell me about your latest release.
Black Punk Now is an anthology of short stories, comics and non-fiction essays all centering around the theme of punk music and culture, edited by Chris L. Terry and James Spooner, out from Soft Skull Press on 10/31/23. My contribution is a short story entitled “Glow.” I’m super excited. I never could have dreamed of anything like this book as a kid.
What inspired you to write it?
The common, but by all means not the only, pathway of the “Black punk” is that we were often the only, or one of a few Black kids growing up in predominantly white environments and punk, with its DIY ethos, gave us a place where we could carve out an identity and just be ourselves, since punk is all about non-conformity anyway. I suppose I’ll never run out of stories about the experiences I had, particularly during my teen years.
When did you fall in love with the written word?
I’ve always loved to read, to get lost in stories and explore the etymology of words. I just found out the other day that like myself, my cousin also liked to read the dictionary as a kid.
What’s the best part of being an author?
Having someone read and genuinely connect with your work. Each story isn’t for every person, but it’s a wonderful feeling when someone “gets” and appreciates what you’re trying to say.
What’s the hardest part of being an author?
E.B. White once said, “I admire anyone who has the guts to write anything at all,” and I feel that. Fiction is all about exposing the human heart—the fears, rivalries, and angers people feel but don’t always discuss. Trying to convey these emotions can be scary for the writer too.
What book(s) are you most excited to read next?
Now, I don’t mean to come off as a shameless self-promoter, but I sincerely cannot wait to dive into Black Punk Now and experience the magic my fellow contributors have made.
Who would you cast in a movie to play your main characters?
That’s a good question. The protagonist of my story “Glow” is a teen. I think Priah Ferguson of Stranger Things would do a great job.
What’s next for you?
I have a novel swirling in my head that I need to put down on paper soon, and I have a completed novel, Searching Maman, that I’m hoping to sell in 2024 if not sooner!
Do you have anything you would like to add?
[Shrugs.] Thank you for the interview?!
Use the Black Fiction Addiction affiliate link to purchase your copy of Black Punk Now.
CAMILLE A. COLLINS (she/her) has an MFA in creative writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has been the recipient of the Short Fiction Prize from the South Carolina Arts Commission, and her writing has appeared in The Twisted Vine, a literary journal of Western New Mexico University. Her debut novel, The Exene Chronicles, was published by Brain Mill Press in 2018. She likes writing about music and has contributed features and reviews to Afropunk, BUST, and other publications.