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The Blueberry Miller Files [Kindle Edition]

A. Yamina Collins
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

First loves gone wrong. Southern belles. Black anglophiles. And mice that nibble at the face. These are just some of the characters, and the tales, in author A. Yamina Collins' vibrant new short story collection, "The Blueberry Miller Files."

Q & A WITH AUTHOR A. YAMINA COLLINS

SO WHAT ARE THE STORIES IN THIS COLLECTION ABOUT?

There is no one theme that runs through the book, except to say that it’s a look at the human condition in all of its humor, awkwardness and tragedy.
But, I had a blast writing these stories, and these multi-ethnic characters, in all their humor, tragedy in awkwardness. I think I’m fascinated by humanities fallen condition. I’m fascinated by our sin, and how it affects us and those around us.

For example, I have a story set in the pre-civil war south with a belle called “Safe”, about a southern belle who assumes that as long as she is in charge of her personal slave, that slave will always be safe. In my mind, no one who is ever someone else’s slave is truly safe. That’s the irony. I’m a fan of Gone with Wind, a HUGE fan. I keep re-reading the book over and over again. And, of course, I’m in love with Rhett Butler’s character. But I’ve always had issues, for example, with how kind the slave holders were presented. It’s always irked me that it was this great romance, and people fawned over it, even while this horrible thing called slavery was actually being defended in the book by the main characters!

It also irked me to note that the slaves had the worst dialect in the world, yet the slave holders had the most perfect English. I realized, whoever is telling the story gets to decide how good one group looks over another. So I decided to do just a little twist on that theme. It wasn’t about revenge. It was about playing with a tried and true subject and shaking it up just slightly. It’s the last slave story I will ever write though. I want to move onto other subjects with black characters. But again, my book has black, white and hispanic characters in it. I don’t like to stick to just one group of people.

ARE ALL OF THE STORIES TRAGIC?

No! Some of the stories are funny, too. Well, one of the stories is very, very funny. The others are tragic, with these awkward, funny moments thrown in.


YOU HAVE ALL THESE FALLEN CHARACTERS IN THESE UGLY SITUATIONS, YET NONE OF THEM CURSE! WHY NOT?

I don’t curse in my books, or in real life. As a Christian, I don’t think you stop being a Christian just while you’re writing your book. Honestly, I don’t think God gives us commands without a way for us to follow them. So I have to find ways for people to say nasty things without crossing that line. Or if there’s a sex scene, somehow I have to let the audience know it’s happening with describing it or titillating people. It’s kind of an exercise in creativity. It can be a tough call to make, but I think it’s doable. And it’s challenging, too! But, hey, life was meant for challenges! God stretches us when we’re challenged.


ANY FAVORITE CHARACTERS IN THE COLLECTION?

I love this character named Madam Adams. She is a loony little doll; an African-American Anglophile with a Shakespeare complex. Her parents raised her in Harlem, but she tells people she was raised in England by a group of thespians. She is a loveable nutcase with a fondness for bad writing, wine, and crumpets.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR ALL TIME FAVORITE SHORT STORY WRITERS?

Edgar Allan Poe, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Henry James and Washington Irving. Not that all these people wrote only short stories. And, in fact, Henry James was known for the nouvelle rather than the typical short story, but…you get the point. These guys were masters. And I love the classics. That’s what I grew up on.


Product Details

  • File Size: 206 KB
  • Print Length: 111 pages
  • Publisher: DeeBooks Publishing, LLC; Edition number #1 edition (July 11, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008KAI3KG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,253,449 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Always an interesting twist at the end! July 20, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Thanks Yamina for giving me the chance to review a few of the stories. I actually enjoyed the stories. Whenever I started one of the stories, I wanted to read it all the way to the end without a break.....then was disappointed when the story ended as I found myself wanting more at the end. I know they are SHORT stories, but wanted the stories to be longer :- ). They always had an interesting twist at the end as well. Yamina is talented!!! I gave it 4 stars as I didn't get the chance to read all, but most of the stories.---CARLA CHERY
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong and engaging storytelling July 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm in the process of reading The Blueberry Miller Files, a collection of short stories by A. Yamina Collins. Since this is a new release, I wanted to briefly share my thoughts on a couple of her stories. So far, I've read "Calling Viola - A Madam Adams Adventure" and "Family". "Calling Viola" was very imaginative and quite a fun read. The heroine, Madam, is a playwright in the midst of drafting a play. We are given a unique perspective of this moment in her life by reading the play as its unfolding, along with experiencing the thoughts, dialogue, and action in her own life. I laughed out loud a couple of times! "Family", which is on the other side of the emotional spectrum, tells the story of an elderly man who's been waiting for the return of his son, long gone since he was a young child. In this one day account, Yamina aptly conveys his accomplishments, regrets, and fears, rendering a strong, solemn, and engaging story. I'm looking forward to reading the remaining stories of her book. Highly recommended!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wickedly entertaining roller coaster August 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I Read through these stories in matter of maybe a week and for someone who is not a big reader that is a huge deal. The Blueberry Miller files pull you in holds your attention through the end of each story. I found myself super eager to find out what was around each corner.Some, if not most, of the characters were extremely caught up in their delusions which, in the case of Madam Adams of Calling Viola and Kyndra of The Disillusioned, were hilarious and quite entertaining. Some of the other stories, however, we're extremely disturbing and even thought provoking. One of which was Safe. A story set in the South during the time of Slavery where Salil Mo who, according to the story, wasn't dark enough to be a Negro, but not white enought to be a true gentleman, was hunted and killed for disrupting a dinner party with a speech. More disturbing than the murder itself though, we're the thoughts and attitudes of the murderers and bystanders. If you are a happy ending kind of person then The Blueberry Miller files may not be for you but if you love a good twistt and a satisfying finale then this is an awesome read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ~~~ August 25, 2012
By Anthony
Format:Kindle Edition
This review is based specifically around one of the short stories in the collection, "Calling Viola - A Madam Adams Adventure." I truly enjoyed this short that becomes extremely meta while losing no humor. While reading, I found that the characteristics that the author pokes fun at the Madam for having are the same ones that make her a humanistic (and relatable) character. I haven't read further stories from the book, but look forward to doing so.
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More About the Author

A. Yamina Collins is the author of the quirky short story collection The Blueberry Miller Files. She has written for publications such as New York Resident magazine, Our Town and the Manhattan Spirit. A graduate of New York University, she lives in Manhattan. The Last King is her first novel. Check out her blog at: Yaminatoday.com. or follow her on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/yaminatoday


FOLLOW THE LAST KING BOOK SERIES
Release dates for each chapter of The Last King, Book I

A. Yamina Collins reads from the book:
http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/ChSqWGY4


The Last King went #1 on the Free Amazon Kindle bestsellers list in three categories: African American literature, Historical Fantasy, and African-American Romance.

Series #1 - Release date, December 26, 2013
Series #2 - Release date, January 30 - 2014
Series #3 - Release date, February 28, 2014
Series #4 - Release date, March 30, 2014
Series #5 - Release date, April 30, 2014
Series #6 - Release date, May 30, 2014
Series #7 - Release date, June 30, 2014
Series #8 - Release date, July 30, 2014
Series #9 - Release date, August 30, 2014
Series #10 - Release date, September 30, 2014
Series #11 - Release date, October 30, 2014

The Last King, Full Book - Release date, December 20, 2014

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