Mike Warren has worn many hats in his day—solider, father, communicator. However, audiences may know Warren as an author of urban gay literature. His first novel, A Private Affair was picked up by Life Changing Books publication Company and published in the summer of 2007. Because of the controversy and peaked sales, Warren was asked by his publisher to do a sequel, thus bringing forth his second novel, Sweet Swagger, which was published in 2009. Two other novels then followed that, Sir Yes Sir, published in 2011, and Just Make Him Beautiful, published in 2013. Gay Life recently caught up with the author to discuss his latest work, his Baltimore roots and how bisexuality and safer sex is reflected in his work.
Please let our audience know a little about yourself.
Well, I’m the baby of the family. I am the father of five children who are all grown, thank God [Laughs]. I spent six years in the United States Army. I have a Masters Degree in Communications. I have been in a committed relationship with my partner for a little over five years. And I still live here, in Baltimore.
What inspired me to write actually was a dare I got from a friend of mine. He thought I couldn’t or wouldn’t do it, but I did. As a result, my first book, A Private Affair, was born. My inspiration for me to write comes from the passion I have in telling stories, and from family and friends.
Where are you taking your audience with your latest book, Love All of Me?
Love All Of Me is the finale to the main character of Sean Mathews from the A Private Affair series. I just wanted to close out that chapter and start something new. In my new series, Church Brothas, I want to take my audience on a journey with the three “E’s”—to entertain, educate and excite.
Why do you think we need more people like you to write for our SGL community?
I think we need more Urban Gay Literature writers. We all have a story to tell. Even in the SGL Community, there are similarities, but there are also a lot of differences.
You have covered a lengthy list of subjects and substance. Do you find it easier to discuss bisexuality and safer sex context in your books? How is it important to you to discuss or relay these and other messages in the Black and SGL communities?
Discussing bisexuality and safer sex is just as easy to write like anything else. However, all of my books don’t contain safe sex. And, the interesting thing is, straight as well as gay people ask me all the time, why not? I tell them, when you are reading so called “straight books/hood books,” they don’t always use safe sex. So, why should I? I will say that we all live in a time where we all know about HIV and AIDS. Therefore, I shouldn’t have to restrict my writing to conform with ones’ health status, although, I do expect people who are grown enough to be sexually active, to also be grown enough to protect themselves.
In my opinion, I think it’s very important for the Black and SGL Community to always, always protect themselves. What I write for the most part, is fiction. Nothing more, nothing less.
Can you leave our readers with some words of encouragement or pearls of wisdom to our SGL community.
All I can say is, “Live your truth.” Be who you are and never change for anyone but you. Also, follow your dream. It doesn’t matter how old you are. Dreams happen for all of us.
Gay Life February 2015