Bradford Philen is a tourist. He strolls from one end of the earth to the other in search of character types. A myriad of races and ethnicities, different sexes, and a variety of ages…he seeks them out. Then, he transformed them into a collection called When the Color Started.
These characters are bold and daring. From Travis to Cleveland to Khoudia; be prepared to sit up and take notice of their personas and their pain. Others, like Allison, on the other hand, are quiet and introspective. Philen peels them back like onions until the reader isn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. The one thing the reader is sure to do, on some level, is relate to them and their stories.
Be warned, though.
If you aren’t comfortable with an author inhabiting characters outside his race or if you’re unsettled by characters who dig deep into their psyche and leave the blunt inner workings of their fictional minds on the table, these stories might not be for you. His word choices are bold – sometimes shocking – and his characters pull all the punches. If you can see beyond these aspects, be prepared to journey with Philen as he focuses on the central-most part of his stories – the humanity that lies within.
Article originally Published in the April / May 2021 Issue: Cover Stories.