But upon coming back to it the other day I did, I remember reading over my work and thinking, "Why isn't she [the MC with all the knowledge and power], black?" There was no reason she couldn't be after all, and I'd been inspired by all of the covers with black protagonists I'd seen in the fantasy section of Barnes and Noble, understanding an apt confusion for readers when they would see my DARK WORLD series and not see any black characters on the covers, though there are black characters in the world.
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Besides all of this writing, I've been asked to speak on a panel at my local Barnes and Noble for B-Fest, the YA-oriented festival where YA authors speak at bookstores and hold events for readers. While I don't write YA, I couldn't pass up the chance when asked to talk about the creative process, that is, my characters, plot, and connecting plots in a series.
People often ask me why I chose to write about Vampires, and my answer always is: I didn't choose to write about Vampires; they chose me.
As I've said on this blog before, my mother is to blame (or thank) for my avid interest in all things Dark. She would watch all the old horror movies while pregnant with me, and I guess some of it rubbed off on the little premature baby inside.
Anyway, Vampires are hypnotic, sexy, cruel, damned, monstrous, needy, and, I think, necessary.
The Dark World (the series in its entirety), is me laid bare. All my anxieties, my fears, my struggles with low self-esteem, the need for often constant approval from family and friends and romantic relationships, are represented in various characters, situations, and dialogue. Though one would be hard-pressed to find a character that directly represents someone in my life, they are all there, mixed in my colorful cast of Vampires, Lycans, Enchanters, Dragons, Merpeople, Elves, and Elite Creatures.
I hope those that deal with anxiety and/or depression recognize these ailments in my characters and understand this is not a 'fun, light-hearted journey,' this is a maddening tale, a fairytale I call it.
I feel we owe it to ourselves, as writers, or people who want to be writers or people who are aspiring to be published, to start putting our ideas down seriously. Sure, we're screaming into a void and it's just as likely no one is listening or even screaming back, but we do it anyway. Maybe because we need to, maybe because it's all we know. Or we're drunk. Either way, it's something we do.
It's a thin line to keeping your safety yours and contained and having freedom of expression.
A line I hope we can solidify soon.
This ordeal has left me feeling creeped out, surveyed, and scared of losing my job (something no one should ever have to deal with).
I'm glad I didn't give into the 'internet fame' mentality that blankets our internet-generation now (I did gain a slew of new Instagram followers thanks to the article, but that doesn't really mean anything in the real world). Sure it may translate to book sales in the future (huge may), but it doesn't really help my present where I have to work for a living and I'm actually excited about my job.