I’m in the process of getting ready for my publishing company debut and book release in September (didn’t mention that yet, huh? Yeah that’s happening) and I’m starting to look around to different groups who might be interested in featuring my book in their book club or blog or whatever. And as I am looking for black writers/readers group to feature my sci-fi/fantasy book, I start seeing a pattern.
My book is an odd-man out. Ready to revoke my card, the other books will give me looks like:
And it’s not because my protagonist isn’t black or I’m not a black author. But it’s because the majority of the books featured are literary. My sci-fi/fantasy book sticks out like a sore thumb. Then a couple of questions came to mind:
- Do I need to be more profound as a writer? Writing about the harsh and at times devastating problems that our society impounded on our ancestors and we continue to be plagued with today…should that be at the forefront of my story?
- If I don’t, do I do a disservice to myself? My race? My gender?
- Will I be taken seriously as a writer if I don’t have a serious narrative?
Then I caught myself. My God, even when you least expect it, you find yourself needing to answer for your entire race and gender. A side effect of the world we will live.
My voice is outrageous. And other worldly. And fantastical. And mind-boggling. And human. And non-human. Live. Dead. Magic. Spirits. Mythology. Folklore.
You get the picture.
This is what my voice gravitates to and that will never change. Even beyond the book that is about to debut in a few months time, I have countless stories waiting to come out. And they are not literary. Yes, they will always feature characters that don’t fall within the status quo. And yes they might be based on folklore and mythology that originates outside of American society and norms.
But they will definitely not be literary.
My narratives will fun and exciting. And heartfelt. Genuine. Maybe you’ll laugh. Or tear up. Its aim will be the same as any literary novel: to illicit some emotional reaction out of my reader.
So if it comes down to there being 20 literary features books and then there’s me… I’m still in pretty good company.