blog

Writing a Non-Binary Character

There are a lot of reasons for this, none that I’m sure need to be named but I’m going to talk about it anyway. The number one reason why I did this, is you guessed it, representation. There are many Trans people in my life and within that spectrum, I feel as though non-binary individuals don’t have the type of representation that they would like to have.

Now I am not the authority to speak for them, nor will I ever claim to be. I merely observe and listen from afar. I can see whats important, I can see the types of things that need to be done, and most of all I want to be the ally that helps do them. With my non-binary character, I did not want some tragic and pained backstory. What I wanted was a strong character, with development and kick-ass powers. A non-binary character that everyone just accepted without question and without them having to prove anything to anyone. Though what I want isn’t necessarily the point here, I do think it is important that a non-binary person is just that, a person.

Now from a different side, I thought it important to have a black non-binary character. Often Trans and Queer POC are left out of a lot of narratives even though they do exist. A lot of it is culture, a lot is erasure, and a lot is just a sheer lack of understanding. This black non-binary character is not a token, they will never be a token. I wanted to step out of the box of tokenism and actually allow this character to just be. My black non-binary character is a central and crucial part of the story, without them the story would not even exist.

I hope that when my Trans friends read my book if they do, that they like what I did. That I did right by them as an ally and as a friend. Again, my intention is not to speak for you, though they say the intention isn’t always what matters.

What are your opinions on Trans representation in books, movies, and other media? Especially non-binary individuals. Do you do anything to change this? If so what?

A. Rose

blog

Why Now?

This is a question that I ask myself a lot, especially these days. Why am I doing this now? Why did I wait so long? Why don’t I wait a little longer? My mind is full of questions and doubts as I go through this process. Writing is something that I have always loved and while my depression often gets in the way of the things that I love, I always come back to writing somehow.

I have tried my hand at many different things, as most people do when they are searching for a place in life. I think I have actually spent more time trying new pursuits than I have with sticking with just one thing. Honestly, I have spent pretty much all of my life so far just looking for a place I belong in. To me, that sounds crazy high school but I am slowly realizing that even adults struggle with this. That even adults just want to feel like we belong somewhere, like we are going to be someone, and even that we are going to make a difference in the world. It may be cliche but it’s the truth.

I had a realization this year, one I was finally happy to have. I realized that not fitting in anywhere, is exactly who I am meant to be. Being a writer typically means being solo, it means being stuck in my own head, but most of all it means that there are molds that I want to break. Now I know what you’re thinking, is this a goddamn manifesto? Ha, no. I am not trying to be on my soapbox in the least bit. I’ve just learned that is time for me to do what I want to do and let go of the fear of ‘not fitting in’. It is a difficult thing to do when I also have anxiety to go along with my depression but I have to start doing what makes me happy.

Imitatore has helped me with this so much. Writing this novel has been the happiest I’ve ever been (well next to being with my boyfriend, he’s my number one happy). How about I say, this is the happiest I’ve ever been in my own life outside of my relationship life. Imitatore is a culmination of years of therapy, medication treatment, mental breakdowns, and alternative therapies. Again, sounds ridiculous and cliche but I can’t help if I am ridiculous and cliche. Writing this novel has changed me, most of all it has helped me see that my path is to write. While I will maintain going to college and finishing my psychology degree, I will never leave writing behind.

A. Rose

blog

Black Characters in the Fantasy World

The one thing I have noticed growing up is that the fantasy fiction world is often very white. They were always characters that I love or identified with to some extent but none of them were ever truly like me. This is not a dig at authors I love but merely a statement about how representation is an important thing.

For Imitatore, I wanted a fantasy world that I identified with. I wanted characters like me and like other black people that I know. I would say people of color but the characters in Imitatore are all different shades of black. It was something I thought about heavily and when I had first started writing this novel, I’ll be honest none of my characters were black. I wanted to fit in with the genre that I loved so much but as I grew older, I slowly realized I wanted to do the opposite. I wanted to break the mold, I wanted to write a story that I know people want to read. Well maybe I don’t know that people want to read it but a girl can hope that they do.

So here we are now, with characters that have complexities and truly develop and are not just token black characters for the masses. Representation is what I am aiming for but I also just want the story to be fun. I am of firm belief that not every black book has to be about struggle and strife, sometimes it can just be about magical and superpowered black people. Imitatore is all of that and I hope it is more than that. I honestly hope that someday you all get to read it and see it in the same way that I do. Maybe you won’t, maybe it will be absolutely terrible and honestly, I am alright with that too. Even if what I have written never catches on to the masses, I know I have written something that needs to exist.