I am a woman. I write SF. And it's not acceptable to treat me as anything less than an equal. I won't stand for it.
I had a respected SF writer call me 'girlie' and demand that I get him a coffee, before the panel we were on together.
My process seems to be unusual in the sense that I don't create worlds before characters. With me, character is king.
People are capable of incredible gallantry and terrible cruelty in situations of extreme duress. I tried to showcase that range in 'Enclave.'
People need to believe they can make a difference - that one person standing strong can turn the tide.
Since becoming aware of the need to be inclusive, I've tried to make my stories broader and more representative of our world.
The people I write are real to me, and basically, they tell me about their environments on a need-to-know basis.
Too often, women are portrayed in two ways: as prizes to be won by men or as damsels in distress.
I immerse myself in everything I write; I feel what my characters do. I suffer with them. I cry as I type, sometimes to the point that I can't see the screen.
I remember when I was a kid, I could never find anything positive about chubby girls. If a girl was pudgy in books, she wasn't okay. She couldn't be happy or make friends unless she lost weight.
I've held my silence when I probably shouldn't have. But I was in the minority, a woman writing SF, and I was afraid of career backlash. I was afraid of being excluded or losing opportunities if I didn't play nice.
I've tried to be inclusive in my '2B' series. Over the course of three books, I wrote African-American characters, a paraplegic character, gay and lesbian characters, a bisexual, Jewish heroine, a multiracial hero, Korean and Chinese-American characters, and a multiracial supporting character.
In 2007, I sold my first book, 'Grimspace.' It says it's SF on the spine. I believe it to be SF, though it's certainly written differently. I write in first person, present tense, and the protagonist is a woman with a woman's thoughts, feelings, and sexual desires.
My life experiences are different than the average person because I've spent the last 10 years living in Mexico. I generally don't know what's going on in America, and when I do visit for work, I'm often interrogated about my life choices by random strangers.
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