by Shelt Garner
One thing that is looming large in my mind these days is the fact that I’m a CIS white male author with a female POC heroine. I used to say that I was writing this novel for “woke Park Slope moms” but these days I just want to tell a good story for a general audience.
And YET because of how fucked up the world is, I am growing concerned that, by definition, there will be a sizable portion of the audience who will grow angry that a CIS white male is writing from the POV of a female POC. I can see it now. They’ll say, effectively, that I’m misguided or exploitive or engaging in cultural appropriation.
These squeaky wheels will totally ignore if the story is any good or that I may have given what they keep claiming to want in their fiction — representation. They’ll be mad because a CIS WHITE MALE is the one who thought up an interesting, assertive female POC heroine.
I don’t have a ready answer to this prospective complaints. I have my vision and I’m sticking to it. I had no idea how loaded me doing what I want to do was when I starting thinking up this six novel series. I just knew that I wanted to tell an interesting story and I didn’t want to just have a bunch of white people talking. Throw in how I find developing female characters an interesting challenge and, there you go — the pickle I find myself in.
Having said all fo that, I do think I may begin to develop a second novel that is a lot more in line with what I’m “allowed” to write as a CIS white male. I have a few interesting scifi novels rolling around in my head that I will probably white from a first person POV with a male hero. That is about as conservative and marketable as I can get, all things considered.