A good friend of mine recently asked me an interesting question. Knowing that my novel Sacred Band is about a team of queer superheroes, he was wondering if there was anything in the book “for him.”
To be brutally honest, I wasn’t entirely sure how to answer that.
I mean, on one hand, it’s a story about superheroes solving a problem no one else wants to and fighting bad guys along the way. I’m biased enough to think it’s an interesting story, with good characters, and a likeable enough plot that anyone who does like supers could pick it up and enjoy it.
But on the other hand? It’s a queer story, about queer characters, and it doesn’t hesitate to be or balk at being exactly that, without apologies. Characters experience attractions that are same-sex, folks discuss the ways in which identity and orientation impact their experience, and we see some of the problems that face a small team of queer supers determined to be heroes in a world that claims to protect everyone but often leaves “those types” out in the cold.
Thinking about it, there are certainly straight characters in the story, but none of them are major characters. Does that limit the reach of my story? Does it reduce the “accessibility” of my novel? It’s a distinct possibility.
But the way I see it is this: I’ve been reading fiction involving straight, cisgendered males for nigh on three decades now. And I’ve loved those stories, even though their growing-up stories were not mine, their stories of self-discovery were not mine, and their stories of love, romance, and relationships were not mine.
Maybe it’s naive to think that if I’m able to connect with stories that never reflected me in their pages, my story can connect with readers who do not find themselves in its pages.
Buy Sacred Band here!
I’ve been invited to be one of the “Bosses of Honor” for the GaymerX Convention in San Jose in December, and I have to admit, I’m rather looking forward to it! My schedule looks a little something like this:
Coming Out in the Game Industry: 1pm – 2pm. A panel that looks at some of the experiences some folks in the gaming industry have had with coming out while in it, and some of the issues we still face.
To Catch a Flown Crow (A Song of Ice & Fire Roleplaying): 10am – 2pm. Two groups meet north of the Wall: a small band of wildlings and a small patrol of rangers. Both discover they have a common aim: to bring to justice a turncloak Night’s Watch Ranger, so they join forces to do just that.
Queer as a Three-Sided Die: 3pm – 4pm. The well-loved gaymer panel that a handful of industry folks do every year at GenCon is coming to GaymerX! Looks at history of queerness in tabletop roleplaying, and covers advice on introducing such into your campaigns.
Queering Divinities: Diversifying Your Fantasy Religion: 6pm – 7pm. A panel that looks at fantasy deific pantheons, and how to introduce or emphasize queerness in both the identities of the gods and in the structures of their faiths.
GM Skills for Immersive Roleplay: 10am – 1pm. A workshop-style presentation intended to arm GMs in the process of providing opportunities for more in-depth roleplaying in their games.
It’s been a while since I’ve been back to San Antonio, and I have to admit I’m looking forward to it. It looks like I’ll be part of a handful of panels while there, and I’m going to see if I can arrange an impromptu reading of a chunk of Sacred Band while I’m there.
Hello, world. This is the beginning of my author’s blog. Though I know contemporary wisdom up to two years ago said an author basically had no chance of success without a blog, but now says that there’s no hope of using a blog to gain writerly success unless you started like five years ago, I’m not terribly worried about all of that.
I’m blogging for me, because that’s the only way I’m going to give enough of a damn to do stuff like this. I need a place where I can ramble on in longer form than my Facebook allows, where I can talk some about my book long after anyone is interested in still listening to me throw around ideas, track word count, and all the rest of that, you know?
So here we go.
Progress: Sacred Band