This is one part a window into the reality of writing books and one part a serious level “what the actual fuck???” associated with writing books. Here is a (shortened) list of things people genuinely believe about me because I wrote a book.
1: People believe I am a member of the BIPOC community.
Reality: Yes, I write characters who are not white. I have a lead character who is Asian. I have a Mexican (Nahuatl / Irish) mix. I have characters of varying skin colors who are active and important within the book… and they aren’t just there to go “woohooo, representation!” (Spoiler alert: they’re people.)
I am not a member of the BIPOC community. Please stop suggestion I am or putting me under lists dedicated to authors who are. I am not a member of this community. I just write books that include members of this community because they are awesomesauce people who deserve to be included as heroes of the story, no matter the size of their role within the book.
(And yes, I’ve also had villains who are BIPOC, this does not at all reflect on my personal beliefs.)
2: I am of $this_religious_belief.
I’ve been informed I am of numerous beliefs and non-beliefs. One of them is right. The others are wrong. But I am commonly assigned a religious belief because I wrote a book.
Please stop this. My religious beliefs are mine and mine alone, and you don’t need to worry about the state of my soul. (I’m pleased with it.)
If you want to pray, light a candle, do whatever happy and positive ritual you personally believe in for me, go for it. I celebrate that you have a belief.
Just please don’t assign a religious belief onto me. If I want to tell you my beliefs, I will.
Right now? I’ll pass on that. (Hugs, kisses, and love.)
3: I am a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. (Spoiler alert: I tried really hard to get the letters right, but I’m pretty sure I got them wrong. I apologize for this in advance.)
I am not a member of this community. Please stop assigning my books as written by a member of a LGBTQIA+ community. I’m not! I’m sorry.
All I did was give positive representation of people within the community. Y’all exist, I see you, and as such, I write you into my books.
No, I can’t represent EVERYBODY, but I sure as hell try to.
4: I am not a member of the indigenous community.
I am approximately 1.25% North American indigenous. The family line’s original lore story for this was “a solider rescued someone from the Trail of Tears and married her into our family line.”
It turns out this is wrong, and the family ended up acquiring an indigenous member through another avenue. (Spoiler alert: she was one of the North American indigenous women who went to England in the early settlement era of the United States.)
This was discovered through doing the genealogy reports required for my mother to obtain her membership in the Jamestowne Society. (AKA, we’re part of the first surviving colony of Jamestown.)
Please see point #1 re: not being a member of the BIPOC community.
For a little more expansion, in roughly the same period of time, on my father’s side of the family, it appears that a slave woman was brought into the family. During this time period and the cultural group that my father is descended from, this was not a case of an owner having an illegitimate child with someone who was enslaved. She was married into the family and the child was an accepted part of society.
Not all cultural groups hated the BIPOC, even in that era.
I shared that because I wanted to, by the way, not because I felt any pressure to.
5: I love / hate adoption…
Okay, so this one cracks me up. You can insert whichever version of the word you want, but there are people who have assigned me into both groups. Why?
I use language that those who have adopted/been adopted dislike… because that is the language that society happens to use. This has nothing to do with my personal beliefs on the matter. This is just literally how people speak.
Political correctness is the killer of fiction. Let characters say incorrect things. Let characters be real. Let characters have their hearts in the right place but their mouths saying the wrong shit.
This is real to life.
It also has zero bearing on my personal belief.
Because I got so much fucking shit in Burn, Baby, Burn because of how people who are not part of the adoption community and have their own society speak I almost didn’t write The Flame Game. I seriously considered removing any and all adoption and adoption representation because of people who couldn’t accept things being different from what they prefer.
Then I decided to give the two finger salute to those people.
They said what they said because that is what they would say in their world. It’s fucking fiction.
Stop! Being! Overly! Politically! Correct!
Let characters be racist scumbags. (Who else am I going to kill in amusing fashions?)
Nobody is perfect, people are going to say what you don’t like, and you can’t just pad everything so everybody is happy.
That’s how you write a dead and boring book.
Let people be real and stop forcing authors to fit your vision of the world.
Moral of the Story: I don’t believe in most of the stuff I write. I am not what I write.
Please stop assigning authors traits just because of what they write. Authors are not their books.
I do not mystically become a man because I wrote male lead characters, just as an example.
So, for this holiday season, give authors their identities back. Don’t assign someone a label unless they themselves have announced that label and have given you permission to do so.
I’m not BIPOC. I’m not LGBTQIA+. I love everyone in these communities (even when some of them are being asshats) because love is the default and not the exception.
I don’t give a shit what your label is. You’re loved.
Unless you’re a pedophile, in which case, Satin has a wonderful place for you in one of my books. (Please include rapists and other horrible people in this commentary.)
But please stop listing me as BIPOC or LGBTQIA+ just because I have positive representation of these groups in my novels. Please? Pretty please with a cherry on top?
… also, please don’t cancel me solely because I don’t happen to be a member of either group…
(At least I’m honest about it.)
P.S.: I’m not a pedophile because I wrote about child marriage practices in the United States, practices that are currently legal and performed in a ridiculous number of states. It ain’t my fault what white Christian men passed through legislature so they could screw pre-teens. Seriously.
All I did was give it a twist and make y’all aware of what is actively law in the United States.
The whole point in the books was to end the practice. But you can’t end a practice when you don’t realize it is there.
So it had to be written about.
I recommend you read a book called “American Child Bride” if you are unaware of the practice and its consequences on youth.
In the United States, Southern Baptist Christians are the most common consumer of American child brides. This practice is highly supported in the Bible Belt of the United States.
And yes, my family line has three instances of this happening, and to add to the complexity of the situation… those were the three times where my family tree did not fork.
So, I will leave you with that food for thought for the afternoon.