Updated: Jan 22, 2018
So, I'm going to start off with a secret.
I'm not an author.
Not even remotely. I'm a writer. I'm a storyteller. (For the love of God, don't ask me to tell you about my weekend, I'll have you here for a half hour.) But I'm not an author. A storyteller entertains and is good at parties. An author puts themseles out to be judged. An author is expected to know proper grammar. (By the way, I do not guarantee anything in this blog, this doesn't have an editor, okay?) An author understands the literary community, (or so I assume... I mean, how else does one get a fancy agent and whatnot?)
So when I decided to try to follow this dream of writing for a broader audience, I had a whole lot to learn about the difference between a writer and an author. I'm still not sure I fully get it. But there is one thing that I'm certain of-- in order to be a mainstream author, I have to find a box to jump into.
So, the way *I* see it, (and this is just me, I will never say my impressions or ideas are right, they are just mine), is that publishers and agents and marketing people want to be able to put your work in a specific genre of sorts. The main question I get is, "What genre is your novel?"
The truth is, friends, I have no freaking idea.
Throughout my process of writing this first Shadow Resitance novel, I really had to ruminate on "boxes." As a child, early in my life, I realized I was different in so many ways. I wasn't pretty enough, I wasn't skinny enough, I wasn't Black enough, I wasn't girlie enough, etc. So many boxes, and I didn't seem to fit into any of them. I thought because of that, something was wrong with me. Because I couldn't fit into a box, I was the problem. As I got older, I learned that there were specialized boxes. LGBT, butch/stud, talented/gifted, blah blah blah. But even within those specialized boxes, there are even MORE FREAKING BOXES!
Guys, it's exhausting really.
Within the last few years, I finally came to realization that, the boxes aren't for the individual but for everyone else. People want to "figure you out." They want to put you into a box for their own understanding, but at the same time it can sometimes dimish self-realization. I will tell you, writing this novel has uncovered a lot of truths about myself that either I knew and ignored, or I had no idea about until I wrote it down. But one thing is very clear...
I do not fit into a box.
So if I don't, why should my writing?