Thank you everyone for your comments and support as I pitched my latest story last week.
I’m excited to announce that I got a request for my ya fantasy!
Then I had some hard moments at the conference. The topic came up of authors who write in cultures that are not their own. My ya fantasy is based in historic Japanese and Korean culture. I took elements from both and then melded them into my novel. It is still very obviously Japanese based.
In living in Korea and learning about Japanese culture for the last six years my main goal was to share my love for both. I never expected that this would make my novel a harder sell since I was not born in either culture. This spoke to a bit to my own white privilege that I didn’t think it would be a problem.
It was a sobering thought. I wrote this novel, and I was not only excited to see my improvement as a writer, but to share this world with others.
I spent a good amount of time mad at myself and then feeling sick that I may hurt others with this novel. The characters are now alive in my mind and their story is not over. Thoughts of shelving it and then not writing books two and three seemed like the reasonable choice.
Then my novel that I was about to start was based in a Korean myth with all Korean characters. It was also going to weave in the story of depression and suicide. Using elements of the myth and the character to speak to those who are suffering in silence. You are all familiar with “My Reasons Why” and how that is a theme that is extremely important to me. I knew this novel would be hard to write in the first place but I thought it was time. Then more thoughts of scrapping it came in my heart. Again, what right did I have to write about a Korean myth?
Throughout all of this a bit of my joy in writing seemed to leave my heart.
Then my writing friends, who knew my story, surrounded me. They encouraged me to continue to write these stories that were on my heart. To keep on going.
I am very blessed to have so many that believe in me. In writing these novels it was never my intention to take away someone else’s story. This was the story that came to my heart. Written in cultures that I love.
I know that in the future I will need to think on hiring sensitivity readers. Since in all my novels I want to be diverse in all aspects of culture, sexuality, body types, and many more. I also have a lot to learn.
This blog that I have ignored for a few months is also part of sharing what I love with others. It is the reason I started it! I wanted to share my love for anime, then I found so many wonderful anime lovers.
So I guess it is time to roll up my sleeves and then get cracking on the next project. This one lived on my heart for the last two years. It will be hard to tell. It will take me back to a time when I myself thought that suicide was the only answer, but it needs to be told.