Saturday, April 20, 2024

The Sisters of the Desert

It is done. I just finished writing my latest book, a 1000+ page monstrosity titled The Sisters of the Desert that has been my secret labor for literally years. I am bone-tired and brain-drained, but so unbelievably happy that it is done (even if the finishing made April Break exhausting).

The book is dedicated to my 6th grade students last year, for they were the first to get excited about it. Why?  Because I told them – quite truthfully, by the way – that I was writing a Fantasy book in which one of the key characters is lesbian. Their eyes lit and they were on their feet in less time than it takes to say it. But it is the moment when I told them that the character is a Queen that I shall forever remember, for the glow on their faces out-shown the lights on the ceiling by a leap and a bound. They began questioning me about the character, wanting to know her name, what she looked like, all about the land she ruled and, most importantly, when the book was coming out. To this last I gave them a disappointing answer, for an (at the time) unfinished rough draft is naturally years away from publication, and they asked me how they were supposed to wait that long for a book with a gay Queen. They wanted to see the rough draft as it stood and one who has some artistic skill began drawing this Queen based on my description. The moral of the story? Representation matters, people. Seeing yourself in literature matters in a huge way. Indeed, when I found these students they were eagerly pursuing the school library's LGBTQIA+ Pride Month book display.

By the way, do not ask about publication. It is a rough-rough draft that needs me to take a serious vacation before editing it. However, the story is connected (call it a companion book if you wish,) to my existing book The Last War, book one of The Cynnahu Saga.

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