The diversity of the stories I tell is too complex to be shunted into convenient, saleable categories, but there are identifiable underlying forces that characterise what I write…
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Diversity born of a fountain of story fragments
Each of my novels is born of the fountain of story fragments that are constantly bubbling up inside me. No wonder then that my novels touch on a diversity of ‘subjects’. In that respect they reflect a life not organised in convenient gift-wrapped themes. Contrary to the belief instilled in us by school, the world cannot be understood as a list of predetermined, separate subjects. Life is complicated and often messy. Major subjects of preoccupation don’t necessarily come alone. They criss-cross, interweaving and interacting in a complex and significant pattern. So my novels are a tissue of multiple themes in interaction that demand to be explored.
The temptation to see the world as organised in themes
It is tempting – and I’ve let myself be tempted – to emphasise one aspect of my books in the hope of attracting readers interested in that subject. Some authors, especially those who write stories about gender, opt for a thematic approach. If you’re looking for a lesbian romance or a story about a cross-dressing boy, for example, that’s what you’ll get. No more, no less. Such easily labelled novels delight the gatekeepers of the publishing industry who tend to work (and to sell) in such convenient boxes. However, in my case, stressing one particular avenue might be misleading when my novels naturally explore multiple directions and multiple worlds. Therein lies the richness, but how do you ‘sell’ it?
The underlying driving forces of my writing
Beyond the unnatural division into themes or subjects, there are number of driving forces that animate my writing and could be seen to characterise it. First and foremost there is (1) fiction in that I write about worlds which could be, or might be, but aren’t. Worlds in which the unexpected happens and the unimaginable may become possible. Worlds that offer a glimpse of potential avenues to follow and characters who inspire readers to rise to the challenges of the current world. Secondly, as an extension of recounting what might be, is a desire to uncover fresh, unexpected angles on the world. To elicit the surprise and joy that comes from (2) looking at a familiar world differently. And in those multiple worlds, one subject moves me particularly, the (3) empowerment of young people, girls in particular, and their emergence as a creative and constructive force in a troubled world. Finally, in the quest to explore new angles and uncover emergent forces that may define our future, I delve into the complex and exciting world (4) beyond the binary limits of gender with what I call the Colourful People.
More about Colourful People (Book 4 of Boy & Girl Saga)
Colourful People – What happens when a boy who dresses as a girl, but has no wish to transition, is confronted with a boisterous crowd of transgender youth in a desperate search for a safe haven? The fierce will to be themselves despite the determined opposition of society is common to both the Lost Girls and the Colourful People. Not surprising then that they join forces and advance together.