I recently dug up an old WiP, tentatively titled JUDGEMENT, and I’ve been enjoying writing it more than my current (contracted) WiP, DRACULA.
JUDGEMENT if you’re new here or haven’t heard of the project, is my attempt at writing an urban fantasy as years ago, I went through a phase of wanting to write more than just my overwhelming epic fantasy series, and wanted to peer into romance and a closer-knit fantasy world.
Well, at the age of, fourteen or sixteen I believe, I sat down and started to write this urban fantasy, enjoying the world I was creating (it’s set in contemporary New York City and Long Island for obvious reasons), and naturally, not realizing I could do any different, made the two main characters, a man and a woman, white. There was a reason for this.
They are magical beings, one of them knowing their history more than the MC whose eyes we see the story through for the most part, and that history is largely based in Irish lore (which I’ve devoured, enjoyed, and studied for a large part of my life), so I thought “why not?” in regards to the lore I would use and adjust for this story.
But upon coming back to it the other day I did, I remember reading over my work and thinking, “Why isn’t she [the MC with all the knowledge and power], black?” There was no reason she couldn’t be after all, and I’d been inspired by all of the covers with black protagonists I’d seen in the fantasy section of Barnes and Noble, understanding an apt confusion for readers when they would see my DARK WORLD series and not see any black characters on the covers, though there are black characters in the world.
With this in mind (and because I wished to avoid any more conversations with hopeful readers about the lack of blackness and representation on the covers), because
I immediately changed her to black. I changed her long black hair (a previous staple for my characters for some reason) to shoulder-length black, tight curly hair. I kept her eyes their beautiful green, made no mention of “mocha” or “caramel” but simply called her skin “dark.” And I kept her heritage intact. Why couldn’t there be Irish-born black women with a penchant for magic trying to avoid vampires in a vampire-run New York City?
It infinitely made the writing process that much more interesting–a WiP I had abandoned because I couldn’t get past chapter two, I was now on Chapter Four with.
I kept the male MC a white male (as there’s no reason we can’t include white men who talk to black characters [especially women] like they’re people), but already have it in mind to color the fictional world in JUDGMENT with my friends, family, and peers in the real world.
Incredibly honored to be inducted into the National English Honor Society. I feel renewed and invigorated to write more honest, personal fantasy stories integrating my own experiences (and those of my friends and loved ones) into them from now on. Retweet from @silvia_blood.
— S.C. Parris (@writingvampires) April 17, 2018
All said and done, I’m super excited to write this novel (which may or may not be a series), but I am putting my focus on DRACULA for the time being because that’s something I have to get finished (and I’m quite excited to see that story end thank goodness). And I’m quite happy to explore the interracial relationship therein as well. (I have a thing for vampires and witches getting it on okay?)
With Blood and Love,