Like every author, I’m hoping to go the way of J.K. Rowling or Stephanie Meyer. That’s right – film franchises baby! But no, seriously, all authors write because we want readers. Some want to entertain their readers, some want to share cooking tips, and so on. What is your angle?
Think about it.
If you or I actually gain the type of fame usually reserved for the long dead (i.e. Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway) what have we accomplished? When your message is amplified, what is the result? I mentioned Stephanie Meyer before because she was able to tap into the psyche of millions of people. However, the message of Twilight amounts to normalizing relationship violence. The cultural phenomenon of Twilight was closely followed by flurries of academic papers in sociology and women’s studies departments around the world. I absolutely think that the underlying message of Twilight is harmful, especially since her reading demographic is largely made up of young girls still trying to figure out what healthy relationships are. I can easily think of a list of books that heavily influenced my teenage development. Thankfully, that list starts with Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel and the Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey. If Twilight had been around when I was younger, I’m sure I would have read that too.
Writing comes with a huge amount of responsibility. You don’t know where your words will end up. You don’t know whose brain will internalize your message. Sure, you may be writing just another teenage romance story, but for someone out there it will be their first teenage romance story.
One of the goals of my work in progress is to create a world where cultural gender roles do not exist. I’m not talking about biological roles, which are what they are, but the socially constructed rules limiting male and female actions. I do not want my world limited by these ideas of men and women having a certain role to play. All social constructs will be applicable to all creatures. Sure females will give birth, but does that by default limit them exclusively to the role of caregiver? No, it does not. I hope to paint a picture of the kind of world we could have if we broke down those stereotypes.