Saturday, July 16, 2016
Writing Representation by Calista Lynne
Today I'm delighted to hand over the blog to YA author Calista Lynne, whose brand new book WE AWAKEN just released from Harmony Ink Press!
by Calista Lynne
People fear the unknown. Maybe that’s why there’s an odd amount of stigma
surrounding asexuality. This sexuality is so underrepresented in the media that a lot of people
don’t even know it exists, or if it’s brought up the response is some sort of joke about the
Whenever asexuals are represented it’s usually in a narrative where they can be “cured”
in the end. This is extremely invalidating for young people who might already feel broken. They
need positive examples to aspire to but I have yet to see a story where an ace character, let
alone one in a f/f relationship, gets a happy ending. So that’s what I wrote.
My novel is about two female asexuals in a same sex relationship. It is young adult
magical realism and has all the cheesiness and joy you could hope for from a romance in that
genre. Although there has been a good number of books recently with gay boys getting happy
endings, heterosexuals are generally the ones who ride off into the sunset at the end. How are
people supposed to expect that they can hope for something more than tragedy when there
aren’t any examples of it? Representation matters and poor representation can be toxic as well.
Take the sheer amount of lesbians who are killed off on television for example.
My recommendation for you is to create the representation you wish to see in the
Don’t worry if the story doesn’t seem marketable because people will come around and if
you’re passionate, the world can see that. If someone isn’t the first to do it then no one can
follow in their footsteps and there will never be positive role models. Just also keep in mind that
there will be haters, or at least people who don’t understand. For example, my father keeps
saying that I write about alternative sexualities. Except being ace isn’t alternative. It’s not an
edgy choice or a type of music it is literally just a sexuality like all the rest. Not to mention there
are people who won’t get it because they don’t want to. Whenever someone leaves a review
explaining how they believe asexuality to be a choice and not one they agree with, I contradict
them by selling more copies to people who will understand and appreciate the validation.
My goal is to one day see books about marginalized groups not being viewed as niche
writing or alternative, but instead just as books like all the rest.
And if my novel about ladies loving ladies sounds of interest to you, here’s the synopsis:
Victoria Dinham doesn’t have much left to look forward to. Since her father died in a car
accident, she lives only to fulfill her dream of being accepted into the Manhattan Dance
Conservatory. But soon she finds another reason to look forward to dreams when she
encounters an otherworldly girl named Ashlinn, who bears a message from Victoria’s comatose
brother. Ashlinn is tasked with conjuring pleasant dreams for humans, and through the course of
their nightly meetings in Victoria’s mind, the two become close. Ashlinn also helps Victoria
understand asexuality and realize that she, too, is asexual.
But then Victoria needs Ashlinn’s aid outside the realm of dreams, and Ashlinn assumes
human form to help Victoria make it to her dance audition. They take the opportunity to explore
New York City, their feelings for each other, and the nature of their shared asexuality. But like
any dream, it’s too good to last. Ashlinn must shrug off her human guise and resume her duties
creating pleasant nighttime visions—or all of humanity will pay the price.
14th -- Jennifer Galasso
16th -- Chris Bedell
22nd -- Rosanne Rivers
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