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!

Writing Representation

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.


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