Check out the first promotional trailer for my upcoming Alt-YA novel, Brother Bewitched!
Today’s New York Times reports that shows challenging gender roles will now receive a rating from Common Sense Media, a group that offers online ratings for parents concerned about the shows their children watch. As a creator with a longstanding passion for gender fluid media, I am excited that parents will find it easier than ever to steer their children toward shows that encourage them to define themselves regardless of whatever gender biases they face.
The article focused mainly on the ways female characters are portrayed, celebrating shows that depict women working as scientists and engineers, for example. While Brother Bewitched does feature a female character breaking gender roles– Pattenia, who aggressively seeks power, it also examines a boy who discovers that he enjoys some things he once considered feminine and beneath him.
More and more, mainstream society has come to see that the gender binary we inherited from our ancestors does not work in the contemporary world, and in fact it functions against efficiency, pushing both men and women into roles that do not use their best selves to their best advantage. When a less able man rises into a management position over a better skilled woman, that hurts both the individuals and our economy, and when a man is discouraged from entering a field to which he is well-suited because it is a “pink collar” field, that hurts both the person and society as well.
Bottom line: these ratings will help more people be who they want to be, and that is a very good thing.
The process of creating Brother Bewitched continues. After writing an initial draft and receiving feedback, I revised and revised again, making major changes and improvements. Now, I have found ten readers to read the manuscript pre-publication and offer me their thoughts and feelings. I will then take all that feedback and make at
least one more revision.
Why am I putting so much work into this manuscript?
I believe in the story and these characters. Pattenia and Serren both struggle with the same questions we all struggle with: Should I do what I’m told is right, or what I know is right? How can I be my authentic self, when the world wants me to be someone else?
Is it possible to be doing good, when laws and customs tell me what I am doing is wrong? To make it more concrete– can I kiss who I want to kiss? Love who I want to love?
Pattenia has ambition. She wants to do something that people tell her can’t be done. But what if those people try and talk her out of going after her dreams because they are too afraid to pursue their own?
The bottom line is that while this story takes places in a fantasy world setting, people in our mundane, everyday world face the same problems as Pattenia and Serren every day, all day. Many of us have opportunities to step through our own doorways into adventure, but how many of us choose to dream the dream rather than live the dream?
I can’t tell you all how excited I am about the upcoming release of my epic YA fantasy novel, Brother BeWitched! What makes this book different from every other YA fantasy novel written?
Well, we go there. We do. And it is fun.
I will be offering teasers and posters and additional content over the next two months leading up to publication, including chances to win free stuff! So, follow me, check back often and let’s have a blast!
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