Desert Palm Press author Rae D. Magdon is here to discuss her latest novel Lucky 7 and creating characters that readers will connect to.
She’s giving away 3 e-books of Lucky 7. More details are below.
Please Welcome Rae D. Magdon.
Widening the Circle — The Future of Lesfic
For decades, modern lesfic has provided hope for countless women around the world. Reading about fictional sapphic women as they have adventures, fall in love, and rise up to become heroes has an impact on the reader that cannot be understated. These narratives offer us courage. They offer safety and refuge. They offer a lens through which we can visualize a better future, a future that includes us instead of erasing us.
But what about the women who aren’t always included in these stories?
What about women of color? What about trans women? What about gender nonconforming women, who might not be the ‘right’ kind of soft butch for a romance novel? What about disabled women? What about women with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD? What about women whose bodies don’t fit the conventional model of ‘attractive’ (a model created by straight men, by the way), but are still beautiful? What about women who aren’t in their late 20s or early 30s?
These women are the future of lesfic. They are the heart of our community in real life, and they deserve to see themselves represented in our stories — because they are us. They are you, person reading this article. Perhaps you aren’t white. Perhaps you have a physical or mental disability. Perhaps your body looks different from the bodies on billboards, but it’s still your body and it has attractive qualities. Perhaps you aren’t a cis woman. Perhaps you are older than the majority of lesfic characters.
People want to read stories that reflect reality. They want to read positive stories about women — and that means all kinds of women! This is what lesfic can offer that the mainstream media has yet to give us. Diverse stories sell, and readers are hungry for them. Not only can they be successful, they make a difference in the lives of the many women who read them.
My latest novel, Lucky 7, has a diverse cast. One of the two protagonists, Elena Nevares, is like me. She’s short. She’s curvy. She’s femme. She’s bisexual. She’s an older sister. She is smart and sarcastic and funny, and she has an anxiety disorder. She is also unlike me. She is Mexican. She has survived a near-death experience. She’s a jacker, someone who can plug the internet directly into her brain and interact with it through virtual reality.
The other protagonist, Sasha Young, is also like me. She’s an outsider. She’s brave. She’s lonely. She has had to forge her own family. She has depression, and she feels disposable. She’s had her heart broken. She is also unlike me. She’s a Black, gender nonconforming lesbian, and as the leader of her crew, she has almost died so many times that it almost feels normal to her.
For the parts of Elena and Sasha that are unlike me, I asked for the help of sensitivity readers. They were an invaluable resource while writing these characters, and I am so grateful to them for their knowledge and expertise.
As readers of lesfic, we should read stories about characters who are like us. We deserve to see female heroes who remind us of ourselves, especially in science fiction, which is a window into our own future. We should also read stories about characters who are unlike us, and seek to understand them better. We can do this by listening to people who have lived those experiences. By reading their books. By following them on social media. By talking to them.
As writers of lesfic, we should write stories about characters who are like us. Don’t worry, ‘will it sell?’ because I promise you it will. Readers need diverse characters. They need characters who aren’t white, who aren’t cis, who aren’t 36-24-36, who aren’t neurotypical, who aren’t always able-bodied, who are of all different ages.
Write about characters who remind you of yourself, and make the effort to understand more about communities you don’t overlap with. (Asking for help, and expressing respect and appreciation for the expertise of others, is a good way to do this.)
After all, if we can read and write about daring heists, evil megacorporations, artificial intelligences, giant robots, and virtual dragons (which are all in Lucky 7, by the way), why can’t we read and write about all kinds of women? Why can’t we widen the circle? If we do this, we will be making the lesfic community a bigger and more beautiful place.
Release date: February 4, 2018
Science Fiction / Romance
Elena Nevares is on the run. She’s a jacker, someone who connects to virtual reality with their brain, and everyone else on her crew was murdered during a mission gone wrong. Sasha Young is planning a rescue. She’s a handler, a team leader whose crew has been scattered by an evil corporation: AxysGenerations. Together, they must find the rest of Sasha’s crew: Cherry, the engineer and explosives expert; Rami, the master of disguise; Doc, the wunderkind Medical Officer; and Rock, the mechanically modified muscle. But Axys Generations has bigger plans than taking down Sasha’s crew. Elena, Sasha, and the rest of the Lucky 7 must go on their most dangerous mission yet—not for credits or tech, but to save the world.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Rae D. Magdon is an author of lesbian and queer fiction. She believes everyone deserves to see themselves fall in love and become a hero: especially lesbians, bisexual women, trans women, and women of color. She has published over ten novels through Desert Palm Press, spanning a wide variety of genres, from Fantasy/Sci-Fi to Mysteries and Thrillers. She is the recipient of a 2016 Rainbow Award (Fantasy/Sci-Fi) and a twice-nominated GCLA finalist (Fantasy/Sci-Fi). In addition to her novels and short stories, she writes a queer podcast, Room 13. When she isn’t working on original projects, she spends her time writing fanfiction for Mass Effect, Legend of Korra, The 100, Wynonna Earp, and Overwatch.
CONNECT WITH RAE D. MAGDON
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Thanks so much for stopping by today.
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Have a fab weekend!