The Journey Begins

The journey begins indeed.

I spent all day thinking about what to write for my very first blog post in “Black Girls Belong in Fantasy and Sci-fi.” If this is going to be the beginning of a journey, I might as well treat it like one.

It literally all started with these photos of model Theresa Fractale:

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Beautiful photos from Theresa Theresa
Dress: “Lady of the Lake” in purple: https://armstreet.com/…/linen-medieval-dress-lady-of-the-la… 
Photographer: https://www.facebook.com/K.Mikolajczak.Photography/
Dogs: https://www.facebook.com/ROGU-Wilczy-Duch-FCI-227686810721…/
And their owner https://www.facebook.com/Thinloth/

I can’t remember how I stumbled across them, but as soon as I saw these photos, I was stunned. I fell in love. And I felt represented.

 

Being a nerdy black girl who loved all things fantasy, I was, of course, teased, but that didn’t bother me when I was watching Lord of the Rings or Excalibur or The Dark Crystal, or reading Harry Potter or The Hobbit or Peter Pan.

What did eventually come to bother me was that none of the elves looked like me. None of the beauties or love interests looked like me. They were all fair-skinned, pale as milk, white as a sheet and blushing red.

Just a few weeks ago, I was lamenting on Facebook the distinct absence of black elves. One of my friends hopped in my inbox with pictures of “dark elves” with gray, black, and purple skin, and Eurocentric features.

No. That’s not what I meant. That’s not what I meant at all.

This is what I meant:

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“Dark Elf” by Shakira Rivers (KiraTheArtist)
https://www.deviantart.com/kiratheartist
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“Gothic Elf”
Modelling by Theresa Fractale:https://facebook.com/TheresaFractale/                                     Photoart by >>>> Nusinam
Styling by >>>> Damaris Luhn
Photo posted on Nubiamancy
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African Elf Warrior by KiraTheArtist
https://www.deviantart.com/kiratheartist
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“Beautiful Magic” by RomanticFae (https://www.deviantart.com/romanticfae)

So, I created the Facebook group Black Girls Belong in Fantasy and Sci-fi to tdraw attention to the erasure of black women in sci-fi and fantasy and to celebrate the black female characters in sci-fi and fantasy media that we all know and love (Uhura, Storm, Gwen in BBC’s Merlin, Princess Shuri, Princess Talia, Iridessa, Princess Tiana, etc).

When I did this, my most supportive friend in my writing endeavors — who’s more marketing- and business-savvy than I, and who is working on his own web comic — messaged me saying, “Congratulations on finding your brand!”

I had published before, and I have written all my life, but I’d never really thought about my “brand.” I was the nerdy black girl who wrote fantasy, sci-fi, and horror, and so I played off that. But it wasn’t until this defining moment that I truly realized what a brand is. Even now, I’m learning more and more everyday how important it is for authors to create a brand and sell it.

My page grew almost overnight as I shared it with like-minded individuals, others who want to see more melanin maidens in sci-fi and fantasy.

Not long after, another friend tagged me in this Tumblr post and said, “Please write this.”

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Oh, and write this I did. In twelve hours, I outlined and wrote the entire story, and people were lining up to beta read it. This emboldened me to put together a collection of my short stories and try to get it published under the title Fairy Tales and Space Dreams.

It’s a nice distraction from the novel I’m supposed to be writing, the sequel to The Adventures and Shenanigans of Bastien Falco (ugh, I’ll write more about that at a later date), and it’s a project I truly believe in. It embodies my brand. And I can’t wait to see it blossom.

The stories are as follows:

 Fairy Tales 

“Princess Snow White”Lips red as blood, hair white as snow, and skin black as ebony
“The Sea and the Stars” A mermaid bonds with a fallen star
“Save Now?”You are the Baron and you must save your boyfriend, the Duke! Hurry!
“Rapunzel, the Night Maiden”Rapunzel is more than a girl stuck in a tower and her mother knows her true power…
“Wild Woman” — We cannot be tamed. 

 (Fairy) Tales of Horror 

“Mr. Sandman” — He just wants to make sure you have the best sleep of your life…
“Feeding Day” — A haunting twist on “Little Red Riding Hood” 

 Space Dreams 

“Omega Star: Genesis” — Captain Alex Pulsar plays an instrumental role the mass migration from a diseased and dying Earth in their Deep Space Vessel Blazer 
“Captain Alex and the Mystery of the Space Blobs” Captain Alex Pulsar stumbles upon a biological wonder in a previously undiscovered alien race
“The Cosmic Adventures of Sophie Zetyld” — River Seung gazed up at the stars one day to find a comet hurling straight toward his apartment, but this wasn’t just any comet. It wasn’t a comet at all. It was a space unicorn come to enlist him in helping defend Earth from a horde of virus-like aliens 
“Evangelina’s Dream”— If “The Cosmic Adventures of Sophie Zetyld” didn’t blow your mind, this continuation will…

So! I’m currently doing a bit of research, searching for editors and cover designers that not only fit in my budget but will do my book baby justice. In the mean time, I, with $4 to my name, am attempting to use crowdfunding to help alleviate the overwhelming cost of self-publishing.

So here you are, joining me at the very beginning of this wonderful journey.

Thank you. 🙂

GoFundMe

Twitter: @BGBFS

Facebook: Black Girls Belong in Fantasy and Sci-fi

Author website (Newly revamped, so there isn’t much there yet! Stay tuned.)

 

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