Writing a Better World, Call to Activism

Why you should read my blog and wait for my writing: we have a lot of work to do.

There are a lot of fantasy writers who embrace queer spectrum people as characters. My writing will do that, but I am making characters that could be from any kind of person.

Activism is one goal of my website.

I would also love for you to discover my beautiful characters and the alternate histories they live in. Or may it’s history like it should have been.  

I want to reach out to other authors who are equality friendly. I’d like us to become activists together. Not just to write equality into our novels, but to work it into our author sites and public appearances. We may have a lot of great readers who will help us fight for equity in our world. Let’s ask them to help.

Do you want to see something of yourself in important characters? Answer some or all of these questions by commenting on the blog post.If you’d like to see more fantasy characters that reflect the way you experience the world, please, let me know.

  • What do GLBTQAI people want?
  • What do women want?
  • Whites, non-Whites, and multi-racial people?
  • What do straight readers want?
  • What do men want? Transgender people? Non-binary? Cisgender?
  • How about disabled people?
  • How about fantasy readers who are non-Western? Non-Christian? Atheists?
  • Or people who just don’t fit in any of our boxes at all?

I bet you’ve all spotted that virtually everyone is more than one of these things. I am queer, white, blind, Christian, liberal, and cisgender. I’m also a little wacko, just around the edges. If you are against racial and social justice, or if you prefer life to be full of folks that want conservative or evangelical literature, you are likely to be looking for a different fantasy writer and his blog. If you try to like everybody, hang out here and give input to all my blog posts.

The demographics of Fantasy Readers.

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It is really hard to find surveys that target fantasy readers and ask the respondents for more than the most basic demographic information. They also fail to ask enough people to cover all the demographic possibilities.

By looking at two Statista surveys of American (US) readers. The surveys were about the types of books people read. How many people read fantasy based on simple gender, ethnicity, and age? 56% of men and 39% of women polled read fantasy; 37% of blacks read fantasy, 42% of whites, 64% of Hispanics, and 54% of all other identified ethnicities. By age, 59% of 18-29 year-olds, 47% of 30-59 year-olds, and 22% of people 60 and over read fantasy.

I am a new writer. Alternate history mixed with how I think history should have been, created with rich and ribald characters, invidious monsters, and even villains who could have used a second chance. Fantasy in which everyone can be an important character. Heck, even monsters need a voice. Maybe even sentient inanimate objects or politicians.

I hope to see my first novel published in 18 months or so. I’ll write and share some short stories along the way. My novel is called Bards in the Shadow. That could change during the publishing process.

Please join my blog! Find me on Facebook or Twitter. Let’s have brilliant conversations about what you read, like, dislike, and want in our real and fantasy worlds. If you are a writer who wants to make the world better for everyone, come and talk on the blog. Penzey’s Spices says, “Heal the world. Make dinner tonight.” I say, let us write a better world.


What Women Want…

11 May 2020. So, I’ve never been a woman, and I don’t have any plans to become one. NOT that there’s anything wrong with that. We celebrate diversity here. The majority of fantasy readers are male. Mostly straight, white males. Again, nothing wrong there, either. But a lot of talented women write fantasy. Many of them are the reason that I love fantasy. Mercedes Lackey, Ursula K. Le Guin, Margaret Weis, Anne McAffrey (sci-fi that feels like fantasy), C. J. Cherryh, and so many more. Is there something that fantasy is missing that could draw more women to the genre?

Straight women, gay fiction?

I found an interesting article on Electric Lit. https://electricliterature.com/why-are-so-many-gay-romance-novels-written-by-straight-women/. I’d like to know what you think about the issues raised in the article. As a writer, I find some of the absolutism of the article’s author a bit disturbing. I also wonder if that means that a gay male author shouldn’t write about straight people. On the other hand…well, there are a lot of other hands. I would love to engage in discussion on this topic.

Todd’s Secret Garden.

Todd A. Howard

I am a bold and gritty fantasy author. The words snarky, cynical, and humorous describe some of my favorite things about myself. My characters are real, feeling, funny, angry, loving, hating, and sexually active people–and often quite naughty. In other words, they are like most of us, warts, secrets and all. And that’s one point in my world-building. The world needs strong characters who are many things. Everyone needs to be celebrated! Women, men, queers, straights, the disabled, people of all faiths or no faith, and people of all ethnic backgrounds and skin colors. And sometimes, monsters are people, too.

Fiction writers can promote strong, diverse people in their work–a chance for all kinds of people to be the hero. Fantasy as a genre offers writers and readers a chance to empower all people–even non-human people–and to challenge bigotry in all its forms.

Much of my writing is Epic Historical Fantasy. I use real places, real background personages, and fictional characters and events. In my first novel, The Bards of Ventadorn, which will be finished by year’s end (2020), the action is set in an altered version of Aquitaine in 1252-53.

In the real medieval Europe, the only people with any power were straight, white, Catholic males, and most of them didn’t have much power, either, what with one social abuse or another. Being a serf lacked a certain amount of job-fulfillment, not to mention life expectancy. The history in my world-building offers more hope for a whole lot of people. If there are lessons hidden in the themes (and there are), they may be applicable to our own real world. Unfortunately, the Enlightenment left us with far to much still to accomplish to make the world a good place for the majority of the species.

I believe that the arts, and especially literature, should both entertain and edify. That’s what makes it literature.

And that is what we are going to do in this blog. I hope that we will have a lot of fun doing it. Fantasy writing and diversity awareness are “what’s up,” so let’s get to it.

Please keep the language in the neighborhood of rated R or cleaner. Hate speech will not be tolerated and will result in permanent denial of access to our blog. People-bashing takes too much time that I don’t have the leisure or the mood for. I’ll leave that to the RNC.