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.