Thursday, August 21, 2014
In Today's Inbox
Ok, Even though I read all of my fan-mail I usually don't respond especially when they are upset over a character or stunned to anger over an ending that they didn't see coming. The most recent question I was asked is a really good one and totally threw me for a loop so I thought I'd answer the email it here. But before I can answer it I need to share the question that was asked by a 17 year old black girl living in Denver¦.
'You have a black woman on the cover of The Darkness, both main characters are black women but the magic in the story is European. There isn't a person on the cover of In The Valley of Shadows but there is a lot of African mythology in that book and Middle Eastern too. You tell us about legends that I had never even heard of before. Did you do this so that white readers would read the entire trilogy?'
Wow. That's a hellofa question. And the answer is no. The reason African mythology and folklore aren't mentioned that much in the 1st two book, is, like you, I had never heard these stories before.
About a third of the way through Artificial Light I became a member of the Black Science Fiction Society and through that association I met authors like Milton Davis and artist like James C. Lewis and I was shown glimmering flashes of my ancient history. Excited I dug for more, and while looking for something else I stumbled upon a site called Fuck Yeah! African Mythology and basic the flood gates opened from there.
And even then I wasn't really sure if I'd be able to incorporate any of the stuff I was learning into the trilogy, not until the very end. It was so much fun being discovering these stories and being able to retell them in my own words. But because of the way the story of Inanna unfolds, if I had known then what I know now I still would not have been able to fold in so much African mythology and folklore until the very end.
But don't worry, as always, I have something simmering on the back burner