Saturday, October 11, 2014

Black Speculative Fiction Month , Day 11: Rae Lori and A Kiss of Ashen Twinja ;p #BSFM

We're currently at KidLitCon, and having so much fun. There are so many people to gain connections with here, but we haven't forgotten it Black Speculative Fiction Month!

We're actually most associated with the next author through social networks! Rae Lori is a Black Speculative Fiction author, that we're surprised we haven't had on our blog before =)

Every author we've encountered have their own takes on Black Speculative Fiction Month, so it's amazing to see all the diverse experiences and take backs from this awesome event.

Here is what author Rae Lori has to say about Black Speculative Fiction Month!

Looking at the diverse set of books you've written,one things for sure, You write a LOT of books in the Speculative genre. What inspires you to write in this genre?

I think it's always been there in the background for me. I grew up watching and loving speculative fiction on tv and in movies. My brother was inspired by my father and they both inspired me so I have these fond memories of watching Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, The Invaders, Twilight Zone, etc. So many different and wonderfully written worlds. I was inspired to write my own, some fan fiction and others original stories that popped in my head. From then on, I was inspired by things going on in the world and the possibility of 'what if' that fueled many more stories in my head. I love the worldbuilding creation for my characters to play in for my readers to lose themselves in. It really helps to make the story come alive and trying different types of worlds and situations keep my imagination flowing. I love it!

We're celebrating Black Speculative Fiction Month for the first time on our blog. Have you heard of the event before?

I haven't, actually. I have heard of the Black Speculative Fiction group thanks to Milton Davis and Valjeanne Jeffers but I'm excited to see there's a month to celebrate such a wonderful genre and the stories it offers.

Who are some authors you think helped pave the way for Black authors in the Speculative Fiction Genre? Who are some authors that you admire in the genre?

I think besides Octavia Butler who made some headway for modern black authors in Spec Fic like Nalo Hopkinson, Carole McDonnell is another modern author who invited me and other authors Nicole Kurtz, Malon Edwards, Gregory Banks to the Writers of Color Blog Tour in 2007 to help spread the word about our diverse books in the genre. Since then I've been honored to meet more authors like Milton Davis and Valjeanne Jeffers, both of whom I greatly admire. In addition, I'm a fan of what Tobias Buckell has contributed to the genre. Also, even though she may be known more as a romance author, Sharon Cullars writes some awesome spec fic that have gone on my favorites list and I hope she writes more because she has some great story ideas. I'm a ginormously huge fan of Clare Dargin and her sci-fi romance work. I've recently been introduced to Alicia McCalla whom I've added to my TBR pile and I look forward to reading her works.

How does writing diversely affect your writing when developing WIP in the Speculative genre?

I love writing characters of color, especially females as my heroines in my stories because we don't see very many in most mainstream spec fic books. There have been some amazing and gorgeous women in sci-fi and fantasy shows and movies (Angela Bassett's Mace in Strange Days is one of my faves) and I would love to see more in books. Even as a child when I wrote my stories, they always starred a diverse array of characters because that's the kind of environment I grew up around so I thought it was the default! Thankfully there are many readers who are interested in black and diverse spec fic looking for more stories with diverse characters of color rather than reading stories with just one default type of character repeated in different books.

What are some of your recommended readings under the Speculative Umbrella?

Brave New World will always be my favorite but I do have a few diverse recs & favorites to celebrate Black Spec Fic month:

The Xenowealth Series by Tobias Buckell
Genres by Sharon Cullars
The Cybil Lewis books by Nicole Kurtz
Noughts & Crosses by Marjorie Blackman
Cold Warriors, Ice & Peace by Clare Dargin


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