Why Write A Book Series?
Well, if the whole point of this blog is to document the publication process and my writing, I better talk a little bit about what it is I am trying to publish and why.
I enjoy Young Adult novels as much as the next person. In fact, in some cases probably a bit more than the next person. However, I find myself to be a little disenchanted by the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre. There are some amazing YA fiction novels out right now, but when it comes to those genres, there seems to be a bit of a surplus of a certain type of character. You know the one. The white girl with special gifts that she didn't know about and the two boys she has to chose between in order to make her feel validated? Or what about the orphan who no one loved, but ends up saving the world with the help of their inferior, but loyal friends? Or how about the strong and determined girl who single handedly saves the world through sheer stubbornness alone?
Okay, in fairness I am being a bit over-dramatic here, but I really do feel like the popular young adult series of today are all just different version of the same tired tropes; the same cliches that capitalize on a profitable formula. It's smart. I mean, why not re-tell the same story over and over again? Just give them new names, new powers, maybe a different problem (although not always), and Bam! Another best seller.
So here is where I say "fuck that" and step in with my tiny Dell Inspiron and my very large cup of coffee. (I later upgraded to a Microsoft Surface, thank you universe)
I didn't want to read about the mopey white girl anymore. I don't care about love triangles that have zero depth and unrealistic characteristics. I want real characters that I can relate to. I want equal representation. I want diversity. However, I also want to get published. The formula is there for a reason. I had to figure out a way to make it work for me.
I started to write. I wrote, re-wrote, edited, then edited again, until I had 97,000 words and a very accomplished smile.
In The Akasha Series, I tell the story of a pair of twins that learn they are not what they thought they were and are then forced to enter a world they never knew existed.
See what I mean about following a formula? That one sentence sounds like it could be on the back of any published YA novel out on the shelves at this very moment. The twins journey to this new world and their quest to save their family pushes the story forward, as does the Sci-Fi/Fantasy aspects that make it entertaining to read. However, that only (very minimally) describes the plot of this series. It doesn't tell you anything really about the story itself. It doesn't give you a theme.
Theme is a very important aspect of any piece of writing. The theme and tone is what your readers really remember. Sure, dialogue and fight scenes can be memorable, but its the theme that really make your story shine. For The Akasha Series, the overall theme can be best described by Phaedrus' famous quote,
"Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.”
I think I might have been meant to be a detective, because I love to solve a mystery. A mystery series may be in my future, but it's formula and style are not what I want for The Akasha Series. In a mystery series you know there is a puzzle to be solved. You know you're supposed to be reading carefully, collecting data and clues. You know you're being deceived. In The Akasha Series, deception is everywhere and yet, it isn't always obvious. The deception itself can deceive you.
Being fooled is something everyone experiences at least once (if not so often their will to survive is threatened). It is a unifying experience. It can blindside you or it can approach you at a steady gallop while you watch on patiently. Even when you know it's coming, deception can surprise you.
I want The Akasha Series, despite it's roots in Sci-Fi and Fantasy, to be relatable to any walk of life. I want the characters to be honest depictions of real people, even if only symbolically. (Oh man, do I love a good metaphor. Especially when it comes to characters.) Relatability is just as important to me as the real point of the series.
And the real point is to embrace diversity.
The point is to introduce progressive story lines and characters to a mainstream audience, and subvert the status quo along the way.
The point is to have landmark LGBTQA representation. That means that a particular story isn't about a gay character who does exciting and fantastic things, its about a character who does exciting and fantastic things and also happens to be gay. There is a difference. There are plenty of amazing fiction novels out there right now that give great LBGTQA representation, (Simon vs. The HomoSapien's Agenda is one of my favorites) but the entire story is about their sexuality. That is wonderful, but that isn't what I am trying to accomplish. I want to give you an exciting Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel that weaves plots and characters together in fun and complex ways, while also providing equal representation. The story isn't about anyone's sexuality. That, as it happens, isn't the point.
The plot of The Akasha Series is not bound together by who is sleeping with who or who ends up with who. It is not muddled by melodrama or weakened by poorly conceptualized characters whose soul purpose is to serve as a love interest. I won't lie and tell you there isn't a love triangle, because there is. There's two, actually. However, my love triangles don't involve a girl choosing between two boys and they don't provoke the epic eye rolls so many YA books manage to accomplish (at least I hope not).
I am still following the formula, but changing it so that it at least feels fresh.
That is why I wrote a book. That is why I wrote this book and the ones that have and will continue to follow. I want to give you something fun, but insightful. Something interesting, but understandable. Something new.