Someone asked me the other day if the Fall of the Mantle series is LGBTQIA friendly, and if any of the viewpoint characters are a part of the community.
The answer to both questions is yes.
Before I get into this post, however, I want to make it clear that members of the LGBTQIA community are involved in literally every step of the pre-production process of my novels. It’s important to me to give fair and sensitive representation to everyone, and the people who work with me will whip my behind if I screw up on this. 😛
In A Study of Ash & Smoke, we have 5 viewpoint characters. Two are heterosexual, one is gay, one is bisexual, and one is unspecified. In the rest of the main cast, one is gay, one is asexual, another is specifically bisexual, and one is unspecified but hinted at not being heterosexual.
Additionally, I was drawn to the ancient Roman and Greek way of thinking about sexuality when I wrote one of the kingdoms of Ehrdia. So, everyone from this kingdom is what I understand to be pansexual, because the concept of binary sexuality doesn’t exist in their society, everyone is seen as equal, and everyone can be attracted to and build relationships (or just have sex) with everyone. Three characters from the main cast fall into this group.
In A Trial of Sparks & Kindling, we get a new hetero viewpoint character, who views sex purely as a physical thing, has multiple partners, and doesn’t form romantic attachments. Some of the sexualities from ASOAAS are also further explored.
Like in the real world, though, prejudices exist. I wanted the story to be realistic in that aspect.
Still, the greatest prejudice is aimed at women. They can’t do the jobs the men do, and are treated as second-rate citizens. So yes, sexual abuse is also a thing in this series, no matter what the sexuality of the character in question (because, hey, not just women are sexually assaulted IRL).
This is an important topic to me, and will probably always feature in the stories I tell. We need more awareness to put an end to rape culture.
Anyway, just as a side note here, the publishing date of A Trial of Sparks & Kindling has been pushed back due to the current circumstances in the world. The book will still be published this year, but it might only be around July. I’ll keep you updated.
And on that note–I have a book to write.