Story Concepts & Development for Novels, Comics, Games, Film and TV

Against the Grain

As a young person, I never really felt part of the mainstream. I was a girl skateboarder before it was considered edgy, and a super-fan of Blade Runner before it was became the revered cult classic. I am a (now-resurrected) RenFaire geek, and I cannot get enough bad monster horror – the more outrageous, the better. Believe it or not, my tastes did not always make me a popular figure amongst my peers.

Likewise through the years, I have found myself often in the minority as an adult, not just in my taste in comics, but as a writer in the comics industry. Because I happen to be female, most people I encounter assume I am into the more “feminine” comics like Strangers in Paradise or Jane’s World. Don’t get me wrong, that’s some good work, but it just isn’t really my thing. I’m more of a Sandman, Wildcats, or Gen13 kind of girl.

When someone asks me what kind of writer I am, I say I am a “genre fiction writer”. Genre fiction is probably best defined as a nonliterary work that is primarily meant to entertain, and includes the categories of science fiction, mystery, adventure, supernatural, and horror (western, romance, and others).

If you were to read one of my scripts, I’d like to think you wouldn’t be able to tell if it was written by a female or a male. I prefer action to romance, intrigue over melodrama, and mystery over soliloquy.

As I was first trying to find my place within the comics industry, I remember wondering if I shouldn’t be striving for something “better” in the stories I was telling, meaning something more “literary”… but I finally came to realize that genre fiction can be every bit as deep and moving as works considered to be literary fiction.

[As I see things, Batman’s dark desire for revenge, and his struggle with morality easily as compelling as Captain Ahab’s all-consuming obsession in Moby Dick. The stories are just told in different mediums].

And so, over the years, I have finally come to terms with who I am as a writer, the genres I am passionate about working in, and stories I want to share.

It is me who convinces my kids to take a ditch day from school so we can catch the midnight show of Harry Potter. And it is my husband who, I’m sorry to say, has to pretty much bribe me to go see romantic comedies. It’s not even that I don’t enjoy them when I’m there, but my instinctual reaction to them is that they’re going to be “slow”, at least compared to the action-adventure or action films I am drawn to.

Of course, as comics and pop culture become more conventional – and through the wonders of online social networking – I have also come to realize that I am not as much of a minority as I once believed.

The word “geek” is more a badge of pride than scorn these days, and I, for one, am a proud card-carrying member. I have appreciated you all lurking here, and hope these writings have inspired you in some small way.

Until we meet again…

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