I draw them, because they’re not what I’m into.
So you’re not a fan of a specific kind of writing, is that true?
I’m not into it in the least, because that’s a pretty simple thing to deal with. I’m not into the type of writing where people say, “Oh, I want these people to write in order to please me”, for the most part. I’m more into the kind of writing where the idea is to tell a story in a natural, organic way, where the characters are there because it just makes them who they are. It doesn’t feel forced or forced to me. There’s not anything wrong with the way they’re introduced; they’re just who they are.
Do you feel like those qualities are in common with the writing of people of color, like you and Marjorie Liu?
Yes, when you’re reading that stuff, it almost seems like you’re reading somebody who knows as much about people of color in literature and film as I do in real life. That was quite a lot for me to digest. But there was an aspect of me which still felt that way. There was that feeling of being able, just by reading, to be able to be honest about these characters’ backgrounds, and their histories – there was still something about that which I liked, or I used to like, about people of color authors even if it’s because that’s some of the most intimate story of people that I’ve ever read, where you can just, I don’t know, go back and examine their experiences and their writing and go, “Okay, maybe it’s kind of true, but maybe some of this is a bit of a stretch”. I think, to me, that there’s always that aspect of, “It’s this weird stuff but there’s some truth in there”.
Is any of it true?
Yes, there’s truth in it, some real truth. It’s not that I’m trying to convince myself of any of it; I know I just write that way for the best bits.
What I thought was one of those bits was when you say that the people you write for “have to be real people”, which is an incredibly narrow approach to writing about people, a lot of it is based on that.
That’s exactly right.
I’m trying to find new people and new things to read who aren’t afraid to show it’s not like the books or
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