authors, contemporary fantasy, Donald Maass Literary Agency, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy, fiction, Heroic Fantasy, literary agents, publishing, query, sword and sorcery, The Bent Agency, The Booker Albert Agency, The Deborah Harris Agency, The Knight Agency, The Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, TriadaUS Literary Agency, Trident Media Group

Musing 9/12/17 ~ Are We Getting Too Old For This S***?

This Musing is actually going to handle a couple of subjects that are on my mind right now.  I ask for your patience.  If you haven’t already you may wish to read my two previous Musings which are companions to this one.

Yesterday, I’m sitting in my car in the parking lot of a small shopping center when my phone pings with a message.  I’m following agent Quressa Robinson, with Nelson Literary on Twitter to whom I just sent Tinderbox so I took a moment to glance at it:

Afrofuturism + high/epic fantasy = Happy Me.

Umm…. what exactly is Afrofuturism?

I did ask the agent on Twitter but I haven’t received a response yet.  I also asked if she could provide some examples.  If I receive a response, I’ll post an update.  When I got home, I asked Big Brother what he thought it meant and he didn’t know either.  And he’s much older.  Best guess it was something that combined a futuristic setting with magic but maybe combined with African lore?  We weren’t quite certain.

Now at the time he was watching BraveStarr, if any of my peeps remembers it and I said, “Maybe something like that?”  Big Brother thought that was highly likely although neither of us were certain.

So, I went upstairs to my office, got on the PC and looked it up:

“Afrofuturism is a literary and cultural aesthetic that combines elements of science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, Afrocentricity, and magic realism with non-Western cosmologies in order to critique not only the present-day dilemmas of people of color, but also to revise, interrogate, and re-examine the historical events of the past.”

And now I’m even more confused.  Big Brother was too when I showed him the definition.  I then pinged my BFF and fellow writer, Kelli and asked her if she had any idea what it meant.  Sorry the print is so small.  Here’s an abridged version of our conversation:

musing 1

musing 2

musing 3

Young Adult and Middle Grade ANYTHING seems to be the big thing lately.  The ones I chose were merely requests that caught my eye.  There were many that were alike in some ways and other I felt the need to comment.  Once again, I’m not trying to offend anyone.  this is just my humble opinion.  Some particular ones I saw:

musing 4

OK, this would be interesting but personally the only experience I’ve had with a sideshow is the story I wrote of the same name.  And I’m not a big circus fan, well not anymore.  I think I’ve been to a circus only once in my lifetime.  So this isn’t something I would want to write.

musing 5

I’ve only seem clips of Moonstruck but I love the scene where Cher slaps the guy and says, “Snap out of it!”  Although from the plot, I’d wonder, is this something young adults would like?  Then again, I’m an old lady so maybe it is.

Why do some agents want stories about toxic friendships?  Saying they “like” that type of story?  I’ve had toxic friendships and you know what I learned?  To end them as soon as I realized that’s what it was.  Also, something I wouldn’t like to write.

musing 9

My work is speculative fiction with a non-white MC.  Unfortunately, my experiences with this agency have been less than idea.

And I’m still trying to figure out what PB is.  It’s probably very simple.  One of those snakes it would have bit me, things but I do like this idea.

Musing 11


But how would you define that?  People of color can see the world in a myriad of ways, depending on their upbringing and where they are from, among other things.  A person of color who was raised in the inner city may carry themselves differently from someone who was raised in the suburbs.

musing 12

Hmm…he may just like Immortal Stream.  I’m keeping him in mind.

musing 13

I’m assuming this means that she wants a WOC to write a story about the MC involving themselves in forbidden fruit?  That’s what the quince is known as, apparently (, the Greek Forbidden Fruit, otherwise, I’m really confused by this.  Like what?  Dating someone outside of their race?  Very few people, at least no one I know, considers that forbidden fruit anymore.  So what else is there?



musing 15


It’s 5:29 pm EST and it looks like the #MSWL Twitter Feed is winding down for the night.  Can’t believe I was looking at it for four hours but research is research. I have lots of ideas but I’m not seeing any requests that match my writing and/or interests.  As previously stated, many of the requests were for diverse or LGBTQI, YA/MG.  There was little to no fantasy of any type requested, mainly asking for was historical, romance or contemporary.  Some suspense and just a dash of horror.

Can I write within these genres?  Yes.  Do I want to? No.  And I’m afraid if I start something new the trends will change by the time I’m finished.  I just saw a post on the #MSWL feed that asked a perfectly legitimate question –

“When did adults stop reading?”

I mean, I still do – well I try to anyway and although at times, I’ll read a certain YA book, I’d rather read about adults myself.  And I like to think adults are craving good books.  I’ve written YA before and when I did, this was long before it was popular.  Not to mention the internet was in its infancy and there was no social media or things like MSWL or Query Tracker.  This was before many writing venues existed online so it was really hard to see what was popular.  When I was fighting to get my YA published, the response I usually got was they weren’t accepting it, although it never said so on their websites or that; “This is a good story, but our plates are full.”  Even though again, no indication that they closed to queries.  Then came my writing defeat and I was pretty much through with the YA trade.

So, I’m sitting here thinking, maybe I’ll go into semi-retirement.  I’ve said over and over I don’t want to quit writing.  It’s very easy to do quit though, I’ve tried it a dozen times.

And although I have an idea kicking around in my brain, I haven’t decided if it was going to be young adult or adult.  I was leaning towards the latter.  And it’s epic fantasy, although I’m thinking of maybe adding six guns and sorcery as part of the deal.  No weird stuff though.

But the fact is, I’m not going to write something I’m not in love with, no more than literary agents will offer representation on a book they are not in love with.  Maybe someday, hopefully in the near future, there will be a market for what I write again.

I just hope it doesn’t take too long.  I’m a mature woman after all.




2 thoughts on “Musing 9/12/17 ~ Are We Getting Too Old For This S***?”

  1. Well, here we are needing to discuss this again. I am in the process of creating a diverse

    world full of characters. I have had this story brewing for over 20 years. I have gone to

    my limits creating many magical races, which skin colors of all types, and including

    “disabled” characters, LGBTQ characters, etc. because I like the variety. I WANT diversity.

    I want PEOPLE. But, now I find myself in a situation where I wonder if anyone would read it

    because, well I am technically white. This had never occurred to me before now. True, I am

    also a disabled woman with an indeterminate heritage (would love to have the money for a

    DNA test now) and I am bisexual even though I have been married to a man for 26 years (as

    of today) BUT I would NOT want the little bit of diversity that is just ME to be a

    determining factor in whether or not my story gets told. I want my STORY to stand on its

    own merits. It’s not worth it to me if the story itself is not engaging. I am writing epic

    fantasy. While it is diverse in it’s creation, I am not making it that way just to do that.

    True that I wanted my characters to be a diverse and include all types of people

    because…well, characters drive the story. BUT, I don’t want that to be the main reason it

    is read. I want the story itself to drive a desire to make readers read my story. If a

    writer is focusing on being diverse and inclusive, without developing a plot, characters

    and a history, then there is no STORY. Another thing here: quite frankly, it’s NOT that

    difficult to create a main character of a race other than white. Now, I am NOT saying that

    you can have a minority character that sounds like they come from a “white culture.”

    Especially, if that character is in a story that has been influenced by the real world, as

    opposed to a fictional world that exists only in the author’s mind. We are products of our

    cultures and ethnicities and society and much more. We are products of history, like it or

    not. I am by no means at all saying that authors and readers shouldn’t have relatable

    stories and characters that are diverse–I think we need that in writing. I do. But when

    you place limitations on writer’s to write ONLY diverse sub-genre’s and such, then you may

    be losing great worlds and stories. How many great stories are we missing now because of

    this trend in wanting ONLY characters that are POC or some other specialized label? A big

    question I have been struggling with is, is my world TOO diverse. I have made changes to

    my world and its characters because I have had characters that were similar only in labeling

    because of GRRM and GoT. For example, I HAD planned to have a little person as a

    character but in no real way similar to GRRM’s Tyrion. But now, I have had to change that

    pretty much because of this reason. But, I need this character to move the story along, so do

    I change this character to a POC? A female? A WOC? When is there just TOO MUCH

    diversity? I understand that minorities are under-represented in SFF itself–and it is a

    problem. But, the way to fix the problem isn’t in demanding only certain kinds of people.

    That’s just my own humble opinion, and I do welcome other people’s feedback. The story

    should be the driving force, not diversity for diversity’s sake.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.