I just did a really great interview/chat about Blood Flow, about social responsibility in fiction, dirtbag leftism, and a few other topics with Gabby over at Literature Lynx.
Not to spoil the whole thing, but here’s an excerpt question:
LL: As a genre, science fiction/fantasy doesn’t have a great track record with diversity and inclusivity (at least the traditionally published stuff). Why are you drawn to fantasy writing? What would you like to see more of in this genre?
DH: I have huge problems with diversity and inclusivity in fantasy (and specifically urban fantasy). While there are a lot of great authors out there who buck the trend, a lot of the biggest names, the ones who really float to the top of the lists, tend toward really doing diversity poorly or not at all. If your series about a sorcerer in Chicago doesn’t feature any significant black characters until the eighth book, there’s a huge problem. Is there room to use that to examine racial issues? Of course. But let’s be honest: That’s not really a common take.
I like fantasy because it’s all about asking “what if?” And if you can ask a ton of “what if” questions about the physics and magic of your world, but can’t even bother to ask, “What if this character wasn’t white,” then that tells me you’re not actually reaching very far. If you’re afraid to explore characters that don’t look like you, how can I expect you to present fairies and dragons and wizards and werewolves with any real, human depth? Clearly you’re not comfortable examining the human condition. And to me, that’s what fantasy is—it’s using fantastical elements to ask meaningful questions about humanity.
Then again, there’s part of Blood Flow that’s simply practical. There’s a range of characters from a range of backgrounds in the story. It’s a story set in Southern California. It looks like my home growing up. To do anything otherwise would feel inauthentic.
You should go check it out. And if you haven’t seen, she did a review of Blood Flow.
The photo here is courtesy her Instagram. Of course I’m biased, but I adore her photography. Book porn is the best.