When I first started writing the story that would become the Shades and Shadows series, I began with the idea that as a nation, the United States had a tendency to not only other people, but to foist our fears and anger onto those others and I followed it through to what I thought could be the outcome, if ever it were discovered that there were people who could heal and kill with some kind of power that we normal folk didn’t have.
But once I’d gotten the story written, albeit in a much shorter form than it exists today, I looked at where the political aspect of the story had gone as a result of that original premise and I considered it to be too unbelievable. I looked at where we were at the time, where we had a person of color in our highest office and we had abolished (in theory at least) the othering of LGBT people and women were making gains politically and otherwise. I thought to myself, who is going to believe a story that takes all of that away now, shoves it into a dark corner and returns us to the darkness of our own past?
I set the story aside, and went on to work on other things.
It wasn’t until the election in 2016 that I realized I was wrong, and that the othering hadn’t stopped at all, in fact for some of our US citizens, othering was still the lens through which they saw the world and those others were where they laid the blame for everything that they thought was wrong with their lives.
Since the release of Through Shade and Shadow, so much has happened that makes the politics in this series nearly pale in comparison. This saddens me in many ways.
I hope we, as a nation, can navigate our way through this hurricane and come out stronger and better on the other side.