Plastic Wings Snippet #1

“I’m sorry you had to sit through that.”

I glanced up from the fiery glow to face Wes. He looked directly at me, eyes as bright as the hearth. It was the first time that night, at least as far as my awareness held, that he’d paid me any mind.

“Through what?”

“Porter’s story. I know how much you hate those.”

“Oh, do you?” I asked. I’d never considered the possibility of Wes observing me when he was around, but I should have. Quiet people always have a way of seeing things others don’t. “You shouldn’t feel bad. It’s not your job to control your friend.”

“He’s not my friend, per se,” Wes said.

“Then what is he?”

“Porter and I have a complicated relationship,” Wes said. He grinned at this as if watching some sweet scene only he could see. “But I wouldn’t exactly call us friends.”

“Well, either way, his affairs aren’t your responsibility,” I said.

“Evie?”

“Yes?”

“If Porter makes you uncomfortable, why don’t you ever just say so?”

“That would be rude,” I said.

“Do you think he deserves better?”

“Who am I to tell Porter what he deserves?”

Wes smiled. I turned to the fireplace. I hated thinking about it, what people deserved. Did I want to punch Porter in the face most of the time? I would never deny it, but if I judged Porter on his flaws, then I was welcoming someone to judge me on mine, and this isn’t something I’ve ever been ready to answer to. Still, I had to suppress a smile. It wasn’t the things Wes said, but the way he said them. It was as if his questions were a game, and he received some sort of remarkable thrill at hearing me answer them. I wouldn’t tell him so, but seeing his reaction gave me a thrill as well.

But Why POCs?

So I’m winding down the final edits on my first novel, and there are a ton of insecurities and concerns running through my mind. It’s never easy to release your life’s work to the world, and with so many different things that people could possibly harp on, it’s really hard for me to figure out which decisions are the best ones.

That being said, one big concern my betas have expressed is the setting of my story. Originally, I wrote the entire thing in a sort of dystopian future in which everyone was a POC because I felt like the idea of POC being the majority in a couple hundred years wasn’t too unrealistic. I’ve gotten a whole horde of comments about how I need to explain the world, explain what happened that led the world to being mostly POC, and explain how this new world works.

I started brainstorming different ideas, different government rulings and cultural changes and all these different reasons why there would be so few white people in my story, and honestly, I’m kind of annoyed that I had to do that in the first place.

Walk into a bookstore right now and pick up a book. If you have a bestseller on your shelf, maybe start with that. Unless you were specifically looking for own voices books or books with characters of color, odds are, every character or the vast majority of characters in that book will be white. If you ask the author why they wrote all/mostly white characters, they’ll probably just say that they wrote what they know. My question is, then why is it wrong for me, a biracial author, to write what I know and create a world that has mostly POC characters, especially a world that involves man-eating angels in a fairly distant future?

I hate this idea that all-white characters is the default, and having mostly POC characters better come with an explanation. It makes no sense for there to be mostly POC characters unless its the result of some authoritarian government or weird plague or something. Why is that? Is it because there’s no way that POC could reasonably be the majority at some point in time? Or is it the fact that, despite POC already existing in droves on every continent on the planet, people still think of us as ‘other’, as a rare exception to the white norm?

I’m writing in my POC characters. Why are they there? Decide for yourself.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Book Review

Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Synopsis: Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.  via Amazon

Overall Rating: 4 stars

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