At a recent open mic, after I gave a couple young guys my Holly business card (see the business card pic to the left), they asked why Holly is white. They liked my reading, but they looked a little disappointed at Holly’s skin tone. They looked Chinese-American, or Japanese-American, or something along those lines.
I answered, because I’m white. I’m Swedish-American. I’ll dip into some Swedish-American culture (think Prairie Home Companion) and the horror of lutefisk. I put a lot of myself into Holly: my taste in movies, my love of comics and coffee and boogie-boarding and comic-cons and indie-authors, my efforts at writing, and my temper which I control a lot better than Holly. Or maybe Holly is just a lot stronger and braver than I will ever be, I have never gotten into a fight in my life.
I did not mean to disappoint those two guys. If it is any help, my character Kittygirl is Japanese-American. A few writers who reviewed the scene where she first appears thought Kittygirl was oriental even though I did not mention her race, I had no idea what her race was. Now I might do cute manga-anime references. I like Kittygirl being Japanese, she gets a cool first name: Katsuko! I just like the sound of that!
I want to put Keef Knight (African-American) and Justin Hall (Gay-American) into my stories, those guys are too cool to not use (they are fine with me doing that). I wonder if they will be harder for me to write? I know them. I think I can write them.
Oh, I have such a great scene for Justin, a scene to make the audience stand and cheer. I hope it survives my outline editing in preparation for nanowrimo, National Novel Writing Month.