The Daily Post prompt—Identity
I’d been trying to decide how I wanted to represent myself in public. Two years ago, in an article for the Guardian, author Catherine Nichols told how submitting her manuscript under a male pseudonym brought her more than eight times the number of responses she had received under her own name.
I seriously contemplated using only my initials. Why? I’d read all of the research that showed women weren’t taken as seriously in genres that had been previously deemed the territory of men.
My book is post-apocalyptic, and somewhat dystopian, with what I like to describe as a thriller twist. Suffice to say it’s speculative fiction. Men write many of the stories in this genre. Women are either secondary characters or they’re used as sexy decoys.
In my opinion, not enough of these stories featured people of color in significant roles. The only way to make the stories reflect the lives of all people was to write in this genre, myself.
Later, I worried if I could market the book in such a way that male readers, as well as other ethnic readers, would be interested? I confess my first thought was to identify as a man.
However, I’d been encouraged by the proliferation of speculative and dystopian fiction currently being published by women–namely, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and the Divergent novels by Veronica Roth.
I also knew that in the year 1666 Margaret Cavendish wrote the first novel about traveling through a portal to a dimension full of submarines and birdmen, entitled The Blazing World.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, published in 1818, was a Gothic horror story as well as a sci-fi novel.
I am proud to stand with my sci-fi/dystopian sisters, and consequently, the name on the front cover of my first novel is Linda C. Mims. I worked hard and I wanted my full identity to represent that.
Cavendish and Shelley reference: https://www.bustle.com/p/how-a-teenage-girl-invented-science-fiction-as-we-know-it-today-36877