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Friday, November 20, 2015

Spinsterella Prequel Brainstorming

I’m really pondering writing a Spinsterella Prequel as my next novel. I think readers would be interested in seeing how a teenage Matilda Crowley became Mad Matilda and how she became part of the Goth subculture.

 Yeah, I know Spinsterella has only been out for a month, but I really like this character and I’d love to explore her origins in a YA novel. I think a lot of tweens and teens who are Goths or interested in the Goth Subculture would be interested in reading a story about the Baby Bat years of Mad Matilda.

There’s a bunch of questions I’d love to answer in depth about Matilda’s past like: What made her choose the Goth Subculture? What did she feel comfortable with becoming a Goth as opposed to other subcultures like Hip-Hop at the time? What was her family like? Who were her friends back then? What was life like living back on Sugar Hill 25 years ago during the Crack epidemic? What made her feel so stressed about being biracial that it caused her to almost have a nervous breakdown?

In answering those questions about Matilda’s past I believe there’s a great story about the dark side of being light skinned/biracial. Most Black people often believe that there are all these so-called priveleges to someone Black having light skin or being so-called biracial and I’d love to write a story where I show why that isn’t true at all. Light skinned Blacks and biracial Black people not only face discrimination from Whites and nonblacks but Black people as well, but no one ever wants to discuss this intra-racism and how it affects brothers and sisters.

I’d also love to explore the whole concept of race and identity in the prequel. I’ve often explored the concept in other novels I’ve written like The Thetas, but I’d like to think I could explore it from a different persepective in the Spinsterella prequel. Oftentimes Black people think they have to follow one kind of culture and one kind of narrative to be considered “Black”. Unfortunately, those roads often lead to Black people not becoming themselves, but stereotypes.

With the Matilda character I’m pondering what happens when a biracial person has the courage to decide to turn away from the paradigm of the Tragic Mulatto and go their own way and create their own identity. Are they Mad? Or are they making more sense than we think?

After getting all the grief about the Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess and Isis: Night of the Vampires Covers and Isis’ skintone I felt I had to tackle this whole lightskin/darkskin issue I felt I had to tackle the topic in a story to show how it effected people. That was one of the reasons I wrote the Original Spinsterella and the upcoming Isis: Imitation of Life. But I belive a Spinsterella Prequel would really go the most in depth on the topic and make a definitive statement about Skintone, race, and what many think is the Black identity.

One of the big inspirations I had in writing the original Spinsterella was something actress Persia White said on a radio show in 2009 or so about being so dark inside because she was light skinned. That got me thinking about the dark side of being a light skinned Black person.

The other thing that inspired me to create the Matilda Crowley character was Tia Mowry’s relationship with her father. Tia Mowry has a very close relationship with her White father and the love between them goes far beyond the color of their skin. I’d love to develop the relationship between Matilda and her father Jason in the next story and show how they became close during this troubling time for her. In that relationship I’d be exploring Matilda’s conflicting feelings for her father, being told she’s “Acting White”.

I’ve got a lot of ideas for this project. I’d love to write it as a Tim Burtonesque kind of teen comedy. Something just like the original Spinsterella filled with dark humor, satire, and ironic wit, the staples of the Goth subculture. And I’d love to make a commentary about how backwards the monolithic view of what most Black people consider what being “Black” truly is. What is really “Black” should be defined by Black people and feature all the shades and textures of our culture not something that makes White people feel comfortable.

From a business standpoint I’d love to put a Spinsterella prequel into production is because A little YA novel I did back in 2013 called The Thetas is still one of my biggest hits. That story about the origins of then 19-year-old John Haynes supporting character Colleen Anderson while she pledged the mysterious Theta Sorority proved to be quite popular with women of all ages and all races. I’d like to think readers Goth and nongoth would be excited to learn all about what would make a girl want to become a part of the Goth Subculture.

All of this is brainstorming right now, and nothing is concrete. But this is a project I’d love to get started on. But I’ve got a Kickstarter planned and four other books in the queue. We’ll see what happens.

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