By Jayde Brooks…aka…somebody else
Let’s face it. All fiction is fantasy, but there’s fact based fantasy and then there’s the other stuff. I’ve written fact-based fiction for many, many years. Fiction based on the lives of real people, with real people problems in real people scenarios, in a real and feasible world. I’ve written under another name (closer to my actual name), stories surrounding relationships, abuse, money, betrayal and love. Yeah, it’s challenging, but all that stuff is still centered on the dynamics of life and a world that most folks can relate to.
I love what I do. I love the stories I’ve written, and I hope to be writing those stories for years to come. But in my heart of hearts, I’ve always been a sci/fi girl. I’ve always loved fantasy and so when the opportunity presented itself for me to write it, I jumped in with both feet, held my breath, crossed my heart, and prayed “God! Please don’t let me screw this up!”. Four years and six rewrites later, my very first effort, Daughter of Gods and Shadows is about to be released, and I’m scared shitless.
Actually, on more than one occasion I wanted to give up and just say to hell with the whole thing. Obviously, I wasn’t cut out for “world building” and I couldn’t get out of my imagination’s way enough to write magic in this made up world filled with creatures who possessed powers and abilities that were just silly in comparison to the stories I’d been writing; i.e., a woman leaving an abusive relationship in search of her own soul; single women involved with married men and the revelations they eventually discovered about self-love; a woman being released from prison after twenty-five years for murdering her mother’s lover only to inherit twenty-million bucks of the man’s money much to the chagrin of his family.
Stuff like that made sense. An ancient, reincarnated spirit, reborn into a young Brooklyn woman with the power to destroy a resurrected Demon from another planet, just seemed impossible to wrap my brain around. If I were going to make this work, however, I was going to have to get out of my own way, throw caution to the wind, and ignore my own reservations when it came to writing this stuff that I so passionately loved. I mean, I am that girl who grew up pissed because I didn’t actually have super powers. I’m the girl who wished like hell that there really was a Middle Earth, or that Batman was a real guy.
It was too late to send back the advance I’d gotten from my publisher, because that money had long since been spent. I had no choice but to press on, and to hopefully pull together a story that wouldn’t embarrass the hell out of me. Daughter Gods and Shadows is not only a labor of love, but more importantly, it’s a labor of passion and of a little girl’s fantasies that she could write a book about a black woman with super powers and who bore the burden of single-handedly saving not only the world, but the whole fucking universe!
Time will tell if I’ve made at least a first base hit, or if I’ve fouled out completely with this book. But I did it! I stepped up to the plate, and hoisted my bat, closed my eyes and swung!