Check out Sneak Peeks of all the story illustrations from Crows on Heartstrings!
What is the difference between a female character and a male character in mainstream publishing? Well — that’s easy. The answer should be nothing.
It should be that male and female characters are both treated equally, but it doesn’t happen that way. Male characters are flawed but likeable. They struggle and are strong. Male characters are people. So what about female characters? It seems that today female characters are talked about in one of two ways, they are either the strong female lead or are a Mary Sue.
The trend now in female characters is that they need to be strong in all aspects, fierce, undeniably unbeatable. Why can’t we see female characters the way we see male characters? Flawed and strong? Why are female characters so extreme? What happened to real women? Are we not interesting enough to make real characters?
But, tip the scale in either direction, and critics will tell you your female lead is obviously inspired by the author and therefore a Mary Sue, OR has no flaws to be seen and is too good at everything, and therefore, a Mary Sue.
What about characters of racial minority? Or LGBT Characters? What happens then?
Well, we simply do not have enough of those.
Why is it so hard to get good female characters, POC characters, and LGBT characters in stories? Does mainstream publishing not think they will sell? If that’s so, then we need to look to self publishers such as Natalia Jaster and J.C. Lillis for help.
Self publishing isn’t the same as it used to be. Sure, you can get some pretty sketchy e-books. A lot of them seem to be just first drafts of novels. But what we need to start doing, is to use self publishing, and fund self publishers, so that main stream publishers know what we want.
If you agree with me up until this point, I have to share something with you. Crows on Heartstrings is a book of illustrated short stories, all centered around doomed love.
Our writers craft harrowing tales of families torn apart by entities unknown, lovers cursed by fairies, siblings fighting monsters, and more. No type of love is safe from our tragedies. Gay, straight, romantic, familial, friendly, no matter what your shape or color, we have something for you and we are coming for you. We also take our anti-discriminatory viewpoint and stretch it across genres. We have fantasy, sci-fi, supernatural, period, and contemporary pieces.
These aren’t just romances, they’re epic tales of doom. I can’t wait to steal your heart and shatter it a little!
And as if that isn’t enough, we have haunting imagery from only the most talented artists, just to twist the knife. Did you think we were done? Because we even have comics and poems, all doomed.
But it’s better to love and to have lost, isn’t it?
Crows on Heartstrings aims to treat it’s characters as the real, flawed, gritty characters we want.
Our gay characters do more than come out and suffer for it. Our women save the day in the real and complex ways that men do, and our POC characters do not die to enhance the arc of white male leads.
Crows on Heartstrings wants to show the world that stories can be marketable AND diverse.
We need to take what we want.
We need to create a demand for diversity in our books.
We need to write and appreciate characters who thrive or struggle in their own stories without depending on a cisgendered white male lead.
LGBT, Female, and POC characters are NOT plot devices. If you want to see all these things and more in your books and media, you must support small, self publishers where they offer it.
To learn more about Crows on Heartstrings and how you can help, pledge to our Kickstarter !
(article originally published on medium.com)
Well! The time has come! Crows on Heartstrings needs YOUR HELP to get funded!
Follow the link to our Kickstarter page to donate!
We have 30 days to fund the project, starting on April 18th.
If you want to know a little bit about the project, I’ll tell you! Becasue I LOVE this project.
Crows on Heartstrings is a collection of Short Stories which all revolve around a central theme– Doomed Love.
We represent love in all forms, Heterosexual couples, LGBTQ+ couples, familial love, and friendship. No matter what your shape or color, we have something for you, and we are coming for you!
We also take our anti-discriminatory viewpoint and stretch it across genres. We have fantasy, sci-fi, supernatural, period, and contemporary pieces.
These aren’t juse romances, they’re epic tales of doom. I can’t wait to steal your heart and shatter it a little!
Please support us! Our writers and artists come from across the globe. Coming together for this project was amazing on it’s own.
Don’t let our characters suffer for nothing! Pledge so we can share our book with you!
Here’s another one by Ashley Feemster for our Artist, Writer, and Curator, my story, Roses Grow for Mammet Men.
This is the perfect time for me to talk to you about my short story!
Roses Grow for Mammet Men is an Urban Fantasy set in New York City. Elves and Fairies are living among humans and they have more important things to worry about than hatred from humans.
Roses Grow for Mammet Men has everything you could want, romance, magic, treachery, and heartache. Dathi and Mercurie struggle with identity, war, and keeping the love alive in this twisty tale.
Natalie paled at the sight of Dahlia’s fingers digging in Lucien’s flesh, but she pulled herself together. The last thing she wanted was to faint in the middle of this. A pang of sympathy coiled through her. Lucien looked helpless and fragile.
On the other hand, Elijah’s gaze over Lucien was steel. Natalie need not be reminded of why he was listless and at the same time sensitive about this. Blades and flesh and blood together would form a sick memory in his mind. Torture wasn’t new to him. Immense pain was a familiar ground.
“Do this as quick as possible. It is far better to endure a heightened pain in a short span of time,” Elijah suggested, shifting a little, brown eyes cast on Lucien’s current feeble figure. He already placed his knees on the ground, his dark wavy hair somewhat unkempt, white long-sleeved shirt clinging on his lean frame.
“Take out the rest now.”
The second scar was more jagged than the first, the crooked lines forced Natalie to sacrifice some good skin to get to the stinging metal underneath. Lucien, regaining a hazy consciousness, swallowed hard and grit his teeth.
Dahlia reached inside the pocket of flesh and accidentally sliced Lucien with hasty movements and the sharp corroded metal.
Lucien fiercely kicked out and howled a guttural scream. His hands found Elijah’s wrists firmly pressing his body to the pavement. He latched on to keep himself from thrashing, and found comfort in the steady pulse on the tender side of Elijah’s wrists.
Lucien calmed the moment the metal was removed. His head fell back against the cool cement of the alleyway. He smiled into the calm, and welcomed the clarity that came with the heat of Dahlia’s hands on his chest, filling him with heavenly fire to combat the shadows in his blood.
“Is he okay now?” Natalie asked, still holding the bloodstained knife in her hand.
They were lucky the street was deserted and the street lamps only emanated dim lights. Elijah thought if someone had seen them, they’d think they were robbing and assaulting him. He eased up from Lucien and studied his condition. “We should bring him somewhere safe. Where do you live?”
Lucien slowly started to breathe normally, and seemed to be doing better. He wasn’t running around like a maniac, so that was okay.
“I think he’ll be okay, I dunno I was just experimenting, taking a stab in the dark with that one.” Dahlia looked around for for her van parked on their empty street. “I live just around the corner. If you don’t mind helping me get him inside, I would greatly appreciate it.” Dahlia would more than appreciate it. She had been babysitting Lucien all day, and only now was the stress of worrying catching up to her.
Natalie rose and nudged Elijah’s arm. “Carry him.”
Welcome to the Lucien and Elijah serial by Aubrey Meeks and Julienne
The accompanying illustration was done by Aegisdea and I couldn’t be happier!
Stay tuned for more of Elijah and Lucien tomorrow!
Are we ever going to really meet Lucien? Or maybe he’ll kick it before we can get anything out of him.
Lucien and Abomination Boys characters and writing © Aubrey “Meeks” Brown 2015
Elijah and writing © Julienne 2015
The first description we get of Dumbledore is:
- He was wearing high heeled boots.
- He blushed when Madam Pomfrey complimented his earmuffs.
Makes me wonder. We know he was gay, but living today makes me think, maybe he’s actually not just gay, but one of the many other sexualities. Maybe he doesn’t fully identify as just a man and is actually a different gender.
I like this theory.