Hey, all. For those of you who aren’t already aware from the constant reblogged author interviews, I have a short story in an upcoming own voices disability themed anthology called Nothing Without Us. What does own voices mean, you ask? In this case it means that all the stories in the anthology feature disabled, deaf, neurodiverse, mentally ill, and/or chronically ill main characters written by actual disabled, deaf, neurodiverse, mentally ill, and/or chronically ill authors! And this anthology is extra special in that it also has disabled publishers, so everyone involved in this project from beginning to end has the lived experience these stories are trying to accurately represent and explore. And not a bit of inspiration porn in sight!
This project is hugely important to me on a literary, political, and personal level, which I talk about in greater detail in this interview I did about the anthology, my story, disability rep, why depictions of chronically ill and disabled people in fiction matter, how they impact the real world, and living with multiple chronic illnesses. Long story short, disabled people are wildly underrepresented in the media and the representations that do exist are very limited, are often written/directed/played by abled or healthy people, reinforce misconceptions and stereotypes, and tend to do more harm than good. But you can help change that! There are 42 hours left to contribute to the Kickstarter for the anthology. The audiobook stretch goal is unlocked, but there are still awesome stretch goals left and you can get yourself an ebook, print, and/or audiobook copy. And then you can either read or listen to my short, “Search and Seizure”. Or both!
This story was such a catharsis/exorcism (no pun intended) to write, as it is deals with some heavy stuff and is my most autobiographical story to date, except for maybe “Yuletide Carols”. For the sake of authenticity, every single thing a doctor says in the story is something a real doctor actually said to me, sometimes word for word. It will likely hit close to home for anyone who has tried to access healthcare while female (or female-presenting). My hope is that it will resonate with those who have lived it and be an eye-opener for those who haven’t.
And maybe, just maybe, this project and the ones it may inspire in the future will make a difference in the lives of disabled folks and the world at large. Or at least be a crack in the foundation that will one day help someone else to break through. Like Cassie in the story, demanding to be heard so others to come, like Sandra, won’t continue to be ignored.