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  • Karen Frost

Time to Start Anew (New Book, That is)

When I joined the stable of writers at Ylva Publishing, one of the first pieces of advice I heard (and the most true, so far) was, "If you want to sell books, write what will sell." That's because most of the time, if you write what you would want to read, it won't sell well. And what queer female readers want is contemporary romance. Well heck.

The truth is, I just can't write contemporary romance. I can't even read it. For one thing, I don't know how it's structured or what tropes to incorporate. For another, I just find it boring. Where are the dragons? Where are the space ships? Where are people fighting each other with swords? It's just not my genre and never will be. So I guess I'll just never sell many books. Oh well. We all make choices in our life, consequences be damned.

In the Destiny and Darkness series, I wrote what I would have wanted to read as a teenager (and adult). But lately, starting with "The Lady Adventurers Club," I've been trying to write not just what I would want to read, but what I would want to see on a big screen in a movie. There's still a large gap in Hollywood when it comes to female representation. For every movie starring a woman wielding guns or driving fast cars, there are twenty movies starring men. There's John Wick and James Bond and Indiana Jones, and they're just the tip of the iceberg. It's not fair to female viewers that there are entire genres where representation is paltry at best. And it's absolutely not fair to actresses who don't want to spend their careers going from "sexy love interest" to "struggling mom" to 'aging out.' I bet some of them want to shoot guns and drive fast cars too.

So my next book is aimed to fight that representational gap. It features middle-aged women with guns kicking butt and taking names. My girlfriend calls it "a combination of the movies 'Gunpowder Milkshake' and 'Constantine.'" Yeah, that's about it. It's the story of three women killing demons and trying to stop the Apocalypse. Yes, I know already that no one will buy it. But sometimes as a writer you make a choice: make money or put something into the world that otherwise might not exist. I choose the latter.

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