When I was a teenager, I faithfully devoured all six or so books I could get my hands on that had lesbian main characters. These were overwhelmingly coming out stories, and most of them left me balling my eyes out because of how depressing they were. The movies weren’t much better. Enter the world of fanfiction. Now that was something I could get behind! Okay, maybe they weren’t always the most well written stories, but at least they were about something besides coming out. I quickly began writing my own, and after many years of that I decided to branch off into something of my own.
Morning Rising was inspired by a friend’s issues with drugs, the ups and downs came so fast it was almost too much to handle. One day I sat down and started writing this, putting all that emotion to good use. Don’t be worried, it’s not an issues book or anything, it’s a fantasy novel all the way through. It follows Kara, sixteen and quietly in love with her best friend Dylan, as she wakes up in the world of Inbetween and learns there is so much more behind Dylan and her friendship than she could have guessed. Dylan is a princess from the Daylands, and Kara is her Guardian. They were both sent to the human world to hide Dylan from Demitar, the ruler of Inbetween, who wants to claim her because she was born of light and darkness. Whichever side she chooses, she will become their most powerful ally. As her Guardian, Kara is the only one who can help Dylan choose the side of light.
The book is pretty much everything I wanted to read when I was younger (and still do). The hero is a girl, a pretty bad-ass one if I do say so, and she gets to save the princess! They fight bad guys and use their magical powers, and sometimes they even get to kiss. This is what I was dying for. I know there are many fantasy novels aimed at adults in this genre, but I want some teen angst, not the risk of full blown, detailed sex scenes.
Now I would love to see this book sell amazingly, and I would love to see a movie made out of it. Unfortunately, even if the book does find an audience that falls in love with it, I know Hollywood isn’t out there making epic fantasy movies that center around a couple of teenage lesbians. That sucks. Why do they think there wouldn’t be an audience for it? Why does the story have to be defined by the two people who fall in love in it?
A lot needs to change before we will see shelves lined with books that feature gay characters as more than a stereotype or joke, by putting Morning Rising out into the world, I feel like I’m doing my part.
Samantha Boyette lives in upstate New York. Her short stories have been featured in various websites and books, and she was the co-winner of the 2010 Textnovel.com online writing contest. To learn more visit www.SamanthaBoyette.com