Well, it’s done. And it only took me a little over 20 years to add what I hope will be a unique addition to that genre known as African American fiction.
I first started writing Fire and Wanda more than 20 years ago, way back in the Stone Age before I even owned a computer or knew what to do with one. Matter of fact, the first draft of what would eventually become Fire and Wanda years down the road was actually sketched out on a yellow legal pad more than 30 years ago when I was living on the South Side of Chicago where I rented a tiny room in a house just off of King Drive near 47th. At the time, I wasn’t even approaching the story as having anything to do with African American fiction, but just as a way to use fiction as a way of telling my own story.
But what exactly is
African American fiction
That’s something I’ve never quite gotten my head around, to tell you the truth. Is Walter Mosley described by that term? How about Toni Morrison? Or is it reserved for what they’re now calling ‘urban lit’? Otherwise known as ‘ghetto lit’, which focuses hot and heavy on black life in the ‘hood. I mean, if I’m an African American and I’m writing literature, does that automatically mean I should be assigned to that category?
If so, then what if I’m an African American writing science fiction about a super race of toads who have come to take over the world. Ummm…is that African American fiction…?