I had a question about your book. For starters, I will definitely buy it when it comes out, I like your writing style and all the excerpts and I appreciate the effort you've put in incorporating diversity in an organic way. I just wanted to know if there are characters that are not hot or just plain but obsessing over their looks. I read a lot of YA/NA fantasy and different shapes, sizes, and of physical flaws has been one of the less included aspects of diversity in my opinion.
Hi! Thanks so very much! I really can’t wait to share it with you. I’m at a hurry-up-and-wait stage in the process, but I’ll be sure to update whenever something new happens!
This is such a great question, too! And the answer is yes! Having characters of different body types and kinds of beauty has been important to me for a long time, in part because of my own journey with self-acceptance and growing up. There are beautiful characters (it is a Snow White retelling, after all, so she is still the fairest of them all), but not everyone is the hottest person on the face of the planet.
I emphasize the importance of perspective, too, in judging beauty. My protagonist, Pomona, is not considered beautiful by people in her home country, but when she eventually goes to new places, she learns that different groups of people value different traits. Later in the series, I have a character with the ability to be incredibly beautiful if they choose to, but they don’t, preferring their original looks instead. One character loses their beauty and has to grapple with that while also accomplishing tremendous things–proving to them that beauty is not all in the world. I have fat characters, skinny characters, “average” characters, and their body types are not tied to their morality (a pet peeve of mine). Beautiful characters are both good and evil; “plain” or “ugly” characters, too. Exploring this hasn’t always been an easy process because it’s super personal to me, but I hope that I’m able to say something meaningful in my books and deconstruct this notion of “the most beautiful creature ever seen.”