The Bad Death is my historic paranormal novel with interracial romance. The protagonist is Anika, a slave woman. She's attracted to her master's brother, Julian. She becomes attracted to Marcus, an enslaved man who is a slave driver. A modern woman's spirit takes refuge in Anika's body and influences her mind. In adventure stories the hero prevails through gumption and daring. But how does The Bad Death align with historic reality? As Americans attend and react to 12 Years a Slave, a a new film based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, it seems a good time to examine the treatment of slavery in genre fiction and literature, particularly as it relates to autobiographies written by slaves.
Kindred by Octavia Butler. The heroine, Dana, is a modern African-American. She is repeatedly pulled through time
to the antebellum south in order to protect the white boy destined to father
the Caucasian side of her family. There (and then) Dana's treated as a
slave. Kindred is a good book. I'm glad I read it. I can't say I enjoyed it. Why not? It's grueling. She's
victimized relentlessly. She and her fellow slaves endure terrible conditions. The
antebellum interracial liaisons are exploitative and cruel. Kindred isn't an adventure story.
It is a historically accurate novel in the literary tradition.
The Classic Slave Narratives, edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Slaves on South Carolina Lowcountry rice plantations worked under better conditions,
as described in Charles Joyner's history Down by the Riverside: a South Carolina Slave Community. Anika's story is set in
a South Carolina slave community like that documented by Joyner.
I wanted to write a paranormal historical with sexy romance and a crossbow-wielding adventuress. I could have written The
Bad Death more realistically, but then it would be a book in a different genre. Due to the novel's setting,
even the most benevolent white characters have racist viewpoints. I hope
readers understand that these views belong to the characters – not to me. And I hope readers are moved to explore libraries and bookstores. There's great literature out there and inspiring nonfiction accounts of history's real heroes and heroines.