I’m writing a historical fantasy series set in ancient Egypt. I’m crafting an ancient culture that is matriarchal as well as matrilineal because I’m tired of narrow, inaccurate depictions of gender roles in historical fiction. I’m also crafting a dynastic Egypt that is unmistakably and unequivocally African because I’m tired of the media, racist academics, and the commenters on my blog whitewashing it.
Black women were at the center of everything in Egypt before the Greeks and Romans came, and the fiction I’m creating is designed to showcase and celebrate that.
Does that sound awesome to you? Good! Because I could use your support as I write.
This series requires a great deal of research. And in the next year I’m also hoping to attend writing workshops and retreats that will help me get the novel done and polish it. To that end, I’m asking for support from fans, friends, and family for research trips, workshops, and retreats.
About the Books
This series is AfroRetroFuturist, a term coined by Nisi Shawl. She defines it as a blend of Afrofuturism – a movement focused on African contributions to, perspectives on, and presence in the future – and Retrofuturism – a re-visioning of the past including elements of its future and sometimes elements of our own future as well.
I’m incorporating Afrofuturist elements because I want to see my people depicted as technological and cultural innovators in the past, present, and future. I’m representing Egypt in this era as an African country populated by Black people with a culture connected to and influenced by other nearby African cultures. This is historically accurate – I can back it up with reams of research – but not a depiction you’ll find in the majority of media set in ancient Egypt, speculative or not.
The Retrofuturist elements center around house-sized copper scarab beetles that run on steam generated by the sun. I’m using their development as a framework to explore the cultural, social, and spiritual movements that follow in the wake of the upheaval, ethnic conflict, and technical innovation in dynastic Egypt.
The culture I’ve crafted for the series is also matrifocal, with widespread acceptance of multiple sexualities and roles for people of multiple genders. Though there are many academics who insist that most ancient Egyptian women were illiterate, second class to men, and had little role in state religion, this view is not supported by available artifacts and records. It’s a holdover of the Western patriarchal views of the men who founded Egyptology as an academic discipline.
With this series I intend to challenge ideas about gender roles in the ancient world and explore what a matrifocal, technological, and unquestionably African Egypt could look like. I intend to do it with characters that exist beyond binary sexualities and beyond binary genders, and whose problems don’t arise from those identities. And I intend to do it with queer Black women as my protagonists.
What Do I Get If I Support You On Patreon?
Writing and other fun content!
Depending on your level of support you choose, you’ll get access to a piece of flash fiction once per month, essays about the writing and research process (there is always a funny story to be told about researching Egypt. Think aliens. Lots and lots of aliens), Q&As and livestreams, behind the scenes material, excerpts from the novels or stories in progress, a chapter a week as I write, critiques, free books, and more. Details on all this is on Patreon.
How Do I Know If I’ll Even Like Your Fiction?
You can read some of my published short stories for free online or you can buy the fabulous anthologies they’re published in. I also put one of my background stories/DVD extras from the world of this novel on my blog for folks to read. Or, if you support me on Patreon for just $1 a month you’ll get access to all the patron-only posts, which include some excerpts from the novel and some other fiction I’ve written. If you really don’t like any of it, you don’t have to keep supporting me.
Okay, I’ll Do It!
You will? HOORAY! You’re the best and I thank you. Visit Patreon to get started.