On the night of November 8th, 2016, I was poised to celebrate. A woman was about to be elected president of the United States. A woman! I’m not that old and yet I remember so much casual sexism growing up, so many lessons I was taught that, in hindsight, were about preserving the patriarchy, not my safety or well-being. I may have been late to the party, as it were, but I was 100% ready for a female president. Women had been fighting for this moment for so long. And now here we were, shattering the glass ceiling once and for all.
Of course, that’s not what happened.
Grace and Fury was born out of the disappointment and anger I felt that night. Because of that night, Serina and Nomi, Grace and Fury’s main characters, were born into a world that oppressed them and dismissed them at every turn.
There’s an old adage that a writer should “write what you know.” I don’t know what it’s like to not be allowed to read, as in Grace and Fury. Or how truly terrifying it is to be forced to fight to the death. But I do know how heavy the weight of expectation can feel. And the difficulty of trying to be your own person when everyone around you is telling you to follow the crowd. Don’t make waves. Be pleasant.