As you might have heard, there’s been some turmoil surrounding the Wicked Pretty Things anthology.
The short version is that fellow YA author Jessica Verday was asked to change the central romance of her story (which features a relationship between two boys) to a heterosexual pairing, and she said no. Her story is no longer going to be appearing in the anthology.
A few weeks ago, I talked about how happy I was to be included in this collection with Francesca Lia Block. If I had to pick the one author who’s had the greatest influence on me, both as a writer and as a person, it wouldn’t even be a contest. I read her books at a time when I was still figuring out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. She changed the way I thought about love and storytelling and what it means to be a human being.
Those of you familiar with Block’s work know that she’s never shied away from topics like depression or drug-use or sexuality, and in the mid-90’s, she was one of the few YA authors writing books that consistently featured LGBTQ characters. The one essential idea I took away from her work is that the most powerful stories are about love, and love comes in a lot of different forms.
And that’s why I’m choosing to withdraw my story “The Drowning Place” from the Wicked Pretty Things anthology. I would have been honored for my story to appear alongside Jessica’s. We need stories like the one she’s written. There are still people who will tell you that love only counts when it looks a certain way, and that’s not true. Love is love. It’s what matters.