The Real Fantasy

You know how I know I write fantasy?

It’s not the chains. It’s not the slavery. It’s not even that my female protagonist inevitably ends up with the hottest partners conceivable. I mean, that’s just expected, right?

No. It’s the fact that I had my leads out a predator in my [second book][]. Afterwards, he is quite vocal about how many speaking gigs he has lost as a result. He’s even forced to leave town.

At the time, I knew of a small band of people who had moved, more than once, to different corners of the country due to what I will politely describe as controversy. Apparently, their story made my little subplot seem plausible.

I cringe at my own naivete now. Because, unfortunately, real life does not work that way.

Instead, the bad apples just keep bobbing to the surface. And given enough time, fewer and fewer people know there was ever any problems at all. Memories are short in this community. With so much turnover, some of us end up telling the same story over and over, while the predator takes advantage of the ignorance.

It’s draining.

But that’s what the predators count on. That we will be too tired to stand up to them. That we will be too scared. That it simply won’t be worth the trouble. That we will give up.

Don’t fucking buy it. We’re not all wide-eyed newbies.

I don’t know what the secret is to avoiding burnout. I’ve been there, and it is a tough place to dig yourself out of. But I do know that we can support each other, validate each other, and stand together. We can also stop supporting groups that harbor ongoing, blatantly predatory behavior.

Step back if you need to. But don’t let them permanently sideline you.


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