I don’t want to pull a JK Rowling with this series of books, so I’ve done my best, in the books themselves, to make the nationality and sexuality of each character, as clear as the story allows. Now, as the final books are coming out for the Christmas season, I want to be even clearer by introducing some of the main characters and clarifying what the canon stance on their sexuality and nationality is.
Shawna Grieves – she comes out as a lesbian in book 4 and by the end of the series she has a steady girlfriend. I didn’t know that about her when I started writing book 1. She came out to me as I was working on book 3.
Maggie – she never explicitly comes out but by the end of the series, she’s Shawna’s girlfriend.
GIRL2 – she is one of Cheyanne’s friends in the bonus novella. While nothing is explicitly said about her, her friends go on about her hating drama and the “kissy faces”. She is Asexual and I really wanted to show her as a normal person with great friends who totally accept that she has no interest in dating.
GAY – he’s one of Cheyanne’s friends as well and is openly gay. He has a boyfriend and the two of them exist in the background of Cheyanne’s story.
Cheyanne – while Cheyanne is straight, she is unique in the story because she’s the only character who is expressly stated to be not-white. Shawna and Ethan’s father is of Irish heritage while their mother is German. Ethan and Shawna mention someone they’ve seen around the Complex as being black but he’s an off-page character. Cheyanne is the only other character whose nationality is mentioned, and she’s Ojibway (Anishinabe).
These books are geared towards 10-15 year old readers. I wanted the books to be fun, fast-paced, and full of drama, but I also wanted them to be safe reads. There’s no swearing and minimal violence. There are a few kisses but zero sexual content. And because of that it gave me the chance to portray a variety of characters without sexualizing them – they’re kids, pre-teens, on a mission, trying to survive, trying to find answers, first and foremost, and everything else is just a part of who they are.
As for why? My answer is, why not?