I blog about books and short stories in the fantasy and science fiction genres. My comfort zone is somewhere between space opera and epic fantasy. I love it when they cross over and create something new.
What I’m interested in are the gray areas, the places where things come together (not always in a cheery sort of way) and produce something new.
My academic training is in history with minor fields in literature and anthropology. I am interested in how societies grow and change, how they come together and drift apart. My undergraduate thesis at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette was about a British army officer who became a prisoner of war during the American Revolution. In Florida and Louisiana. Spain’s prisoner. And that put me thinking about how people in adverse situations manage to work out a way of coexisting and also how change happens at the margins of things, at the crossroads of empires, which Louisiana very much was and continued to be until, well, today in some ways.
At the University of Florida I was granted a master’s degree in Latin American and Caribbean history for a thesis on coffee planters of color in what was then southwestern Saint-Domingue in the decade just before the Haitian Revolution. The project continued me along the lines of studying the relatively marginalized and got me thinking about insurgency and the reasons for revolution. I am currently a Ph.D. candidate at the same institution. My dissertation is a study of Havana’s free people of color and in particular the free black militia between 1768 and 1834.
My fiction is very much rooted in my historical studies. I am writing in a secondary world, at the edge of an empire that is slowly coming apart at the seams. There is some resonance with what historians call the Age of Atlantic Revolutions that brought about U.S., Haitian, and Latin American independence and shook up the centuries-old seaborne empires of Spain, Portugal, France, Britain, and the Netherlands. Add to that weirdness in ecology, astronomy, and technology and it’s an interesting place to visit (but maybe not where I’d want to live).