I’m proud to finally announce that I’m now writing a novel, something I’ve wanted to do for years now. Tentatively titled, ‘On Such a Volcano’, it takes place in late-1850s Eastern Arkansas, on the fictitious Woodham plantation. Its main character, Abigail, is a slave of the Woodhams, whose matriarch, Martha, is operating a plan of rapid industrialization, something which has ignited that struggle which was mostly kept under control in the antebellum South: intra-race class struggle. The interlapping pieces of black slavery, white racism, and class inequality create a volatile cocktail, which could ruin Martha’s plans, but if she succeeds, she’d be the most powerful person in the state, perhaps even securing self-sufficiency for the South. Abigail has complex feelings towards Martha, who presents herself as a kind slaveowner, but her meeting with a white accountant of Martha’s, Sarah, as well as the violence that faces her family pushes Abigal to eventually work against Martha.
There’s a number of elements in the work that might be uncomfortable for some. First of all, there will be racism, of course, something which can’t be avoided. However, the real element that would understandably turn some readers off is my inclusion of sexual violence. I thought long and hard about whether to include this, but as a queer story and a story of American slavery, I simply don’t believe I can avoid it. This isn’t something I decided lightly; I don’t believe it’s my place to write about it generally, but the generational trauma that is slavery, especially its impact on women, can not be adequately addressed without discussing sexual violence, and given that I’m writing a story about sexuality, that’s doubly true.
I’m glad to finally put this out there; it’ll be a long time before this is published, and it’s only in the very opening stages of writing at this point, but it can’t hurt to build up an audience long in advance, can it? Of course, Patreon support or other monetary help would be great, but without much proof of the book’s quality, I get why that’d be lacking. Anyway, I hope you look forward to this book because I’m incredibly happy to finally be working on it!