Why do I write?
All my life, I have always loved creating stories, whether in my head or in my notebook, I have always enjoyed creating what-if scenarios especially to help me sleep. As I try going to sleep, my mind is always filled with so many frantic things, that in order for me to fall asleep, I have to create a story for myself to focus on and eventually fall asleep.
As I got older, I could expand on my stories and characters. Instead of talking animals, I could cooperate people in my stories, using dialogue and tone that I heard from real life. I could create borders and challenges for my characters to overcome. I could create a vivid world filled with aesthetic detail such as the color, texture, and smell of the world.
Almost every week, I come up with story ideas, and because I can’t write as fast as I would like, I have a long list of story ideas. Of what if scenarios, bizarre situations, weird characters that jump right from the page. And once I start a story, once I go past the first couple of chapters or pages, I become invested in the characters. The characters become me and my best friend, and because I gave them a difficult challenge, I cannot just ignore them forever. I can’t just have them be stuck in this non-reality, yet realistic world I have created. I have to see their stories end, I have to see them defeat the bad guy, to make a mark in the world, to get back the love of their life. My writing can be a blessing, but it can also be a curse as I am addicted to it. I am addicted to feel of creating a world where you are in control.
What inspired me to write Rainbow Plague?
Some stories come out of nowhere. Some are inspired by other works of art. This young adult novel in particular came from my history, it came from seeing how far politicians can go in the dark side to get what they want, it came from thinking of a what-if scenario. . .
I am bisexual, and it took me a long time to truly figure that out about myself. It takes courage to get out of your comfort zone, and I truly realized that in my low self-esteemed mind and body, I have an inner strength inside me. It helped me go to the Pride March of 2019 in New York City with a girl I was dating. We held hands, kissed in front of strangers, heard the cheers of many supporters, had wet sponges with rainbow paint streaked across our arms. Of course, there were anti-protesters in the distance, with their cardboard signs and red ink that said: “homos go to hell.”
This is not a perfect world, this is a world of hate and cruelty. Why, though, why do people have to specifically interfere with our love? Why is it a crime in their minds? Why is it sinful? Love is a mystical force in this world that is fluid. It is not a solid thing that points from one man to one woman. It is something that can stretch anywhere, between anyone, between two people and between thousands of people. Of course, though, people are going to hate. And hate even more, we have a president that uses hate and anger to get what he wants. We have a vice president who is actively against the LGBT+ community.
And as I was falling asleep, listening to the cheers still going on from outside of the march late at night, I was thinking, what if, what if, what if mike pence was president? We have seen what the presidency can do, we have seen families torn apart at the borders at Mexico and the U.S. We've seen the harsh tweets. We have heard through the news about innocent black people jailed and given time for tiny-tiny crimes—or no crimes at all.
The world is a hectic, destructive, place, and I decided to write a story of something that will probably never happen, but it could happen. And I hope that it can inform people how close we are to the impossible. We may be in our safe bubbles one day, but the next day we can be attacked.
And “Rainbow Plague” was born.
Why am I the one to write Rainbow Plague?
I am the one to write “Rainbow Plague” because I have always loved young adult. My librarian in Middle School would recommend me titles that I might like and it would always take a week to finish each book. I could always connect with young adult books, but not to the full extent. Because most young adult has been written by already aged adults, those that were teenagers way past my time. Yes, all teenagers have a bunch of stuff in common. But the “teenager of yesterday” is not the same as the “teenager of today.” I am an adult, but it just has been four years since I was a teenager. And when I started writing this book it had been three years since I was a teenager. I am the closest in age to the modern teenager of today that would pick up a young adult book and enjoy it fully. I am also a “young adult”, and I can best connect to others like me. I am a biracial member of the LGBT community writing about a biracial, gay girl. She is half Korean, half white—like me. Where else can you find a biracial, bisexual writer who has recently left her teenage years? This book is my heart and soul, and I resonate with the main character so much that I really am the best to tell this kind of story, this story of a teenager going through the worst imaginable but also having to deal with her inner, complicated self, as well.