As a writer, I’m always trying to be better. By better I mean a better writer, sure, but I also mean just better in general. The job of a writer isn’t just to write words, but to be interesting, funny, engaging and to say things that are somewhat important. Or maybe that is just how I view writing from my view of this windmill from this hill here, I’m not really sure yet. I’ve always felt that being a writer is an important job, though, which is why I’m doing it.

It’s hard not to feel like there is a lot of divide out there in the world and sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of things that I want to express to the world. I want people to not only be aware of these things that I find important, but to read my stories and walk away feeling empowered by them, to feel moved by them. The thing is, I’m still not really perfect at this just yet. My writing improves on a daily basis and hopefully myself as a person is improving as well.

Coming from the wild and wacky world of quasi-sports writing I’ve seen a lot of shitty stuff, like just awful stuff. I’ve seen people with awful, toxic opinions and a chip on their shoulder that other people should know these opinions. One of the big ones is treating women like utter shit, like second class citizens and simple tools for their desires, attractions and everything else. It’s frustrating, to say the least. I’ve always been sympathetic to the cause, but have had problems really expressing it or not falling back to quasi-awful behaviors at times. I can proudly say that I’m better than most and that I do, indeed, try.

So as a writer this is something that is going to come up because, guess what? Women are an important part of telling a story. You can’t just have all dudes in your stories or it tends to be kind of weird and leaves you wondering if women even exist or if reproduction is some sort of osmotic process. In my forthcoming book (which no, I’m not going to tell you the title of just yet) there are a few women characters and they tend to reflect my experiences with women in my life, which is to say, complicated.

I have a marvelous relationship with my wife, but if we are honest about this here, reflecting that kind of thing really isn’t that dramatic or compelling. Stuff like my difficult relationship with my mother, some past relationships that were awful and so on make it into my writing a lot because they help to create texture to the characters. It’s difficult to create some of these female characters and to be aware that they need to be more than just tools to further a plot or flesh out a character, but living, breathing characters in their own right with their own desires and lives.

In this forthcoming book I was aware of a lot of these things, which is something that I can say that I’ve done better since The Godslayer, although I know that I can always do better. When discussing some of the ideas for my next book with Lori the other night, she said, “why can’t that character be a woman?” It was a simple question that when I thought about it for a few seconds, I realized that if I did make that character a woman that the struggles and plot become stronger. It also helps in my quest to be better.

Basically what I’m saying is that my next book will feature a female protagonist because, well, I want to be better, I strive to be better and this is a step in that direction. So stop acting like feminism is a dirty word, alright?