Is “ghost noir” a genre? Apparently it is, and if that’s what Daniel José Older writes, I love it.
I’ve met Daniel and heard him speak twice at Boston area cons in recent years, and I’m happy to say I own autographed copies of both his books of original fiction. I’m even happier to hear he’s got another novel coming out. Gawker has just published an interview with him.
This little excerpt about his approach to creating the world and the characters is probably at least half of why I like his stories so much.
“The concept of an “inbetweener” reads very similarly to the concept of a double-consciousness, like a two worlds lived and perceived experience of people of color. Is that something that you were going for?”
“Oh, absolutely. I was really interested in talking about the experiential level of it and the emotional level of it, more so than trying to create a construct where the living people equal the whites or and the dead people are people of color or vice-versa. That’s not interesting to me, because that’s a very facile way of approaching a larger analogy. More so, I was thinking about my own experience of being half white and half Latino, and sometimes passing for white—being a very light-skinned Latino—but being very aware of what those things mean in moving through my life in the city and my vocation.”
Cultures rubbing against each other – whether its 2 cultures within a story, or the culture of the characters rubbing against the culture of the reader – to me, that’s the most fascinating aspect of worldbuilding.
Who’s your favorite writer for creating cultures that rub against each other in believable ways?