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I wasn't trying to work out my own ancestry. I was trying to get people to feel slavery. I was trying to get across the kind of emotional and psychological stones that slavery threw at people.
I was raised Baptist, and I like the fact that I got my conscience installed early.
I was attracted to science fiction because it was so wide open. I was able to do anything and there were no walls to hem you in and there was no human condition that you were stopped from examining.
I talked to members of my family, and did some personal research that didn't really have anything to do with the time and place I was writing about, but that gave me a feeling of the experience of being black in a time and place where it was very difficult to be black.
I recognize we will pay more attention when we have different leadership.
I just knew there were stories I wanted to tell.
I have a huge and savage conscience that won't let me get away with things.
I began reading science fiction before I was 12 and started writing science fiction around the same time.
Here I was into astronomy, and here into anthropology, and there I go into geology. It was much more fun to be able to research and write about whatever I wanted to.
Fantasy is totally wide open; all you really have to do is follow the rules you've set. But if you're writing about science, you have to first learn what you're writing about.
But my problem with fantasy, and horror, and related genres, is that sometimes the problems are illogical.
And I have this little litany of things they can do. And the first one, of course, is to write - every day, no excuses. It's so easy to make excuses. Even professional writers have days when they'd rather clean the toilet than do the writing.
And by the way, I wanted to point out that Kindred is not science fiction. You'll note there's no science in it. It's a kind of grim fantasy.
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