Gracias Archelina Sportsman Morandus, my great-grandmother, was the reason I wrote a vampire novel. Born in 1883 to an Ioway Indian horse trainer and an African-American New Englander, Gracias, moved with her mother back east after her father died.
There, still a child, Gracias was married off to a Wampanoag. Living with her in an African American neighborhood of Boston until I was 22 years old I came to understand what it meant to live on the complexity of the margins. I admired how she stood in two worlds when the 'one-drop' rule about Negro ancestry still held sway and way before the term 'bi-racial' was coined...
Read the rest on AOL's Black Voices.
Everyone who reads my work knows how much cross-fertilization and interconnectedness mean to me. Whether I'm writing about vampires, ghosts, the Oscars, Barbra Streisand or my favorite Mexican restaurant how these things all connect to make us who we are is the key to living for me. So I'm really excited that Red Room connected me with AOL so I can talk about this stuff on a bunch of platforms. I also love that some folks who have not read Red Room will now visit us here too. It is all about the audience...or mostly!