I was excited to have my novel nominated for an Indiana Authors Award this year. Since I didn’t win this round, of course I had to pick up a copy of the winning book in the Genre Fiction category, a graphic novel titled Hollow Heart. I was thrilled to see it described as “A queer monster love story about the choices we make between giving our loved ones what they want and giving them what we think they need.”
El is a test subject in a lab, created from human tissue and machinery. He keeps trying to escape, even though he knows that means he would probably die. He’s tired of all the pain and loneliness and captivity. And then a mechanic named Mateo arrives to work on his suit, and as they form a connection, they devise an escape plan. But are they really escaping, or are they just changing locations?
The vast majority of the characters in this graphic are queer, and I absolutely love that. Even the bad guys, because queer people don’t always have to be perfect citizens. And I love that the words to this story came out of the brain of someone who lives here in Indy. It’s easy to get frustrated that people either think of my home and chosen city as a nowhere type of place, or that the main news we make is when one of our elected officials does or says something awful (which is…uncomfortably often). But there are so many good things here, so many creative people, and I’m glad to be the smallest part of that community.