Top 10 Alaya Dawn Johnson Quotes of 2020

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“The big, defining feature of Palmares Tres government is its system of summer kings. The idea is that women ‘Aunties’ rule, led by a queen with a term limit of 10 years. Men aren’t entirely shut out from this system – in fact, they have one of the most important roles in the government – but it’s strictly delimited.”

― Alaya Dawn Johnson

“Palmares Tres is a society born out of a distinct, idiosyncratic utopian vision formed in the midst of an apocalypse. I would say the residents of Palmares Tres respect the strength of that history and their remarkable ability to rise from the ashes of the old world.”

― Alaya Dawn Johnson

“I was thinking about vampires and, specifically, about what makes vampires a romantic trope: about what people like about not just vampires but supernaturally long-lived creatures in general, which is a thing that shows up in probably fifty to sixty percent of paranormal romances… And then, for some reason, I decided to reverse it.”

― Alaya Dawn Johnson

“In the publishing sense, ‘urban fantasy’ does not mean ‘black,’ and that’s pretty ironic, considering that it’s a euphemism everywhere else. It would be great to get that back.”

― Alaya Dawn Johnson

“Very early on in the process of trying to sell ‘The Summer Prince,’ I was told, ‘Slavery seems to be very important to this society – is that on purpose?’ Well, duh.”

― Alaya Dawn Johnson

“The trajectory of a lot of black lives in the 20th century was people moving into cities. A lot of the issue with modern urban fantasy is that it’s un-diverse, and that’s crazy with what we know the history of cities here to be.”

― Alaya Dawn Johnson

“There are people with an explicit political bent complaining about people having political agendas while nominating stories with political agendas. Is it political to try to be diverse? Is it political to try to imagine a non-heteronormative society? Yes, because it involves politics. But how do they expect us to not write about our lives?”

― Alaya Dawn Johnson

“The old fiction room at my high school was a small box of wonders, and no matter how long I spent investigating its seven and a half overstuffed shelves, I never stopped discovering treasures.”

― Alaya Dawn Johnson

“I’ve come to think of Dunnett as the literary equivalent of the Velvet Underground; Not many people bought the books, but everyone who did wrote a novel.”

― Alaya Dawn Johnson

“The hours I spent attempting to decipher some of Dunnett’s more oblique passages opened me to the possibilities of romantic storytelling.”

― Alaya Dawn Johnson
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