Lust, is a super spicy romantic story, good for giving you all the feels. But, it’s also something more. In these troubled times, it gives the reader physical and social satisfaction.
POC/ LGBT – Black girl, North African guy, Gay best friend.
Anti-Muslim Sentiment – Karim comes from a Muslim family and has dealt with islamophobia.
Immigrants – Karim is a second-generation American.
Feminism/Women’s rights – Isadora is powerful and respected in politics. She deals with sexism and envy, gets the boy and her dream job, and still stops a coup.
Greedy, sexist politicians – Julian and Peter sexual predators. Willing to use a natural disaster to gain power.
My primary goal as a writer is to write the stories I needed to read in my early to mid-twenties. I want young women to see themselves in relatable characters who show possibilities the readers may have not imagined for themselves.
As an example using Lust, I would love for a 20 year old Latina from the Bronx who grew up with family telling her she couldn’t do x/y/or z, or that bringing home an Arabic boy would never be ok, to see herself in Isadora, a black girl who’s family doesn’t recognize what she has accomplished doing what she loves, and who is not only willing to go after what she wants career-wise, she’s unafraid to enjoy what she finds relationship-wise. I want a Filipino girl who’s really smart, but hides her anxieties and has a huge crush on a black guy she’s just sure would never been interested in her, to think maybe she does have a chance.
Lust is about POC and homosexuals getting things done. Race doesn’t matter (this is why it is not immediately obvious. The characters are just people. They are not their skin or sexual orientation). It’s about the satisfaction that comes when sexual assault is punished. It’s about preparing a plan of attack in the face of an emergency, but using unexpected opportunities as well. It’s about WOMEN deciding when physical intimacy happens and how far it goes – and the men who EXPECT it to be that way. Feminist men are not the exception. And they don’t see themselves as exceptional enough to deserve a cookie for supporting a woman.