Mark Oshiro’s road to writing Each of Us a Desert took a lot of twists and turns in making it the coming-of-age fantasy novel it is today. Read more about Mark’s journey below!
Each of Us a Desert was born from numerous sources of inspiration. The first seed of an idea sprouted when my twin brother and I were attempting to locate information on our biological father. We were stopped by a border, an invisible line in the sand that has caused so very many people heartbreak, loss, and tragedy. Then, an image sprang to mind: of a young girl fleeing across the desert while something heinous and mysterious pursued her. From there, this novel went through a genre change (again!!!), multiple full rewrites, and countless hours of planning, plotting, and worldbuilding.
It has been the most challenging project I’ve ever written. This is my first significant attempt at fantasy, at creating a world from scratch, at finding parallels to our own existence and drawing them into a fictional realm. Itʼs also the first time I’ve written a novel manuscript in first person, or attempted a framing device as ambitious as this, or decided I would publish some of my poetry. Just like me, this book is A LOT.
However, it is unmistakably me.
Each of Us A Desert is for the queer kids who are isolated in small, rural towns, who feel trapped, who feel like there is a better world out there for them, but they donʼt know how to escape. Itʼs for those who were raised to believe their life was predestined, only to come of age and realize that there is another choice. Itʼs for the weirdos and the freaks and the imperfect and the loud and the selfish and for kids who just want, above all else, the chance to be the narrators of their own story.
Transitioning from contemporary to fantasy is not easy, but what I hope my readers find here, in my second book, is that same attention to detail. The same desire to center queer people of color in a story. The same emotional highs and lows. The same hope that at the end of the day, I’ve told a damn good story.
So, let me tell you one.
I hope you enjoy it.