At the core of most of my schtuff, I guess I’d have to say family dynamics, especially dysfunctional families. Maybe families that are trying really hard to be functional. Single parents. Dead siblings. Poverty.
...well, you read it yourself. Family dynamics are huge: the brothers' relationship in "Tesoro's Magic Bullet" or unresolved issues between the father and son in "The Sub-basement" or even the father and son with absentee mother in "The World in Rubber, Soft and Malleable". Why family dynamics?
I don't know if I've revealed this little tidbit before, but my father died of "complications" related to a brain tumor he developed when I was five. By "complications", I mean the fact that in 1980, when he was diagnosed, radiation was a relatively new treatment for cancer. They bombarded him with radiation, and yeah, it killed the cancer. But his brain started dying, too. You can imagine the changing family dynamics during the following nine years (he died when I was fourteen).
So that probably had a big impact on my life. You think?
I also write about poverty at times. Not about poverty per se, but about characters who aren't social elites. I weary of stories in which all the key characters are professors or princesses or doctors or *ack* writers. You know what? Most people aren't. My characters have worked at meat packing plants, auto parts stores, as secretaries, teachers (duh), custodians, clerks at fishing tackle shops...normal jobs. Not exactly poverty, but definitely with a trend away from high power careers/royalty.
So yeah, that works. There's also the strong inclination toward the unknown. Stranger things happen. I believe in weird. I prefer to watch "average Joes/Josephines" deal with the odd and uncanny than a princess.
I'm quite average, myself. What about you?
Now, I know some of you have come here for NaNoWriMo inspiration. No picture today, I'm afraid, but I do bring you:
(and a friendly reminder to do something unexpected in your novel)