Self-publishing my novel Palace of the Blue Butterfly was one little way of speaking truth to power. The novel tells the story of an older woman who longs for some kind of transformation. There is romance but not on the man’s terms. It explores the terrible period of McCarthyism in this country. It does not glorify the very rich, and it refutes the lie that Americans are comfortable perpetuating — that Mexico is a backward country full of desperately poor campesinos and drug lords.
When the powerful in my little world said that the Mexican setting wouldn’t sell, that the love interest couldn’t be Mexican, that my protagonist was too old, I could have remained silent. I did not. While there was no gun . . .