- Jill Sorenson Interviews Suzanne Brockmann, Part II – File this under “Macklemore.” Two white authors discuss writing romance with diverse characters and Brockmann… oh, I just can’t even.
I’m a fiction writer and that’s what fiction writers do.
No, I’m not Alyssa Locke, an African American former Navy sharpshooter FBI agent, but I know what it’s like to walk a mile in her shoes–because I’m a fiction writer.
I’m also not a Navy SEAL–take your pick of the dozens of SEAL heroes I’ve written through the years. But I can imagine the drive and passion it took to go through BUD/S training–because I’m a fiction writer.
Research, willingness to learn, imagination, and empathy–all done with the goal of appropriating other identities.
- HOW TO WRITE WOMEN OF COLOR AND MEN OF COLOR IF YOU ARE WHITE. – I’m not an authority on portrayals of POC, but this looked like good advice on writing characters who are unlike you when you come from a place of privilege.
A colleague of mine was talking to me recently about her misgivings about her capabilities regarding writing Women of Color. She wanted very badly to include several WOC characters in her sci-fantasy series, but she had some concerns about correct portrayal and writing them in a way that wouldn’t instantly piss people off. I told her I would write something about it that might help. So, here we have it: How to write POC without pissing everyone off and doing a horrible job.
- Literary Agents Discuss the Diversity Gap in Publishing – The agents in this piece give me hope and made me facepalm. One agent would say all the right things about working to represent diverse interests, then another says she just trusts good projects to find her and that she doesn’t see agents playing a role in diversification. Still, it’s worth a read.
Literary agents make up a big part of the publishing machine. Most publishers no longer consider unsolicited submissions, so an agent is a must if you even want to get your foot in the door. Each year, agents review many promising manuscripts and portfolios so it is safe to say they have a good sense of who makes up the talent pool of children’s book publishing. So what kind of diversity are agents seeing? Being that the number of diverse books has not increased in the last eighteen years, in order to understand why this problem persists we decided to ask the gatekeepers.
- The Romance Genre Goes Plus-Size At Ellora’s Cave Publishing – EC isn’t my favorite publisher, but it’s hard not to like this move. Let’s hope more publishers follow their lead.
“This year we decided to draw more attention (and hopefully readers) to our Rubenesque writing by releasing ‘Curve Appeal,’ special stories that go out of their way to present a positive image of plus-sized heroines,” said Gorlinsky. “Our hope is that with strides like these, a full-figured (or at least realistic) heroine will start to become the rule, rather than the exception.”
According to Gorlinsky, none of the stories really make the heroine’s size a major plot point; rather, they depict women who are confident and beautiful. They just present plus-size women in a positive way, where she is judged by who she is rather than what she looks like.
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An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.