Links: Tuesday, November 12th

November 12, 2013 Links 2

A young Jewish woman with dark hair stands next to an old building and leans against the windowsill while wearing a striped shirt with a solid skirt that reaches her knees. Black & white. 1945

Sala. Ansbach, Germany. 1945
Sala: “I had such a gorgeous head of hair. In the camps as soon as they saw lice on inspection they would shave your hair off. So every night my girlfriends and I would sit in the bunks and pick out lice. None of us wanted to lose our hair. And you know what? Every single one of us who survived walked out of there with a full head.”

Pictures From Poppa – A tumblr of pictures her grandfather took, starting when he shipped out to Germany in 1945 during WWII.

  • Mind the Queue: Privilege, Diversity and Romance by Suleikha Snyder – Snyder’s response to the Brockmann article is spot on. While it’s great to see more white authors writing a wide variety of characters, if it results in the erasure of POC authors, it’s not progress.

    I’m not saying that J.R. Ward shouldn’t have written Lover at Last or Suzanne Brockmann shouldn’t have created Jules Cassidy and Alyssa Locke. I own at least 13 Brockmann titles, and I firmly believe everybody should write everything. We need more of it all. That’s the glory of fiction. But these books don’t exist in a vacuum. Ward wasn’t first; Brockmann wasn’t unique. They were the cheerleaders standing atop a pyramid created by fellow authors and hungry readers. Their books hit because there is an audience out there that wants stories that reflect their experience.

  • If You Can’t Say Anything Nice, Come Sit By Me – She had me at the post title, but I was also relieved to find out someone else isn’t a fan of the Doors.

    Critiques, snarky book reviews, live-tweets like the recent #NobodysBabyButMine hashtag — all these have, over the years, given me that same sweet release. Knowing that I am not alone in rejecting alphahole heroes and humiliated heroines, or in finding a lot of what goes on in paranormal romance super-creepy. (Fated mates? UGH UGH UGH.) And I have given as well as received: I recall in my pre-author days, writing a frustrated and intensely disappointed Goodreads review of one highly anticipated romance. Right up until I deleted that account, every few days would bring a notification that some other Goodreads user had liked that review. Some of them even commented, chiming in with relief: Oh, I hated this one too! I’m so glad you wrote this! I am not alone. I am not crazy. I just did not like this particular book.

  • Ask Us Anything about writing diversity in YA (race, disability, sexual orientation) – Malinda Lo, Corinne Duyvis and K Tempest Bradford hosted an AMA on writing outside your own experience. Good variety of questions.

    We are three authors here to answer your questions about writing diversity. By “diversity” we mean writing about characters who are of color (not white), disabled, and/or LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer).

    Please post your questions about writing diversity! We’re all on very different time zones so responses will come in throughout the day.

  • Translating for Bigots – I can’t remember how I found this, but how could I not click a link so provocatively named? I thought it was an interesting read in light of the common “that’s just the way it was” defense people invoke to defend historical romance’s narrow scope. People often mistake stereotype for fact.

    “Translating Arab women characters is…extremely fraught. Why? Because if you’re a reader of modern Arabic literature, you know that what happens in modern Arabic literature. People date in modern Arabic literature; people have sex in modern Arabic literature; people drink and take drugs. And a lot of times, you will just translate what you find on the page, and you’ll find that reviewers find this peculiar.”

    If a reviewer — who Talib sees as a proxy for the reader — finds an Arab woman not wrapped in ten layers of fabric, forced to marry her cross-eyed cousin, and pushed to the back seat of a car, then, “the reviewer says, ‘What an unrealistic depiction of Arab women.’”

    “There is a hostility in the reader’s mind” to characters who don’t fit particular stereotypes, Talib said.

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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.

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2 Responses to “Links: Tuesday, November 12th”

  1. Roslyn Holcomb

    That last one is very interesting. I was doing a story with a lead who was a black North African Muslim. I have a friend who is an Arab Muslim and I asked her a lot of questions about the character. I was conflicted about the story because she is devout, and that is part of my story conflict. But, of course, there is sex. My friend was like, uh, premarital sex is banned in pretty much every religion and religious folks all over the world do it anyway. Muslims do too. Yes, I felt like an idiot, because it makes perfectly good sense, but I never thought of Muslims having premarital sex.

  2. nu

    Lol, Roslyn, at least you’re honest and earnest in your efforts. Good on you getting a Muslim beta reader and listening to her too.

    Ridley, thanks for the links! Love your links posts!