If white people want to include POC's in their stories I expect them to do some research, talk to some people, and find out what they do not know.
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I want the stories we tell to have diversity. So, it bothers me when writers are told they cannot write characters that do not look like them. I believe a writer should be able to write any character as long as the portrayal is genuine. If a writer's characters are created from oversimplifications and delusions, people will criticize and denounce that work. I think we correct this arrogant way of writing by speaking to the falsehoods we read and allowing writers to learn and make changes. I want to read a love story about a couple falling in love and the man is deaf. This does not mean I expect the author to be deaf. I expect the story to depict a deaf man's life.
It doesn’t matter what color we are, our sexual orientation, our gender (or non-gender), we writers are similar in our experiences. I am sure most writers go through the same thing I do. I create characters and worlds from the ideas in my head. Then I create outlines and write my story down (some writers tell their story with no outline). I read my story and think, this is shit. Then, I start to doubt myself and I get this overwhelming urge to stop writing.
I love the moment an idea sparks. I especially love hearing how it happened. How someone’s mind works, or what unusual thing spurred the creation of a book, song or any other form of expression that touches peoples’ lives or fills a need for its creator. More, I love brainstorming ideas with other creatives – what could be the start of a character, a story, a universe, or whatever and seeing where it goes.
Every indie author faces the challenge of balancing the grind daily life — whether that is working a day job to pay the bills, wrangling with the demands of young children, or just maintaining an actual social life — with the incessant drive to write, edit, and publish our work. Every book we publish requires sacrifice — of the blood, sweat, and tears it took to write it; of the time away from our friends and families; and of critical resources that could often be used elsewhere. These are all sacrifices that are part of almost every indie author’s writing journey and ones that we recognize as part of the Faustian bargain of balancing on knife’s edge in order to put our dreams and hopes out in to the world in a tangible manner for all to read.
I always thought I was going to publish traditionally because that is what I thought everyone did. You sent out your manuscript, you got hundreds of rejection letters and then someone realized what a masterpiece you have written and said “We will publish your book; here is a check.” Self-publishing was not even a choice I thought about. When I had the idea for my novel, self-publishing was just getting started, I barely understood self-publishing and what I did understand made me think people put out books that looked like pamphlets and not actual books. Then I started doing research.
April 2020 marked the launched of the international Indie Book Cover Competition hosted by crime mystery author, Samantha Goodwin. Over 198 indie authors from across the world entered the contest and a voting team of over 50 people, including authors, designers and book bloggers, selected the longlist. Over 1,800 votes were then cast during public voting on social media to eventually crown a winner.