Diversity Within Fiction, Are We There Yet? #amwriting #MFRW #diversity

 

When I first started to write it did cross my mind that being a British author, not everyone may connect.  It never bothered me and it still doesn’t  now.  I feel this way as there is a reader out there for every writer, no matter what you write be it dark stuff or light comedy. I’ve come to feel really strongly that writers should not, and can not write to people please. Why? You’ll lose yourself , who you are and what you want to write. I write it how I like it end of.

Over the last twenty four hours I’ve really been thinking about diversity within fiction, this is mainly due to the writing prompt I did on the Ideal  Romance Hero, and  the  guest author post I done with Author Jane Ridson. I was asked ( in the guest post)  how I go about using diverse characters, and what advice I would give to those that shy away from it. To me, diversity is a given, where I’m from in London it’s a melting pot of different cultures  we love diversity this side of the water pretty much, well in London anyway. So it comes natural that I write reflecting what’s around me, and my diverse friends I have. It would be really hard not to.

Last night, I reflected on this point about diversity a little further, when I woke up this morning and read a few  other writer’s POV on the Ideal Romance Hero it occurred to me that my take on Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome  and the ideal romance hero is quite different, which is fine. I don’t mind standing out! One  ( supportive) comment led me to feel that diversity really does need to be embraced, I also had a response to my Beta Reader call from someone who is keen  to be a Beta Reader for me as I’m a different race and gender to them and I’m on  the other side of the world. This is cool really cool. 🙂  But … are we there yet? Do we still have a little work to do with diversity in fiction? There’s a blogger I love his name is Jason Cushman or Opinionated Man to you and I. I’ve said it before he is rather funny, frank, and to the point. He is also rather raw in his take on diversity.  Jason is of Asian descent and embraces it from what I read,  but he does highlight ” the struggle” he’s over in the USA.I thought about Jason, some of his posts I’ve read and his struggles. You should check him out.

I then went to Facebook in search of marketing groups or companies who actually work with writers who feature diverse characters.  I’d like to put my Romance Set in Paradise series in front of some readers who may love and seek a bit of diversity. Also my future work also, as you know I’ll never quit creating diverse characters. Do you know I found none, not one, like not even a choice! I am really surprised. This led me to set up my own group called Black, Asian and Minority Readers and Writers   this is not about segregation it’s more about celebration! Of authors who feature diverse character line ups, and can maybe help support other authors branch into this ( if they want to) without the fear of stereotypes, or stereotyping those they feature,  find readers who want to find  diversity in their fiction, a chance for all writers  regardless of their own race who love, support and read diverse fiction to come together. This includes the gay community also. I have nothing against same sex relationships at all, live and let live is my motto.  I feel like I want to do something from this side of the Atlantic as there are so many in the USA ( FB groups) with this focus on African American writers /fiction, but I see little with a welcome for all minority groups for anyone who would say they are a minority or of some mixed background.  Or am I just not looking hard enough?

So, if you’re an author of an ethnic background, or an author who writes with diversity regardless of your background, or you’d like to try it! Join the group, the link is above. I hope to build a community of support. And readers, marketers and lovers of our diverse work. Because variety is the spice of life.

Tell me, what’s your views on diversity in general?

Kim

 

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20 thoughts on “Diversity Within Fiction, Are We There Yet? #amwriting #MFRW #diversity

  1. Great post. I’m writing diversity into my stories and love it. However I do see why authors looking for success write under different pen names to “fit” their audience…

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    • Morning Marquessa…. that’s BS, yeah I said and I’ll say it again. BS. Pen names are fine, but to do it to write to “fit” I can’t understand. For any other reason but that. Embrace the diversity! Good for you placing emphasis on diversity in your work. I wish you well and don’t ever stop! Kim said so! Think about joining the FB group.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t do FB much but I will think about joining. To each his/her about pen names for writing for different audiences. I can’t say that I would never do it because I have yet to publish and “never” is a big word. My storylines usually have interracial love components and I do it on purpose and with no fanfare. I do find it sad though that certain readers will not read Black authors even if the book characters are non-Black, which is also part of the issue…

        Liked by 1 person

      • A massive part of the issue. And one I find mind boggling. Why should it matter the race of the author, it’s the story surely? In your view why do you think there is this stigma? Do you think there is a stigma?
        Either way I am extremely proud to celebrate diversity and when ( not if) you publish your work, I send positive karma you’ll build a readership of lovers of mixed relationships and anything else you decide to feature. Personally, my characters will always remain diverse from every corner of the world that’s as far as I’ve thought. Heroes and heroines will be of all races and anything in between!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Kim! And yes I’m screaming your name because this topic has been on my mind for a long time. As a black author, I hate being pigeon-holed into stereotypes. My characters are black, white, purple, yellow. I feel no need to write about strictly black characters and have received some blowback for this. But as you have stated perfectly, this world is not a single culture. We live and interact with every nationality, especially here in New York. I refuse to write what others want. Will never happen! Thanks for the wonderful article!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your comment about diversity being seen in the US as a black/white thing is so true. My Alien contact for Idiots series features native American heroes (with a sci fi/time travel twist), and I’ve been surprised that none of the ‘diversity’ sites have picked up on it. I guess it doesn’t fit the kind of diversity they’re looking for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Ed, yeah it’s real sad to hear this. Diversity is more than black and white, here in the UK that’s how we see it it’s inclusive of all minority groups even sexuality. Sure, there is sometimes a focus on race and minority groups are the focus over sexuality but for us it runs deeper than black white. Why do you thik there’s such a difference in the USA and UK or is this opening a can of very large worms?

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  4. As a black British author from London, who is exactly the same age as you, I hear what you’re saying about diversity. I’ve been writing professionally for 3 years and have come across very few authors from the UK who write about diverse characters. We all need to embrace diversity in the 21st century. I’ll definitely be joining your group, Kim. 😊 x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Kim! Stopping in from the Get Social event. I was actually going to leave a comment on a recent post when I saw this one. I’m not an author but I’m a voracious reader of mainly romance and I love and need to see more diversity in the characters. I’m Latina and I actually did get “Why do you read romances that don’t feature Mexicans as the main characters? How can you relate to non-latin characters?”

    This caught me off guard because I actually don’t look to relate to these characters on a racial level but on a human level. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy a Latin character but at the same time, as a reader I don’t want to feel limited to only romances written by or with Latin characters.

    Also, there was an author I talk to on and off who is Caucasian and she was interested in writing a character of a different race but was afraid to offend people. I personally told her that I would not find it offensive if she were to write say, a Mexican character so long as she was realistic about it. I hope she does write the book. I hope more authors don’t feel like they have to cater to the masses and tiptoe around the easily offended.

    Liked by 1 person

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