We all know these are turbulent times. Whether it's in the States or elsewhere, things are in disarray. Those of us who write know that now is the time to rise up and fight for what we believe in. We all have different areas we want to fight for - equality for women's rights, minority equality, LGBTQIA rights...the list goes on, and so it should.
I, for one, support and will continue to fight for every area. Some may be selective. That selectiveness raises conflict. However, in the grand scheme, we need to realize (or at least in my opinion), that any effort to fight for equality in any area is a person moving in the right direction on something. Yes, we all want to have them fight for all equality, but we need to take every little bit we can get.
Anyway, that all said (and I welcome every opinion, as long as it's respectfully said), I wanted to talk about what privileged writers can do with their writing to help the cause. Granted, we can't take up the mantle of #ownvoices as our own voice, but what we can do is support it in our fiction. Be inclusive of all the wonderful races, religions, sexual orientations, lifestyles, and beliefs in our beautiful world. I would recommend highly getting a sensitivity reader to make sure you have this done with the most considerate hands.
But what if I don't have a multi-cultural/diverse book? I wrote it and it just wasn't there. No problem. There're are more things you can do. Go out and buy books from minority authors. Right reviews on their work. Share it. Heck, if you're published, buddy up with an #ownvoices author and go to a book launch and promote their work as much as you do your own. Consider donating part of your royalties or advance to a chosen charity to help raise funds to fight the good fight. Like one of my amazing friends did. Keely Hutton wrote an amazing book (SOLDIER BOY, available on pre-order), hand-in-hand with a man (Ricky), who lived as a child solider through the LRA in Uganda. She took on his story for him, and donated part of her advance to those suppressed and forgotten child soldiers who Ricky helps rehabilitate. She is helping their cause. Fighting for their equality and human rights.
Anything else you can do? Write about empowered characters. Write about empowering themes. Show the best can come from fighting through the worst. Show that oppression can be overcome - whether in contemporary, fantasy, thriller, or any other genre. Just do what you can.
You could even write a blog post.
Friday, 3 February 2017
A privileged writer - how your fiction can help fight the good fight
Fiona McLaren is a displaced Scot living on the sunny island of Cyprus. She's an author, scriptwriter, and editor. She works alongside Cornerstones Literary Consultancy U.S., and also takes on freelance editorial work. The most important things in her life are her boys, her family, and her partner...and lots and lots of books! She's represented by the wonderful literary agent Maura Kye-Casella at Don Congdon Associates.