This summer, I joined Twitter and followed several agents. I kept seeing the hashtag “we need diverse books” and/or diverse authors. Some advice I read even said to put your ethnicity into your query as a qualification. But I’m confused about what to do in my particular case. I am African-American and live in the rural South, but my book has nothing to do with my experience of being a minority in the South. Heck, my main character is Caucasian, and only one black person appears in the book at all.
But more and more, I’m seeing beta readers say things like “I will only read diverse books and/or diverse authors,” and I’m confused about where I would fit into all of this….
Yeah, that’s thought provoking. Or I think it should be.
Janet says: This is a really interesting question and I’m not sure if there is one answer, let alone a right answer. … I think right now I’d be more likely to look at something if the author wasn’t white, simply because I want publishing to look more like my neighborhood and less like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir….But it feels weird to me to tell you to list your ethnicity, because I certainly would not tell a writer to say they are Caucasian. Yet, my own desire to have more writers of color seems to mean you should.
Click through to read the rest of the post and the comment thread. The person who posed the initial comment does show up in the comments, whereupon you will learn that she has written a paranormal zombie novel. Hah. That certainly does suggest the story may not draw too extensively on the personal experiences of the author.