Well, I scheduled an unexpected stop on my blog because I've had a couple problems getting people to post on time so I thought I would compensate by posting up a semi-rant about the "Diverse Book" craze and why I think Blood Ties fits in in a way that is completely unconventional.
Why Blood Ties is a(n) (unconventionally) “Diverse” Book
With all the talk these days about the infamous and obviously sought after “Diverse Book”, I thought I would talk about why Blood Ties is a genuinely diverse book in the truest sense—in fact in the way people seem to have forgotten the term means. Everyone seems to think “diverse” means stories about gender equality and making sure we don’t insult “popular” minorities and make them feel bad. Well, screw that, because that’s not what a diverse book should be. And I want to make sure you all understand now that I’m not saying my book is better than everyone else’s, I just am trying to get my point across as to what I feel about the “Diverse Book Dilemma”.
To me a “diverse” book is about throwing different people together and seeing them overcome those differences and interact. Showing different races is definitely part of that—you still see (quote) “diverse” books with this theme on occasion, but people seem to forget that EVERY race is diverse, sometimes even ones within the same country or community. I’m not going to go into the races I think are overdone in “diverse” books but I think every race should be treated the same, in fact, calling any one race diverse seems to be more reverse racism than anything in my opinion.
Blood Ties is definitely racially diverse. Yes, they are all Irish people for the most part, but you also have Faeries, and the ongoing war they have been fighting with the Goblins. The book features interactions between the two races, and even budding friendships. You know what else is racially diverse? Lord of the Rings. What is more racially diverse than Humans, Elves, Hobbits and Dwarves having to work together to get to a common goal?
But there’s another thing that I think people need to take into account when they think of “diverse” books. Personality types. With the popularity of figuring out your Myers Briggs’ type these days, I think recognizing different personality types for who they are and accepting that (or hating their guts in good fun) is also a diverse thing. You no longer have to be a psychology major to understand your introverted friend so in a way, the idea of being one of the more “unpopular” personality types that people don’t understand isn’t such a bad thing any more because it’s one of the few actually good things that we ‘socially accept’ anymore. Whenever I go to write a book I make sure there is a diverse cast of personalities because watching people have to work together who might not get along and how they overcome that is something that makes a book and story richer. Within this category, I think putting in things about mental diseases or psychological wounds, is also something we need to recognize. And again, not the normal ones that we see all the time because they have ‘awareness days’ and world-wide committees that raise money for the awareness thereof. Things like depression, PTSD, and other things of the sort that are almost taboo to think of as actual ‘problems’ and yet need so much more support than half these other ‘mental diseases’. (But that’s another rant I won’t get into.)
So that’s what Blood Ties has, and this is what I look for in a diverse book. Because “diverse” books are no longer “diverse” because they are all about the same bloody things. Let’s try to promote diverse books to be genuinely diverse again by writing stories simply about different people. Nothing drastic, and certainly nothing that will result in a soap box shoved down your readers’ throats, just pleasantly diverse.
Warning: Flaming comments will be doused with the Sacred Waters of Sarcasm—we all have our opinions.