Sunday, March 1, 2015

DIVERSIFY OUR BOOKS

Behind the scenes this month, we began a hunt for more diversity in our reading. Here's what I can tell you--it exists, it's just not always easy to find, especially if you don't know where to look. I also think that in the past, it's been harder for writers from diverse backgrounds or writing about characters who are homosexual, bisexual, transsexual, or of color to get published; it seems like they were sidelined or told that their ideas wouldn't sell. With more and more writers taking their publishing dreams into their own hands, we're seeing the market open up and readers are finally getting more of what they want. 

Our friend, Kennedy Ryan, helped us out by providing a preliminary list of works if you're looking to try something new. 

Issa Rae - The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl (non-fiction. NYT Bestseller)
Nicki Salcedo - All Beautiful Things
Alyssa Cole - Radio Silence, Agnes Moore's Wild Knight
Ambrielle Kirk - Rugged Riders series
Rebekah Weatherspoon - Treasure
Victoria Smith - The Space Between
Piper Hughley - The Lawyer's Luck
Yvette Hines - Bear's Gold
Fiona Zedde - Bliss (Af-Am/LGBT)
Yolanda Wallace - Rum Spring, The War Within (Af-Am/LGBT)
Lena Matthews - Happily Ever After
BeBe Moore Campbell - 72 Hour Hold, Your Blues Ain't Like Mine
Zora Neale Hurston - Their Eyes Were Watching God
Alice Walker - The Color Purple, Meridian
Toni Morrison - Beloved, The Bluest Eye
K.M. Jackson - Bounce and Creative Hearts series
Rhonda McKnight  -Unbreak My Heart
Pat Simmons -The Keepsake
Belle Calhoune - Heart of A Soldier
Candace Shaw - My Kind of Girl
Sheryl Lister- All of Me
Ann Christopher -Trouble
Keith Thomas Walker- Brick House
Sharon  Cooper -Sin City Temptation; Legal Seduction
Ravi Howard- Driving the King
Seressia Glass - Spice (A Sugar and Spice Novel)
Shelly Ellis - Gibbons Girls series



Prolific With A Great backlist:

Phyllis Bourne
Alisha Rai
Maureen Smith 
Farrah Rochon
Zane 
Beverly Jenkins
Rochelle Alers

There's a hashtag that has gained some momentum #BlackWomenInRomance

RT had a great feature about it:

Also Book Riot (on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr) often features articles on diversity in fiction.

If you follow us on Twitter (@mustreadbooks_), we've been retweeting WeNeedDiverseBooks and there are a TON of blogs on Tumblr making a point to diversify what we see in our reading and promoting the authors who write it.

As Courtney and I come across more great writers who feature POC and characters embracing their sexuality as the norm that we all know it is and should be treated as, we will continue to showcase these and share them with you.

We'd love to hear from you and if we handled this totally wrong, we'd love to know that too.

Happy Reading,
Shelley and Courtney



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