Diverse Books Are More Important Than Ever

I wrote this short essay one year ago (2015). It sounds so optimistic now, but I’m not deterred.

It’s statistically proven that readers are more empathetic than non-readers. Diverse books have never been more important than right now, which is why I’m not only committed to writing books with strong female and queer protagonists, but also helping other writers get their stories to a larger audience.

I spent a good chunk of my time on this planet running an award-winning PR company. I look forward to lending my knowledge to my fellow writers in the coming months and years. We have big work to do on this planet.

A Few Thoughts From 2015

I love our humanness. The sloppy truth of our wanting and how the universe rushes to meet us when we take one tentative step towards authenticity. I write about the beautiful things that occur as we play in the vast fields of the extraordinary: falling in love, making bad decisions, reaching out for connection, feeling the fear and doing it anyway. I do this through the lens of gender and sexuality because I’m curious and fascinated by the idea that the roles we hold so dear are mostly cultural constructs. We’re human first. Everything else? Details.

I betaed the beginning of the manuscript that I’m submitting with kids from GSAs around the country and received positive feedback. But the hunger for these stories doesn’t stop with queer kids. Last weekend I took the book description and opening pages to my local writer’s critique group, which included a career military guy and an 80-year-old recently widowed woman ready to explore her independence (I’ll have what she’s having). Not only did they laugh in the right places, they wanted more.

I don't share this to demonstrate my mad skills, but rather the “if you build it, they will come” phenomena. Tell a beautiful story with beautiful characters and it resonates, expands. I’ve spent years as a marketing person. I know, with every fiber in my passionate being, that as publishers and booksellers release diverse titles with the marketing exposure the books deserve, the category of queer YA, and all diverse children’s books, will expand beyond its core audience. We are building it. They will come.