Author L.M. Davis Discusses Achieving True Literary Diversity!

October 26, 2015 Features & Spotlights, Guest Post 2

lm davis
Hi everyone! Today we have author L.M. Davis discussing what it means to achieve true literary diversity. I hope you all enjoy the post!

About L.M. Davis

L. M. Davis loves great storytelling. She needs nothing more than a good book and a comfy chair to be happy. She was born in the south, raised in the north, and has a few degrees under her belt. She doesn’t like to admit it, but she may have something of a “shifter” fetish. She has finally gotten a cat.  Not the black cat that she imagined, but a ghostly creature with devilish blue eyes.  Her days have become a delicate and constant waltz with this beast who is either her spirit animal or the instrument of her demise.
She is the author of Interlopers:A Shifters Novel, Posers: A Shifters Novel, and skinless.
Find her on Twitter and Instagram @lmdaviswrites.

About the Book

Skinless:  A Novel in III Parts (Part I)Skinless by L.M. Davis
AnCaela Murphy’s body is a ticking bomb that only her mom can defuse. The problem: her mother is missing and presumed taken by the Skinless, bogeymen from Ankh’s home world who have been hunting her and her mother for two years–ever since they fled that world and certain death.
With help from Luca, a boy whose touch confuses and who refuses to back down, Ankh races against time to find her mother before the bomb inside of her detonates, taking her life. Tracking the Skinless across the country, the pair search for her mother and uncover the horrifying truth behind the generations-old war.

Top Ten Ways We Will Know We’ve Achieved True Literary Diversity: A Guest Post by L.M. Davis

I write and think about literary diversity all the time.  As a black woman who writes fantasy, science fiction, and horror, who encounters curious levels of surprise and resistance still, it’s not really something that I can ignore.  As a result, I blog a lot about those thoughts, so today I wanted to do something a little different.  Instead of writing about what diversity means or why we need it, I wanted imagine a world when those arguments would no longer be necessary.   I wanted to think about the world where I wouldn’t have to convince the next person that #WeNeedDiverseBooks and I came up with my Top Ten Countdown to true literary diversity.
Top Ten Ways We Will Know We’ve Achieved True Literary Diversity
10.  No more  #CoverFlip because publishers will create covers that reflect the content of the story rather than pander to the stereotyped desires of a poorly defined segment market.
9.  No more whitewashing, because publishing companies will recognize that readers are interested in good stories, including novels will with cover images of the heroes and heroines of color.
8. Publishing women, authors of color, authors from the LGBTQ community, (etc…and all of the intersections in-between) will be a matter of course rather than a matter of trend.
7.  Writers, reviewers, and readers will be less outraged when stories representing typically marginalized experiences are published and praised.
6.  Bookstores will stop segregating books into “Interest” areas.
5. Until this happens and to make this happen, readers will routinely venture into these sections for the wonderful and universally relatable stories that are housed within them.
4. Writers will be able to write the characters and the worlds they imagine instead of the ones they believe will get them published.
3. Writers, readers, and reviewers will know that a novel about a protagonist of color, a LGBTQ protagonist, a poor protagonist, an immigrant protagonist, and so forth, is not diverse for those reasons.
2.  Because writers, readers, and reviewers will know that there is no standard mode of humanity (i. e. white, male, cis-gendered, wealthy, American, Christian and all of the intersections in between) from which everything else is a deviation.
1. So writers will never hear some version of the phrase “If only the main character were white” again.
What did you think of this post? Let’s discuss in the comments!
shelly sig

2 Responses to “Author L.M. Davis Discusses Achieving True Literary Diversity!”

  1. Lekeisha

    I love this! I agree with everything mentioned here. We need more diverse characters, especially in traditionally published YA books. Not secondary characters either. I’m talking heroes and heroines here.
    Lekeisha recently posted…Earth Girl by Janet EdwardsMy Profile

    • L. M. Davis

      Hi Lakeisha! Thanks for your comment! I agree we need more novels with characters that break the YA mode. We also need more teachers adding those books to their syllabi, librarians pitching those books to readers, book clubs choosing those books for their meetings…etc…. (I just a bit of an activist around these matters :-]). The world I imagine is only possible with change across the board.

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