Yesterday I saw a post on Facebook from an artist/author asking for links to books that featured people of color. I thought, oh my book Broken Moon has an Hispanic hero and (one of) his love interest (s) is an African American. I could link that, I thought. Funny thing though, I'd never really thought about that being a 'thing' before; characters being people of color.
Broken Moon's hero, Mannie Romero, Jr., is Hispanic. I grew up in Arizona and I had more friends of Hispanic decent than I did caucasian. When I envisioned the girl he would become interested in I saw a beautiful, long-legged African American girl with an afro (I have a strange admiration for afro's) named, Rain. Was race a choice I made? It didn't feel like it.
In my YA novel, Butterfly and the Moonbeam, one of the heroes is Native American (Dell Kayani) and again, this occurred because of my life. Arizona is home of the Navajo reservation (among many other historical sites), I had friends who lived there. It's part of my influence. I never sat down and said, I'm going to write about characters of color.
Her request for books featuring people of color, and the array of wonderful books that followed, got me to thinking.
Should I start to think more purposefully about the race of my characters? I believe the answer is yes. I realized it is significant that the love triangle in Broken Moon takes place between 3 people of different race (Caucasian, Hispanic and African American). Even thought it happened quite organically, it is something to be valued. The whole, love is universal theme, is a beautiful one. I think romance especially should promote diversity. The world is a colorful palette after all.
Do you consider diversity when you're writing?
I write about: love, fantasy, hate, vampires, jealousy, lust, supernatural, murder, deceit, attraction. And sex.
I write what I like.