Monday, June 16, 2014

AC Arthur: How diverse is a shapeshifter?

Recently there has been a lot of talk about needing more diverse books in the publishing arena. I’ve read articles that support this movement and some that claim there are already enough diverse books being published. So which side do I take?

Well, since I’ve been writing professionally since 2003 and have published almost 50 books in that time, I have to say that I focus on writing good characters first and foremost. Lately, when I begin to think of my next story, the race of the characters do not immediately come to mind, unless that race happens to be shapeshifter.

In the world of the Shadow Shifters, because these beings originate from the Amazon rainforest, they already have a rich cultural background. This, for me, meant that there would be characters that were of Hispanic origin, as well as some from a more blended bi-racial origin such as, African American and Caucasian, Hispanic and African American, or Hispanic and Caucasian. I even have a character that’s being introduced in the upcoming release, SHIFTER’S CLAIM, that is not only a jaguar shapeshifter, but a mixture of African American and French parents. When I wrote this character, his name is Jacques, I only knew that I wanted a strong, yet emotionally distant man who was loyal to his tribe. I thought about what type of mate he would find and what would be the obstacles to finding that mate. And then, I considered his origin and how I could best tell his story with all these aspects in mind.
I don’t think I need to tell anyone that we live in a very culturally diverse world. You can look around at any point and time and see that for yourself. More importantly, however, is the fact that I believe there are some very talented authors out there with really good stories that include interesting and well-written diverse characters that should definitely have the opportunity to share their work with the world. There should be representatives of what we see in daily life captured in stories that share rich cultures that some may not have any other opportunity to explore.

As for me, I’ll continue writing about shapeshifters even though I’m not sure if the person walking next to me on the street is one or not. J

Would you like to read about these wonderfully diverse shapeshifters? No problem, just post a comment and your name will be entered into a drawing to win signed copies of the first three books in the Shadow Shifters series.

***AC's winner is Leni!  Please email with your mailing details!***


Leni said...

A good story with well developed characters will get me every time. But after reading a great book that had a variety of characters from different social circles, ethnic backgrounds, and several different body types I did seek out more stories like that.
These great stories weren't showcased as much as the ones that didn't have diverse characters.
I'm just glad that I found these stories because it means more books for me to read.

Mary Preston said...

Your last remark makes me feel like I need to be on the lookout when I am out & about. You never know.

Diversity is key.