Open Discussion – Christian Diverse Fiction Touching on Contemporary Issues

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Happy Saturday, everyone! Lately with all the chatter about race and diversity in the news, it reminds me of the continued importance of not only having diverse characters in Christian fiction but also in responding to racism and other contemporary issues through a Christian lens.

Our question for today is: What are the pros and cons of touching on contemporary issues through diverse Christian fiction? Where have you seen it done well (please name books/authors)? What contemporary issues would you like to see covered in Christian fiction?

We very much appreciate hearing from you! Please comment below!

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Open Discussion – Missing Diversity in Sub Genres

Happy Saturday, Diverse Reader Friends!

Thanks for hanging with us at Diversity today. I’m sorry we didn’t have a discussion post the last two Saturdays. My brain took a hiatus. 😉 Thankfully, it’s back and I have a new topic to talk about.

Here’s the question: where are all the diverse characters in genres other than romance? I’m talking genres like Speculative fiction (which encompasses sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian, etc.), mystery, historical, suspense, thrillers, young adults?

We’ve featured some authors who write in the historical genre and I’m thankful for them. Nothing bothers me more than the absent of people of color from historical times. But I rarely see ethnic main characters in these other genres. Have you?

What can we do to get more diverse characters in these genres? If you’ve read a Christian fiction book in these sub categories that lead with an ethnic character, give the book a shout out!

 

Open Discussion – Is Change Coming?

Happy Saturday, Diverse Reader Friends!

Did you have a blessed week? I hope so! I’m happy because I get to talk diversity. What I want to explore is the question “is change coming?”

As I’ve been interacting around the bookish world in social media, I’ve noticed more and more conversations about diversity. And I promise I’m not always the ones starting these conversations. 😉

So is change coming? Do readers finally want to see diverse characters? Are publishers ready to market diverse Christian fiction?

Share an instant where you’ve noticed change or started change. Together, we can make a global impact!

Open Discussion – Diverse Setting

Happy Saturday, Diverse Reader Friends!

I hope you had an awesome week. I’ve been mulling over potential topics all week and finally, I settled on one.

Y’all, this one is something that falls into stereotypes, yet has truth with it. And isn’t that the problem with stereotypes? Which leads me to the question: what is the appropriate setting for people of color characters?

I think some people believe ethnically diverse characters can only appear in books where the setting itself is diverse. You know places like, Chicago, D.C., New York, etc. But in some genres small-town places are the ticket, and you don’t always imagine people of color in them.

Does that mean you can’t place them there? Let’s face it, there are small towns in the US devoid of diversity. It’s not a stereotype, it’s a fact and if a reader can’t imagine people of color in those locations, it’s not a big surprise.

Still, sometimes the problem is with the reader. My first book, A Life to Live, was set in Nottingham, England. I actually had a person of color complain in their review that Black people weren’t in England.

But isn’t that what diversity is about? Showing the world what’s real? Widening ones’ knowledge of places?

Nevertheless, I questioned my choice, even though I’ve been to England. Met my husband in England and saw other people of color there. After a brief time, I decided to choose more obscure places. Could you imagine a book where people of color were in Montana? Because the assumption is there are no people of color there, right? Well in my novellete in A Spring of Weddings collection, that’s exactly what I did.

The great thing about books is they widen our perspective. Loose the scales over our eyes. Setting is just as important in the diversity discussion as the people we’re portraying.

Let’s open the discussion. Authors: what is the unusual setting you’ve placed people of color in? Did you fear reader backlash?

Readers: What’s the most interesting setting you’ve read that featured people of color? Was it unbelievable or did it give you a deeper perspective?


Discussion written by Toni Shiloh

Open Discussion – Who Writes Diverse Christian fiction?

Happy Saturday, friends!!

Thanks for stopping by Diversity Between the Pages. Today, I wanted to share a list of authors who write ethnically diverse Christian fiction. Some of these authors write other books as well, so if you’re looking for just diverse fiction take note. I’m only including a few authors for brevity’s sake, so please, if you know of an author or two (or more), please add them in the comments.

Also, remember to check out our Diverse Book Recommendations page. You can click on the cover to go to Amazon and learn more.

  • Piper Huguley
  • Connie Almony
  • Alana Terry
  • Stacey Hawkins Adams
  • Allison K. Garcia
  • Ruth Logan Herne
  • Melissa Wardwell
  • Varina Denman
  • Neta Jackson
  • Cynthia Marcarno
  • Nadine Keels
  • Tessa Afshar
  • Kim Cash Tate
  • Michelle Stimpson

Open Discussion – Stereotypes

Happy Saturday, Diverse Readers!

I hope you’re having a good week. I’m happy to quick off the weekend with a new open discussion topic. Let’s talk stereotypes.

Every ethnic group has them. Some were created based off the majority and some are perpetuated by the media.

So what’s a writer to do when writing ethnic characters? Do we use stereotypes when writing a character? And if we do, does it help or hurt our stories?

I’m personally found of seeing authors write stereotypes in order to dispel them and open the readers eyes. Unfortunately, not every writer uses them this way. So please, chime in! What stereotypes are you tired of seeing in writing? And please share any tips for authors, so that they can avoid using them.

Open Discussion – First Diverse CF Read

Happy Saturday, y’all! I pray you had an awesome week of reading and relaxing. If not, that’s what the weekend’s for. 😉

Before I move on to the discussion topic, I just want to recap our blog post from this week. Monday, Terri interviewed Leslie Sherrod. Wednesday, Jamie shared a book spotlight for Sushi for One. Friday, I shared a review for Signs of Life. Now on to today’s topic!

Today, I thought I’d be real informal. I want to hear from you! Share when you first realized that Christian fiction was lacking in diversity AND share the first diverse book you read.

I’ll be honest, I don’t think I really “noticed” because I’m used to not seeing diverse characters. It’s one reason I’m so passionate about writing them. I do remember my first diverse read. It was Ronie Kendig’s Firethorn. (Author Interview here.) Never have I been so happy to see a book cover with a Black man on it.

Your turn!


Post by Toni Shiloh

Open discussion- Racial slurs: Are they necessary?

Happy Saturday, folks! I pray that your week was awesome. We had a good week here at Diversity Between the Pages. On Monday, we shared an author interview with Bonnie Engstrom; Wednesday, Jamie shared a book spotlight for one of Lynn Austin’s books; and Friday, Katie shared a review of The Bedwarmer’s Son. So you know what that means…yep, open discussion time!

Today’s question is a touchy one, so please be on your p’s and q’s. I want to ask if racial slurs in historical fiction (or any genre really) are ever necessary?

We all know that Mark Twain used racial slurs in his novels. I’ve heard the disclaimers that it was realistic for that time. I’ve also seen reprints or adaptions that have removed all derogatory slurs.

So what say you? Do racial slurs add authenticity to a work of fiction or is it adding to the dissension between minorities and majority ethnicities? Also, is it worse when written by a majority race versus a person from that ethnic background?


Open discussion post by Toni Shiloh

Open Discussion – What is Appropriation?

Happy Saturday, folks! Hope you’re weekend is off to a great start.

For today’s open discussion topic, I wanted to discuss the subject of appropriation. You see the phrase tossed around a lot in the book world, especially when it comes to writing poc (people of color).

In case you’re not familiar with the term, it basically means taking something and using it for your own gain. There are some people in the Black community who feel that white R&B singers have appropriated the R&B culture and used it for their own gain. That also goes for non-minorities wearing cornrows (braid style), dreadlocks, singing Blues and other music attributed to the Black community.

(As I am Black, I’m not sure if other minority groups feel the same way. If so, please chime in.)

Anyway, I want to ask the question, when do you decide that a non-minority writer is appropriating poc’s culture for their gain in hopes to achieve literary success? What makes a story written by a Caucasian labeled appropriated material versus admiring them for adding diversity?

I can’t wait to hear (read) your thoughts on the subject!


Discussion written by Toni Shiloh

Open Discussion: Where can you get diverse fiction published?

Happy Saturday, y’all!

Thanks for joining me as we settle down for another open discussion. One common question I’ve seen across social media is where can you get ethnically diverse Christian fiction published?

Readers are clamoring for fiction that fits their lives. Not everyone around them looks like they do, experiences the same life issues they do, etc. Yet, their fiction usually focuses on the same theme, a Caucasian who lives in a small-town.

A lot of ethnic authors are Indie (independently/self-publishing) publishing their works. Each has their own reason, but some Indie publish, because no one will take their ethnically diverse characters.

So, if you know of an agent or publishing company (small press, big press, etc.) who wants diversity, leave a comment and help an author out. 🙂

But, before you go, since this is an open discussion, tell me, what do you think publishers should do to change the market to be open to everyone regardless of race?