I've added another feather to my cap:
Book Diversity & Sensitivity Matchmaker
(And yes, that's BDSM for short. Cut me some slack...I write romance!!)
Here's your chance to weigh-in on ficticious characters that might be a little 'one-dimensional.' I've just launched a matchmaking service that connects authors with readers who want to help them create more dynamic, diverse characters, along with being mindful and sensitive to those who aren't like them. It could be as simple as helping out a male author writing a female character, or an able-bodied author writing as a blind person. Maybe a white woman wants to authentically write about a woman of color, or maybe a Mormon author is writing a Muslim character and wants to get it perfect. You get the idea. The combinations are limitless, which is why everyone is encouraged to take part in this all-inclusive project and have their voices heard.
Writing fiction often means pretending to be someone you're not.
That means authors have to imagine what life might be like as someone who has a different gender, a different religion, a different color, a different sexuality, or a different physical or mental ability as what they were born with. For some lucky authors, they can run ideas past a friend who fits the bill. But the reality is that not everyone has as diverse of a group of friends as the cast of Sense8.
I'm looking for readers who are interested in helping authors be sensitive, respectful, and mindful of people who aren't like them; readers who can tactfully point out clichés and stereotypes. I'm looking for readers who can turn a faux-pas into a teachable moment, and readers who want their life experience to help refine a book's rough edges before it's released. I'm looking for readers who understand that the authors I feature are actively trying to make a positive change in the world.
As of now I only have one rule: be respectful and be a good sport. I know this is a super touchy subject and feet will get stepped on. This is why it's so important that readers and authors alike are open to learning from mistakes and moving forward. If an author completely misses the mark, please don't jump down their throat. Give them a chance to consider your perspective. And likewise, if a reader makes you super-defensive about your book, try waiting 24 hours before responding to their feedback. Intolerance of each other will not be tolerated. If this group gets too intense for some folks, I'll just remove them from it.
Because I'm doing this for myself and my author colleagues, the books I offer will come from all different genres and tackle a wide range of issues. There is ZERO obligation to read everything or anything that comes along. On the flip-side, authors have ZERO obligation to adopt your suggestions. They can pick and choose what advice to take. Readers can pick and choose what books to read, and simply ignore the ones that don't grab their attention.
This is a personal project of mine; connecting authors who want to make a difference to readers who want their voices heard. If it goes horrendously off the rails then I'll shut it down. But I'm an optimist, so let's see how it goes! Currently there is no payment or financial compensation involved -- the reward is that we are actively contributing to a more tolerant, accepting, & open-minded society. After all, life imitates art. Now that's a cliché I embrace.
So let's make some great art together, and let's make a difference in the world!
Interested in having your voice being heard? Sign up HERE and I'll only contact you when a book is available.