• beernutnorman

Diversity in your author choice can lead to good results

I don’t know why, but sometime last year near the beginning of my COVID-inspired life change to a hermit, it hit me – nearly every book I read was by someone like me.

Nearly everything I read was by white men. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but for the most part white men were the most-well-known authors in my favorite genres – horror and Revolutionary War-era non-fiction.

I felt it was important to branch out and to seek out authors who were different than me – women, men and women of color, LGBQTIA.

There’s a simple reason why – people who grew up with different backgrounds are going to see things differently. My life experiences are going to be much different than a white woman’s life experiences will be and there’s will be much different than a Latino man’s experiences, whose experiences will be much different than a trans-gendered woman’s experiences.

And that’s important. How someone experienced life will leave them with a different view on the world and that will change how the world that exists in their horror fiction will be depicted. It will color their view of the world and that will show through in their writing.

This has been extremely satisfying to me as a reader. I’ve discovered some wonderful authors I may never have heard of if I didn’t make the effort. Authors like Gwendolyn Kiste (Rust Maidens), Hailey Piper (Benny Rose, the Cannibal King), P. Djèlí Clark (Ring Shout), V. Castro (Goddess of Filth), S.H. Cooper (The Festering Ones),

Mona Awad (Bunny) and Sonora Taylor (Seeing Things) are some that pop up in my head but there are many others.

This isn’t to say that white men can’t write or should be avoided. That’s definitely not the case, some of my favorite authors are white men – Grady Hendrix and Harlan Coben (not horror, but love his stuff) – among them. I’m just saying by seeking out people who are different from you can give you a different angle on horror and leave you satisfied as a reader.

A fantastic source to find female writers and other is Fright Girls Summer. It’s a fantastic website with a lot of resources. I also just began following authors on social media such as Twitter and Good Reads. I find that authors tend to speak and promote other authors fairly regularly.

It’s good to step out of your comfort zone sometimes. Give it a try. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

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