Wednesday, 18 November 2015


Hello, lovely readers! Nothing much to report today, except for some links to some writing I did for American blogs to coincide with the release of DARKNESS HIDDEN over there (in shiny crimson hardback, no less).

The first is an interview with Adventures in YA Publishing in which I take the opportunity to talk about taking responsibility for what you put on the page.

The second is a guest post that I was kindly invited to do by DiversityinYA, on the topic of Judging People By Their Covers.

Something of a theme going on there, I think you'll agree!

And an insight from a writer who has *finally* managed to get her hands on a much-searched-for copy of Chinese Fairytales and Fantasies by Moss Roberts: you can learn more about a culture by reading its fairytales than all its histories, biographies and reference books put together.

Next week: maybe another recipe? Let me know if there's anything else you'd like me to post on, cuties!


Cecilia said...

Hello Zoey!

The first interview is really good, the second actually hit me (and it's on DoYA, wich that I'm literally devouring these days, talk about coincidence).

I'm glad you posted about diversity in books today, since I was looking for a way to ask you about the topic.

Technically speaking, I'm the "standard" (?) and even privileged Italian girl. White, middle-class, good education, straight, from a little city near Milan (meaning no stereotypes/racism about mafia and other things related to the south of the Country). Ok, I'm a practicing Catholic and it's becoming less and less common, but still.

Then I had the idea to wrote a Alternate History Urban fantasy set in NY, "Iraq" and "Istanbul", an AH where the last two are still the Sumerian kingdom and the Roman Empire, who never fell. Most of the friends, the "partner at job as close as a sister" (platonic romance, remember? :P) and the love interest of the heroine are PoC characters, because USA are still the USA and the other country were not whitewashed just because history went different.
I'm doing a ton of historical research for getting the cultures right but I'm still uncomfortable. What about real world readers? Will they perceive as offensive the changes in their history or the literally deletion of their countries? Turkey or Iraq were never born, Native Americans never lost all of their land, and I don't want to hurt someone. It's like I told them "If only magic like this existed, your people would never suffered as they have in our world" or "I didn't want to preserve your home in my work" and sometimes seems cruel.
I'm falling in love with the alternative history and the characters I've created, yes, and the more I study, the more I like the cultures of the real-world Natives, Mesopotamian or romani people, but... I don't know what to do :(

And last (I've almost finished, worry not :P ), the thing I fear the most: supporting chart and love interest are PoC in most of the stories set in that AU, yes, but the main heroines/heroes are all white.
I've checked: bar one bisexual sumerian man and a ancient Greece gay man, every single protagonist is a white, cis, and christian girl.
Is it acceptable or is a more subtle tokenism/racism? Every character has at least one reason to be as she is, that is for contrast to her beloved, her supernatural partner who's a devil (and doesn't like religious people as much as we are supposed to hate and fight them) or because she's the descendant of an ancient noble Italian family.
Any suggestions? :<

Zoë Marriott said...

Cecelia: this is a very involved and interesting question - well, two questions, really - you've offered up here. And they need more space and consideration than they can really get in the comments. So with your permission, I'll quote some of what you say here in my blog next week and make my answer into a blogpost, which will give me the chance to engage with all the issues raised fully. I'll try to get it on the blog probably for Wednesday or Thursday.

Cecilia said...

Oh, absolutely! It would be a great pleasure, quote all you want ^^

And thank you so much :)

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