Tuesday, December 21, 2010

She's Not The Only One (Female Authors of Color Support One Another)

I am always amazed and impressed by female authors of color willingness to support one another.

At her blog, illustrator Yuyi Morales recommends five great book and other gift pairings. None of the titles are illustrated by Morales. When I saw that, I was like wow, how unselfish is that. I don't think anyone would fault Morales for suggesting one of her own titles, since she has a great body of work and bilingual titles were greatly impacted by the drop in overall book sales.

Yet here is a female artist of color who is giving space to others and she's not the only one.

Author Neesha Meminger second young adult novel, Jazz in Love which was recently released was self published. In a recent blog entry Meminger mentions author L.A. Banks new YA novel Shadow Walker which is also self published.

If there was ever a time for an author to be selfish its when self publishing. Yet, Meminger still made space for another female author of color.

She's not the only one.

Author Carleen Brice, debut novel Orange Mint and Honey (loved it) was published in 2008. She published her second Children of the Waters in 2009. With just two novels, Brice is still relatively new. So no one would blame Brice for promoting her own books. Yet, she still found the time to start White Readers Meet Black Authors, a blog dedicated to promoting African American authors.

Authors Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo started Diversity in YA when they realized they both had Asian inspired YA novels coming out around the same time in 2011

Earlier this year, Malinda Lo and I discovered that we’ll both have Asian-inspired young adult fantasies releasing around the same time in April 2011 (Malinda’s Huntress and my Fury of the Phoenix). We decided this was a wonderful excuse to have a celebration!
After lots of brainstorming, we decided that we would join forces to do a four-city tour in May 2011.

"Lo vs Pon, who will sell more?" Could've easily happened, since for some unknown reason there are never too many similar themed novels with White protagonists but let a story feature characters of color and sometimes two is one too many.

When authors recommend titles other then their own, they run the risk of making readers decide - "Who should I read next?" This is especially true for female authors of color, whose stories don't get the respect or recognition they deserve.

Even though the publishing industry is set up in such a way that female authors could easily being fighting for the little space that is garnered for their stories, there's more of a lets work together attitude.

I know there are more stories of Female authors of Color supporting one another. Please share any you know of and lets see how big

She's not the only one, can get.


Ey Wade said...

I like the idea of promoting others. Though I do promote myself I have mentioned others. This month I started wassailing (caroling) others as a Thirty day share est. As matter of fact I even featured COLOR ONLINE http://wade-inpublishing.blogspot.com/2010/12/here-we-go-wassailing-30-days-of-blog.html

Carleen Brice--http://wade-inpublishing.blogspot.com/2010/11/here-we-go-wassailing-thirty-days-of.html

and many others. Feel free to visit Precious Williams is where I am currently wassailing.

cindy said...

thanks for the shout out! and letting me know neesha's second novel is out. gonna buy it before xmas! loved Shine, Coconut Moon.

i feel i do plenty of self promotion but i indeed love promoting others' books, because there are so many great books (and authors) out there. i think that change through positive action is an amazing thing.

Anonymous said...

love this post, and these authors who are fighting the good fight in a good way.

Kelly said...

I love this post too. I've been helped by so many female authors of color. I try to pay it forward every day by recommending multicultural children's books and promoting the work of authors of color wherever I go. Thank you for the gift of this site. Happy Holidays!

Doret said...

Ey - thank you so much for highlighting Color Online.

Cindy - Your Welcome and it won't be the last time.

And I think you'll like Jazz in Love. I am a few chapters in and its very good so far.

Gbemi - Thanks, I love seeing authors workign together and not against each other as well

Kelly - thanks, paying it forward is the best way to do it