I have started to work my way down my twitter followers list to find authors who would qualify as Own Voices. The past two to three years my blogging has consisted of taking people’s self-promo pitches. I had a lot of fun, but soon I realized that 9/10 authors I was reading were straight white guys.
I’ve tried specifically asking for women authors. I’ve tried asking for Own Voices authors to pitch me their stuff… but, it just doesn’t bring that many people out of the woodwork. The reasons for this are far-reaching, take a lot of nuance and depth to discuss, and I’m just not the ideal person to try and hash those out in a blog post. What I am going to do is to try and be better at seeking out a more diverse reading scope. It takes a tad more effort than spamming twitter with “Gimme all your self-promo!”, but I have a feeling it will be worth it.
I’ll be tagging them and giving them their own category here and I’m hoping to read and review one or two a month.
I’m hoping that my idea for the Own Voices map will pan out eventually. It’s going to take hundreds of hours and it’s about a 60 dollar a month charge to keep the site running. I’m thinking if this series takes off I’ll start working on the map for real instead of just tinkering.
When talking about this before I heard things like
“I also worry that it may discourage people who aren’t part of marginalized groups from including characters of color, lgbtq, disabilities etc in our work”
This isn’t the intention of the Own Voices tag or descriptor of a book. What Own Voices does is let the audience know that this is a story with the main character who is part of a marginalized group, and the author is of the same group. It’s a way for people from said groups to find stories that reflect their own experiences …. and is not meant to restrict other author’s ability to write the characters they want to write about.