#WriteInclusively – We Can All Do Better

Yesterday, the news broke on Twitter that SC had been removed as co-host from Query Kombat and Nightmare on Query Street, popular query competitions designed to help win an agent or editor. The reason? His "passion for the Write Inclusively campaign may be unsettling or umcomfortable for people who don't write from the POV of ethnic characters, or who don't portray ethnic characters as 'honestly' as [he] would like." Okay. I'm not going to talk about the decision, as many articulate people have already commented on Twitter. I am going to talk about my personal struggle to write diverse books and why we should strive to do better. I have written before about my difficulties identifying as a queer woman of colour, and about feeling responsibility for writing diverse books. My first novel Binary Witness is shit on diversity. Despite having a female protagonist, it doesn't even pass the Bechdel Test. One of the only queer characters is a victim. There are no prominent...
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Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

Every year, I write a post about my writing and personal progress over the past twelve months and look forward to next year's goals and challenges. For this New Year's Day, I'm going to look at some awesome things that happened in 2014 and pair them up with where I'm taking them in 2015. In 2014, I became a published author I can't shout about this enough, because it fills me with a giddy joy that I've longed for since I was a child. It's been a very steep learning curve, but the process of taking a raw manuscript and making it into a novel with the help of my fantastic editor Deb Nemeth and the rest of the Carina Press team has had such a profound influence on my writing. And then seeing my books out in the world, receiving praise and reviews - even the gut-wrenching negative ones - has been amazing. People have read my words! They paid money to...
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Read What You Don’t Know

In last week's post for the Crime Readers' Association, I encouraged folk to read around the edges - straying into genres where they would not normally roam in anticipation of finding new jewels to discover. Today, I'm looking at you, writers - what have you done to "read around the edges" this year? The old, overused maxim "write what you know" looms large in the mind of the author, but it is fundamentally flawed. It assumes that we are static creatures, incapable of growth or new learning, stuck in some pot of knowledge gained up until the age of eighteen. This is, of course, bullshit. If you want to write what you know, get out there and know it! When I embarked on writing this period fantasy mystery, I knew my Victorian London knowledge was all but absent. So I enrolled on a distance learning course about The Victorian City, I bought and borrowed a few light history books, and I learned. To say that...
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