I was recently interviewed on Lee Wind’s blog about being an agent who’s looking for diverse projects. Lee’s blog is called I’m here. I’m Queer. What the hell do I read? and it’s a veritable gold mine for finding out about LGBTQ+ books and also has interviews with agents looking for all kinds of diverse projects.
Diverse projects. It’s funny, in a way, for me to be using the D-word. It always feels like some kind of code. Don’t get me wrong, I love the #WeNeedDiverseBooks initiative. In case you’ve been living under a rock, let me explain. “Diverse,” in publishing, means books by or featuring LGBTQ people, or things written by or about people of color, or otherwise under-represented people, or by/about people who are disabled or differently abled, or are in some way just different. I’m kind of naive and an idealist hippy type though, because all of that just seems normal to me. I mean, the whole world isn’t the same, right? The human family is made up of a diversity of people. Duh.
But, the thing is that publishing in our country doesn’t really represent the real world. The majority of manuscripts that have made it to becoming a book and being put in bookstores have been about white, straight, able bodied characters. Mostly. And written by white people. None of that is bad. It’s just not representative of how the world is. There are a lot of people who are none of those things. And I don’t know about you, but I’m interested in all kinds of stories. Not to mention how important it is for everyone to be able to find adequate representation of themselves in literature.
So happily things are changing and folks in publishing are trying to “diverse” things up. That’s good.
I’ve been a GLBTQ ally for most of my life, and have sought out and represented GLBTQ authors and projects from my very first baby steps into the publishing world. I’m proud of that. I do wish my client list was more diverse in regard to other measures, especially race and ethnicity, though. I’m working on that. One of the things I’m doing is participating in #DVPit on Twitter tomorrow, spearheaded by Beth Phelan of The Bent Agency. I’m pretty psyched!
To celebrate some of the work of my GLBTQ authors, check back here on the blog all week, because I’ll be giving away books! Tuesday I’m giving away an advanced reader copy of debut author M-E Girard’s Girl Mans Up, which doesn’t come out until September, so this is a hot commodity! And it is great! Wednesday I’m giving away a copy of Bill Konigsberg’s The Porcupine of Truth, and Thursday is Openly Straight. It’s going to be a big gay book party all week here! I hope you’ll join me.