Thursday, March 21, 2019

GoodReads Giveaway!

Enter to win an advance copy of A Soul Reclaimed!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Soul Reclaimed by Shayna Grissom

A Soul Reclaimed

by Shayna Grissom

Giveaway ends April 13, 2019.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Thursday, March 7, 2019

PreOrder: A Soul Reclaimed

On Amazon:

(More outlets to be determined!)

Thank you to all the people who have been along for the ride.

If someone told me five years ago that I'd be a business major who's job was a full-time author that makes her money by selling cakes...

Well, not sure what I'd say.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Policing minorities in YA

In the second time this year, a YA novel has been put on hold at the request of the author due to social media blowback. More or less, people were offended and then a pile-on ensued. The authors decided the best course of action was to pull their debuts rather than "cause harm."

The first novel was Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao, and now Kosoko Jackson's A Place for Wolves.

You can read more about these authors Here and Here.

What is this? Why would the writing community go from pushing the controversial envelope to pre-censuring novels?

There is a lot at work here, but in my opinion, it boils down to policing minorities.

Agents and Editors have been demanding diverse authors. It's no coincidence that a Chinese Immigrant and a Black Queer author were targeted. Zhao's book was a six-figure deal, Jackson was a well-established sensitivity reader (someone who looks for discrimination in books), these were people that many would be jealous of.

Once the idea that PoC had written something that could be considered controversial, the mostly-white industry piled on. It's a form of policing PoC. We want them to be seen, but not heard. They can't bring up anything that makes us uncomfortable. Their controversy should end at their label and not what they bring to the table in terms of literacy.

It's not just in the writing community.
Look at what's happening with Ihlan Omar. She was beloved by the Democrats as their token of diversity until she opened her mouth. Now they are quickly working to silence her for bringing up some very uncomfortable, but important discussions.

Our culture wanted to keep minorities in their place. It's not any single individual or for reasons we can place. It's systematic racism that appears in all forms. From concerned colleague to outright racial bias. It's not intentional, but it's there. We are seeing our society attempting to reclaim the power that a few minorities have been given.

Don't believe me? I just wrote a YA book about Hell. I smashed several forms of religion, magic, slavery, child abuse, and murder into a book for an age range of 14 to 19. Did anyone care? Not really. Though if they did, people would champion free speech and all that jazz. They would argue that most YA readers are adults and don't need protecting.

Many in YA Twitter are doing all they can to support the writer's decisions. Others are suggesting it's a problem in this group specifically, but I disagree. I think it's bigger than that.

I'll be the first to admit I've had some tough conversations about how we perceive race and how we include diversity in our society. I propose that even the most 'woke' white people still deal with racial bias and unintentionally work to keep the system in place.

I don't want to see another story of books being pre-censured. I propose we read potentially controversial literature and have discussions about it. They may not be comfortable discussions, but those are the ones we need to have.