Author: Shaunta Grimes
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Publication Date: July 2014
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Two
Today, Shaunta Grimes discusses: Writing Diverse Characters and Respecting Their Voice
Writing diverse characters is so important to me. When I was writing Viral Nation, which is set in the near future, where all the people who are left alive in Nevada are gathered together in a walled-off Reno, I looked at the demographics for the state and thought about what kind of diversity would be represented in this population. I did my best to represent a mix of people that might actually be left in this horrible situation.
I wrote a protagonist with autism, because I wanted my son (who is autistic) to have a book to read where he found himself in someone who was having an adventure. I didn’t want to write an autism issue book, although autism plays a big part in the story. It’s not the point of the story.
I was really worried as I was writing and when the first book came out about Clover’s voice sounding authentic. I wanted to represent autism without it taking over the story. I didn’t want Clover to come across as representing the entirety of the autistic experience. This is just her story, and it doesn’t represent all of autism any more than it represents every experience of being a girl or a sister or someone whose parents are either dead or absent.
Diversity is very important to me, and I think that it will be for every book I ever write. It’s hard though, because I’m not a very diverse person myself. I don’t want to appropriate other people’s stories, but it’s my job to be a storyteller at the same time. So, I want to tell those stories with as much respect and authenticity as I can.
Thank you again to Rockstar Book Tours for setting up this blog tour and allowing me to review the book and interview Shaunta!!
Bio: Shaunta Grimes has worked as a substitute teacher, a newspaper reporter, a drug court counselor, and a vintage clothing seller. No matter which direction she strays, however, she always comes back to storytelling. She lives in Reno with her family, where she writes, teaches, and perpetually studies at the University of Nevada. Viral Nation is her debut traditionally-published novel.
How to Connect with Shaunta:
5 finished copies of Rebel Nation are open Internationally! Good luck!
And check out the other awesome blogs on this tour!
6/23/2014- A Book Obsession- Review
6/23/2014- Word Spelunking- Interview
6/24/2014- Reading with ABC- Review
6/24/2014- Pieces of Whimsy- Guest Post
6/25/2014- bookaholics anonymous online- Review
6/25/2014- Fire and Ice- Interview
6/26/2014- Cold Tea and Crumbs- Review
6/26/2014- Such a Novel Idea- Guest Post
6/27/2014- modern-assassin- Review
6/27/2014- Page Turner Blog- Interview
6/30/2014- Buried Under Books- Review
6/30/2014- Bookhounds YA- Guest Post
7/1/2014- The Demon Librarian- Review
7/1/2014- Library of the Seen- Interview
7/2/2014- Crystal in Bookland- Review
7/2/2014- the Windy Pages- Guest Post
7/3/2014- My Dear Bibliophage- Review
7/3/2014- The Book Monsters- Interview
7/4/2014- Books, Bones & Buffy – Review
7/4/2014- Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, and Romance- Guest Post