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Wednesday 31 August 2016

✉ Into The Light: Into The Dark [2] - Caroline T. Patti

Today author takes over our blog to talk to us about Diversity in YA.  Her latest novel, Into The Light (, Month9Books, LLC., 267 pages), is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance, book two of the Into the Dark series.

“The dialogue is fantastic, the plot well structured, and the action nonstop, and the suspense of who is telling the truth will keep teen readers captivated right through the end. There is just enough introspection to keep readers engaged with the characters, but not too much to keep them away from the fast-paced action.”  —School Library Journal on Into the Dark.

Synopsis | The Series | Author Guest Post | About the Author | Giveaway

Diversity in YA.

I’ve wanted to write something about this topic for a very long time, but I’ve never had the opportunity, or quite frankly, the courage. So, first let me say thank you for giving me this chance.

I feel uncomfortable broaching the topic of diversity in literature because I am a straight, white female. Yes, I’ve been the target of discrimination on occasion for being a woman, but my circumstances don’t even come close to the hardships of others. I should also mention that I am privileged. I grew up in a good neighborhood, went to private school, and my family has money. It’s not like we’re the Gates family or anything, but we’re well taken care of. Because of these things I’ve often wondered if I even have the right to discuss diversity in YA because I worry that the response to me will be: What do you know? What makes you any sort of authority on the subject?

A while back there was a ton of backlash about white males supporting feminist causes because there was the perception that the cause only had validity because a man was talking about it. This worried me greatly. There are so many rules to discussing sensitive topics and that has made me reluctant to speak out because to misstep, I assume, is going to be very easy.

What I do know is that it all boils down to representation. Readers need to feel represented in books. This seems like a simple concept, and yet it is not. In my limited knowledge it seems to me that the authors best suited to address certain subjects/topics/storylines are those with direct knowledge. But what if there aren’t enough authors in the market because they too have suffered from discrimination and underrepresentation? What are we supposed to do then?

It is my goal to learn more about diversity in YA. I’m coming from the knowledge is power mindset because I want to do my part. I don’t want to be an author who only writes about white, straight characters because “that is all I know.” I want readers to feel included and represented because I truly believe that finding a bit of yourself in a book is the greatest gift an author can give a reader.

True, I don’t know what it’s like to walk in a library or bookstore and not be able to find myself on the shelves. I’ve had that luxury, without even thinking about it, my entire life. But what about those who haven’t? What about them? I firmly believe it’s our job as a writing community to really open our eyes to what is on the shelves and what is not. We need to fill the gaps, the holes, and in some cases, the ravines. And we need to do this thoughtfully and carefully with proper research.

Diversity in YA is only a microcosm of much larger problem, and I know I can’t fix it all. But that doesn’t make it okay to sit back in my comfy corner and do nothing either.

Caroline T. Patti

Into The Light
Available NOW!

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