A while ago I did a blog post answering the question about writing diverse characters. Among the points that were brought up were creative description of skin color and how people find it unpleasant to be compared to food and the fact that we now add a descriptor to our characters, pointing out when someone is white instead of only mentioning the race for non-white characters. During the discussion, I mentioned that no matter what you do, someone will take offense to it.
Dear Ilona Andrews,
I noticed in your latest book Sapphire Flames that you’ve been describing more characters by their race e.g. “she was a white woman” instead of the typical race neutralish “she had cheeks the color of fresh peaches” or “mocha” or any other food related hue. It’s a small thing but I find the race call-out jarring. It pulls me out of story mode to race identification mode and all the positive and negatives implied. I think it detracts and distracts from your story. But in the end it’s your story, right? But I thought I’d point it out to you.
Loyal member of your BDHPerson with the name that points to African, possibly Yoruba, descent.
I am locking the comments on this post, because I feel that we’ve discussed this before and it’s too easy for this to degenerate into a bashing session without oversight, and we have to work today, so I can’t sit here and monitor it.
The only way to not upset anyone is to write nothing at all. So do the best you can. 🙂 And that’s your PSA for today.