Today’s guest is Aisha Saeed—an author, mama, lawyer, teacher, and maker and drinker of chai. She is also the Vice President of Strategy for We Need Diverse Books™. While Aisha loves writing about a variety of topics, her main passion lies in channeling her inner teen. Her debut YA novel Written in the Stars will be released in 2015 by Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books. When Aisha isn’t writing or chasing her two little boys, you can find her reading, baking, doodling henna patterns, or daydreaming about eight consecutive hours of sleep.[pullquote]As a member of We Need Diverse Books, and someone who grew up without diverse books that represented me this area is near and dear to my heart and that is why I am sharing it with Writer Unboxed. I wanted to write for Writer Unboxed because this space has been a great source of advice and information on the writing journey and it’s great to give back some of what I’ve learned along the way.[/pullquote]
Writing the Story of your Heart: Even When the Odds Aren’t in Your Favor
In the increasingly competitive world of publishing, it can be very stressful to wonder if you’ll ever see your book in print. It can be tempting to try to boost your odds at getting published by studying what worked well and which book sold millions and trying to emulate it. But as anyone will advise you, chasing trends doesn’t work. Trends come and go and by the time you identify a trend, the moment has passed and some new trend is likely already just around the bend.
There is one “trend” however that has yet to truly take off, and that is stories featuring diverse protagonists. Earlier this year, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) at the University of Wisconsin made the shocking revelation that while the United States is growing increasingly diverse, children’s books are still anything but. In fact, of the over three-thousand books released in 2013, only 7.5 percent of those books contained any diversity at all.
The topic of diversity has received a lot of traction as of late from many organizations including one I’m proud to be a member of, We Need Diverse Books™, and while many are working to change how diverse books are perceived, the [Read more…]