Hello my wonderful “Shelfers”, we have another fantastic guest post to share with you today! GP Ching author of The Soulkeepers and it’s sequel Weaving Destiny, is here with us as part of a fantastic Blog Tour to help promote that sequel!
We will have a review of it up later this week, but until then enjoy this Guest post about why GP writes Ethnically Diverse Characters. And check out the bottom of the post for a chance to win a fantastic prize pack from her!!!
Why I write multicultural characters
Several years ago, I first heard the phrase "Browning of America." Taken broadly, it means that for various reasons America is going through a shift in demographics from having a majority of its population identified as white and tracing their ancestry to Europe to a more diverse majority. While I am Caucasian, I've always thought this change was a good thing. Diversity brings with it new strengths, new ways of thinking, and ultimately, in my opinion, innovation.
The truth is most of us are mutts. Yes, I'm white, but my ancestors were German, French, and Czechoslovakian. Those are vastly different cultures and given the time period when the mix was taking place, a fairly extraordinary coupling. With modern technology, our world is small and there are less and less people that define themselves firmly within one cultural group.
My husband's father was Asian and his mother was Irish. We always thought my father-in-law was Chinese until he died and we learned he was actually Korean, adopted by a Chinese family. My husband, who looks white, grew up in the predominantly Asian culture of Hawaii and experienced various levels of inclusion among different ethnic groups. His acceptance has varied widely by his geographical residence.
It's no surprise that the character of Jacob in The Soulkeepers, half Chinese and half German, was inspired by my husband. But Malini's character is equally diverse, not ethnically but culturally. Yes she's East Indian but her family is culturally American and she's Christian, a religious minority among her race. The characters are complex, both identifying with their roots and the contemporary expectations of their peers.
In a story about the battle between good and evil, I think it's more than appropriate that the characters involved struggle with issues of race, culture, and acceptance. Just like each of us have the capacity to be either good or evil, the reader can see the events in the story through the lens of Jacob and Malini's heritage.
For example, when most of us think of stealing, we would judge someone who took medicine for a sick child less harshly than someone who had the money to buy a shirt but stole it anyway. We process the morality of the event through a lens of the person's motivations and personal situation. In Weaving Destiny, Malini's reaction to the supernatural events in her life is rooted in the realities of her past. Her parents came to America to escape cultural persecution they would have experienced in India, and this lens colors the way they react to the changes in their daughter. The lessons of Malini's past guide her into her future. They are something she can't divorce herself from any more than she can resist the jealousy that takes root in her heart during the story.
Of course, many readers might not pick up on why diversity was integral to the plot of The Soulkeepers Series. That's okay. The books are first and foremost meant to be entertaining. But now that you know, ask yourself how the story might have been different if all of the characters were white.
Want to win all the fantastic things in this picture?
FILL OUT THIS FORM
* 1 copy of each The Soulkeepers and Weaving Destiny EBOOKS
* Book marks for both books
* Darkside Publishing Pens
Contest run until the 26th, Must have a US mailing address to enter. Must be 13+