Low Down Dirty Vote is out in the world and available to readers. My story, Bombs Away, is one of the eleven stories and is my first published work. www.lowdowndirtyvote.com
Readers may be wondering why I chose to step out of my white woman lane and write a black woman protagonist. I usually write white women narrators, fictional characters informed by my own experiences. I believe the world needs stories about people of color, and that those stories are best written by people of color.
So why did I make a different choice for this story?
Reason One: The theme of the anthology is fighting voter suppression. Historically and at present, black people are a major target of voter suppression efforts. Examples are here and here and the Google machine will give you many more. Writing a white character getting their vote suppressed in the modern-day felt disingenuous at best. At worst, it erases the current climate of hostility against black people and other people of color.
Reason Two: Most mysteries/crime stories I like to read and write have a satisfying ending. The bad guy is caught, secrets are revealed, and justice prevails. I wanted to write that kind of story. But…
I didn’t want to write a white savior story. You know the kind. White protagonist swoops in to save people of color from oppression/violence/problems caused by…other white people/white supremacy. This kind of story centers the white protagonist at the expense of the characters of color.
So I wrote a story about Olivia, a black woman who kicks butt and saves the day.
Bombs Away won first prize at the San Mateo County Literary Arts contest, Adult Mystery/Thriller category, and was chosen for inclusion in the Low Down Dirty Vote Anthology. I’m grateful and honored for the recognition, but it doesn’t change the fact that the world needs diverse books written by diverse authors.
Which brings me to the book giveaway. You’re probably thinking I’m going to give away a copy of Low Down Dirty Vote–and I am!—but not today.
Today, I’m offering you the chance to win Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett. This award-winning mystery features Dayna Anderson, who decides to solve a hit-and-run murder for the reward money despite having no investigative experience or skills. This book is hilarious and I know you’ll love it. And it features a black woman protagonist written by a black woman author.
Leave a comment to be entered in the drawing. I’ll select from commenters on August 5, so check back and if you were selected, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you win, but have already read this book, I’ll get you the sequel, Hollywood Ending, set to publish next month!
Mariah, really wonderful to read about what you are up to and your reasoning behind your book! I know I’ll grab a copy of it before too long! Keep up the good work!
Alicia, congratulations, you’re the winner of the book giveaway! I’ll email you.