Friday, March 29, 2019

Diversity Fridays

Full disclosure: I am a cisgender white male who can only be referred to as “middle-aged” by exercising more charity than Andrew Carnegie and J.K. Rowling combined. (Even fuller disclosure: I’m 63.) I have always tried to treat others as I would like to be treated and I think I succeed more often than not. Cisgender white men have a lot to answer for in this country. I try not to add to the pile, and to chip away it at when I can.

My reading tastes, as are those of most everyone, were shaped by my background. I grew up in a working class family in a working class town; the first writer to capture my imagination as I moved past adolescence was Mickey Spillane. Anyone who reads this blog or my books knows my reading tastes run toward procedurals and private investigators. That’s a polite way of saying my reading is not as diverse as it might be.

I’ve made efforts to rectify this with limited success. Personal taste and knows and cares little or nothing about the background of the artist who created a work; we know what we like. The reasons may be no more than what I told The Beloved Spouse™ once when she asked why I didn’t like broccoli: “Because I think it tastes like ass.” That’s too harsh for (most) books, but still true at its core; we like what we like. I have a post dedicated to this topic that I’ll publish as soon as I polish it to my satisfaction and have the nerve to make it public.

It occurred to me a while back that just because my reading tastes run strongly toward white males doesn’t mean I can’t do some little thing in the interest of diversity. I don’t have a big enough footprint in the industry for anyone to care if I stage a protest. I’m not in a position to demand Bouchercon have at least one woman and one person of color on any panel they assign me; they’ll just put someone else there and not give me a panel. (Which is as they should. Who the fuck do I think I am?) I am proud of my affiliation and support of the Creatures, Crimes, and Creativity Conference, which is as diverse as any I am aware of.

What I can do is provide a forum. This blog isn’t exactly HuffPo or TMZ, but people do see it and share links. The word gets out. I post three times every two weeks, on alternate Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I can devote some of that time to women and writers of color, preferably in the crime fiction community but if I’m to be diverse in one regard I should be so across the board, so I’m not locking anyone out.

Here’s my offer: Fridays are diversity days here at One Bite at a Time. If you are a woman or a writer of color and would like to provide a guest post or submit to an interview, please let me know by sending an email to danakingcrime (at) Let me know if you have a general time preference, the title of your book, your web site address if you have one and anything else you’d like me to know at first blush. I will do my best to schedule you as close to your preferred date as I can, and if you request an interview will gin up an admittedly generic version for you, though the more information I can get about you and your book the less generic it will be.

Please understand, my time and space is limited, but I will do the best I can to accommodate as many folks as I can, though I can’t guarantee space for everyone who asks. (Assuming anyone does. See above: “Who the fuck do I think I am?”)

If you’re interested, let me know. If you’re not but know someone who might be, let them know. I’ll keep it up as long as interest is shown.

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