I will be donating a signed copy of “Blood & Alcohol” and recommending it for the teen, comics, or graphic novels section. The book does contain violence, which I think is probably the last thing someone there would want to see right now…but there is also a covert message of a colorblind utopia woven within the interracial romantic themes.
With racism as a trending topic in the news, my fears (that I’ve had from the beginning) that my book might somehow be interpreted as “racist” caused me to consider changing one of the main characters yet to be introduced into the storyline. He is probably the most complex and in my opinion most interesting character in the story as it is written (in the draft) so far. He is also an African man. (I do not identify as African or male.) Just the fact that so far the only vampires in the story are mixed race and the humans are Caucasian could probably be misinterpreted. But if all fiction writers only wrote through the perspective of their own race and gender, wouldn’t that be rather boring? It’s a good opportunity for an expansion of consciousness.
Then I saw this on facebook and it kind of put my paranoia into perspective:
I can’t make everybody happy. Your opinions are your own and they are none of my business.
I’m not going to rant about my personal thoughts on the Ferguson situation, because pretty much everything about it breaks my heart. I’m not the type of person who is going to bitch and moan about something on social media when I would much rather do something to help. Donating a book to their community is the least I can do.
I came across the following notice on my facebook feed shared by a friend, from community page “Anonymous”:
Whatever you may think of what’s happening in Ferguson, the city is suffering; beyond whatever tragedy and conflict is shown on television are 20,000 ordinary people whose stories you won’t hear on the news. They are not cops or politicians; they’re not looters or arsonists, either, they’re the people who are hurt when looting and arson happens. If they’re protesting at all, they’re doing so peacefully. And their town is having a terrible time of it.
The Ferguson Public Library has been a beacon of hope and civilization for these ordinary people in these sad times. It’s been a safe, nurturing, educational place for kids when the schools have been closed—it’s been a valuable haven for adults, too. It’s stayed open and gone beyond the call of duty where other organizations, to say nothing of elected officials, don’t seem to have a good answer. Feel free to Google the library and read all the stories about what it’s doing — and it’s doing this all on, as you might imagine, awfully limited resources.
Many writers and readers are stepping up to help. Already in just one day’s donations, books are on their way from around the country, and there’s talk of them being able to hire a full-time childrens’ librarian.
There’s a PayPal button on this page to donate money: http://www.ferguson.lib.mo.us/
Bitcoin can be donated here: https://bitpay.com/867847/donate
To donate books (I’m told that books for young readers are particularly welcome), you can ship to:
Ferguson Public Library
ATTN: Scott Bonner
35 North Florissant Road
Ferguson, MO 63135
If you’re an author, there’s a special effort going on to send signed books, particularly, again, those for younger readers:http://www.joellecharbonneau.com/hope-through-stories/ — if you wanna send a signed book for adults, too, you can, just indicate whether it’s okay for young readers or not when you ship.
I am going to tell my story my way. That’s the nice thing about being a writer.