Weekly word count: 4100
February 14th was release day for Metamorphosis, which was quite exciting. A few complications to deal with though. I had a delay getting my mailing list up and running (my own fault for procrastinating) and Amazon is showing the print and the ebook as different for some reason (I've contacted them to fix the issue).
Releases are always a little surreal because by the time a book is released, I'm already well into the next one. But at the same time, it's still a big deal. This is my second novel released into the world to make it's way. I'm much more nervous this time around, though. People liked the first one but will that translate into liking the second one?
Another issue is one I've been debating back and forth in my head since I first got the idea for Metamorphosis. I'm a big believer in diversity and have a wide multicultural social group. I don't want to be locked into writing only one particular cultural experience. However, I also recognize that writing for a social, cultural or ethnic group that a writer doesn't personally belong to can be a touchy issue and there are understandable concerns that a writer can't "get it" unless they've lived it.
In the end, I decided to go for it, even though I know it may cause problems. I'm not a psychopath, yet I can write a serial killer villain. I'm not a drug user, yet I can write about a character with addiction issues. I'm not a superhero, but I can write about people with powers and the challenges they would face. Writers don't necessarily have to directly experience something in order to explore it.
I've done my research. I've read every book I could get my hands on that seemed to touch on the native experience. I've talked to people who have lived up North in isolated communities. I've read blogs and articles. I've been respectful and done my best to work within my limitations. But I know that there will always be those who are upset because my story doesn't reflect their own experiences and understanding.
No one story can hope to encompass every aspect of a culture. That's why we should be encouraging as much diversity as possible, from writers both within and without. I don't want my story to be definitive. I want it to be one of many possible voices and options, creating a rich and varied depth that reflects the complexity of real life.