Today we’re delighted to welcome author Sheena Binkley to the blog! Sheena is an author and a freelance writer, penning articles on various topics including education and entertainment. In November of 2014, she signed her first publishing deal with Write House Publishing under “Tiece Presents.” Her first series, Something Just Ain’t Right, was released in January. Besides writing, she loves reading, shopping, and spending time with family and friends. She lives in Houston (where the weather is always unpredictable) with her husband and son.
1. What does the term “Diverse Books” mean to you?
To me, the term means to expand readers’ horizons and being able to have a voice on various topics and issues. With the world we’re living in today, people should be able to have a difference in opinions as well as understand other cultures, religions, values, and beliefs. We should not one-sided; we should all be able to embrace our differences and I think more books in this area should be provided to readers.
2. You write inter-racial romance, amongst other genres. Is this an aspect of diversity you feel strongly about?
Interracial romance is one of the genres that I was always passionate about and wanted to write on when I began my writing career. My first book was an interracial novel; therefore, I think diversity is very important because people should have an open mind and be able to see that the world is not just black and white. The stories written from authors in this genre are so beautiful and enjoyable
and although this genre is significantly growing, there are still some readers who will not pick up an interracial novel. I think people should take notice of these stories and give them a chance because there are a lot of talented authors in this genre and should be recognized for it.
3. You also write New Adult romance. It’s an awkward life phase for many people – why is it important to encourage diversity in this category of fiction?
With New Adult, this genre mainly focus on a character’s self-discovery and being able to learn from mistakes that he/she had made in life. This is important for me because no one is perfect and we all have made a mistake or two in our lives. I think that’s why this genre is so popular among readers (especially younger readers), because you want to root for those characters who have realized their issues and want to improve their lives as they embark on their journey of self-discovery and even love (because the majority of NA characters fall in love for the very first time). These elements are essential for a person to mature and become the person he/she are destined to be.
4. What do you see as the main challenges facing authors of diverse books and do you have any ideas on how to deal with them?
I think the issue of finding a balance between reality and fiction can be a challenge, because for readers, they want to be able to relate to the characters in some way; therefore, they look for books that would imagine them to be certain characters and what they would do in a particular situation. I believe incorporating real-life scenarios may help this situation because as authors, we do tend to mix reality and fiction, which can keep the reader engaged from start to finish.
5. Please share with us some of your favourite diverse authors and/or books.
I have a long list of diverse authors that I have discovered throughout the years. From Carl Weber with writing everything from Christian Fiction to Urban, to Victoria Christopher Murray, these authors have paved the way for authors, especially African-American authors of our generation to write stories spanning in various genres. Other authors that are my favorite include Delaney Diamond, Raven St. Pierre, Christina Jones, Colby Taylor, and Victoria Smith.
Thank you, Sheena! To learn more about Sheena and her books, you can find her in the following places:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sheenabinkleyauthor (Like Page)
Google +: https://plus.google.com/+sheenabinkley
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