With the intensity of the 2016 election, something amazing arose: millions of people are now engaging in politics in ways they never had before. Town halls are packed, phone lines are jammed. And we writers have a unique role to play.
On that note, Kelly Loy Gilbert, author of Conviction, is here to discuss how the political climate has shaped her work. Take it away, Kelly!
I've been working on my current novel (forthcoming from
Disney-Hyperion), which is about Asian Americans and immigration, long
enough to have happily changed plotlines after the DREAM Act went into
effect--and then been at a complete loss after the election this past
November. As a writer of contemporary fiction, everything felt
different: was I suddenly writing a dystopian novel?
I have always believed in the importance of the story as a means of demanding empathy, and I feel that now more than ever. I'm always conscious that I write for young people, many of whom are politically voiceless and yet still affected by this administration's policies, disregard for all norms and decency, and extreme endangering of POC/queer/disabled people, among others.
I don't believe we can separate politics from anything we do, and I feel that acutely in my stories. Writing is a calling. May we ever answer it.
Kelly Loy Gilbert is the author of Conviction, a 2016 Morris Award Finalist and Children's Choice Book Award Winner. She lives in the SF Bay Area. You can follow her on twitter at @KellyLoyGilbert and on tumblr.
Monday, April 17, 2017
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Books create empathy.
Books open doors to new worlds and new ideas.
Books are powerful.
It's clearer than ever that our world needs that. So we must write. And our responsibilities as writers of young adult fiction have grown with the rise of hatred and xenophobia around us. If we can instill a greater understanding of the world at large, we can create better leaders tomorrow.
So I called up Vin, founder of Fabler & Design (and my sister). I said, "Hey, do you think you can make me a logo that is beautiful and elegantly captures the theme 'Writing my Resistance'? Oh, and on top of that, can you bring in elements of my Indian identity?"
Her first idea was beautiful, incorporating the Hindu Goddess Saraswati as a muse. Yet I had trouble easily translating it into the theme. We tried adding more elements to make the messaging clearer, but the added complexity was only making it more muddled. We decided to take a step back and try a simpler approach.
The header above is what Vin came up with on the second try. It captures everything I wanted to convey, with elegance and simplicity. I love how fierce the girl looks and how words flow seamlessly out of her head. (I wish my novels came out so easily.) We chose quotes by writers and leaders that honed in on the themes of books as weapons, writing as a means of identity, and the importance of taking a stand.
Take a closer look. I hope it inspires other readers, writers, and dreamers out there. I know it will keep me pushing along on this journey!
If you like the design and you want to make a change to your own site, please contact Vin at Fabler & Design. Her current pricing for a new custom art logo is only $295, and as you can see, it can transform even a simple blogger account.