Diversity – with Carmen Fox

Carmen Fox

REPRESENTATION MATTERS – Fiction without boundaries

I’m white, have no major disability to speak of, I don’t belong to any religion, and I’m as straight as a ruler. What do I know about diversity, right? I have never been stopped for driving while being black, haven’t had the indignity of being gawked at for wearing a hijab, and have been lucky not to have had a strain placed on my education by ADHD, dyslexia, or “learning while being transgender.” You’d think I’m the last person to have authority to speak on these issues.

But I do have a condition that I share with my non-white, disabled, religious and/or LGBT friends—we call it the human condition. Not only do I have the authority to speak, I have the moral obligation to do so. My family occasionally uses terms that make me cringe. They complain about the immigrant issue at home in Germany. My mother is fine with homosexuals “as long as they leave the kids alone.” My nan once tried to cure my depression with a heartfelt “buck up.” Many times we have argued about these matters, and just as many times did I stay silent only to preserve the peace. Every time I keep quiet, I feel crummy.

However, and without making excuses for their insensitive language, they have never treated anyone differently because of what they are. My uncle is gay and a welcome guest at home, my nan used to be very friendly with a Turkish lady, and a couple of years ago, my parents attended their first Muslim wedding.

Think Big

Rhetoric is important, and supporting representation of the whole spectrum on Facebook and in blogs is wonderful, but our words must be followed by action.

Sadly, I’m not much of campaigner. Who is nowadays? Just getting from my bed to my sofa takes days and a backpack full of provisions. But action doesn’t have to mean chaining yourself to police stations. Treat people fairly. If you don’t know something about being transgender or if you keep getting your terms mixed up, ask or hit the search engine. Teach your children kindness to all men, women and those you aren’t sure about. Expand your horizons every day of your life.

As for me, I’m a writer, and I express my wishes and hopes by way of the worlds I create. It doesn’t bother me that most of my main characters are white and straight. White and straight is what I know. But just as my reality is composed of more than just me, so are my worlds populated by more than carbon copies of myself. Most recently, I made the Grim Reaper black, gave his daughter her own novella, and have teamed up a wheelchair-bound woman with an alpha werewolf who loves to run.

So when, earlier this year, I was presented with the opportunity to take part in a box set to celebrate diversity, I immediately thought of Ali, an Indonesian-American gay werewolf I first conceived of more than ten years ago when I wrote Guarded. I’ve been itching to give him his own spotlight, not because he has proven such an electrifying character so far, but because I suspected a lot of confusion, humor and spunk under his tight, accountant-type demeanor.

Many more authors, including USA Today bestselling and award-winning authors, have bravely stepped up to the plate, and Sigils and Spells is the product of our efforts. These 24 stories are just as riveting as you should expect from such an illustrious ensemble of talent, and the characters as quirky, inspiring and exciting as you’d hope. Their journeys will have you at the edge of your seat and their issues will resonate with you, no matter what you are—because in the end, it’s about who you are.

You can pre-order SIGILS AND SPELLS now from the retailer of your choice. It’s only $0.99 (or equivalent). Disneyland wouldn’t give you a cold cup of coffee for that price, while SIGILS AND SPELLS offers you 24 thrilling adventure rides you can’t find anywhere else. One word of warning before the adrenaline kicks in: this is a limited edition boxed set, so buy now before you miss your chance.


Carmen lives in the south of England with her beloved tea maker and a stuffed sheep called Fergus. An avid reader since childhood, she caught the writing bug when her Nana asked her to write a story. She also has a law degree, studied physics for a few years, dabbled in marketing and human resources, and speaks native-level German and fluent Geek. Her preferred niches of geekdom are tabletop games, comics, sci-fi and fantasy.

She writes about smart women with sassitude, about pretty cool guys too, and will chase that plot twist, no matter how elusive.

Expect to be kept guessing.

Find her online: Facebook | Twitter | Website

A dangerously beautiful vision of unique worlds that’s sure to leave its mark.

Cross through the looking glass into Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Dystopian realms where you’ll meet valiant heroes, kick-ass heroines, and dangerous creatures waiting to unveil the hidden corners of the universe.

SIGILS & SPELLS includes more than twenty exclusive novels that roam the sands of Egypt, slip into the shadows of 1940s Los Angeles, voyage to the mystical land of Mabi, and dare to traverse the stars.

From the deserts of Africa to the streets of San Antonio, mythological adventurers strike out to discover brand new worlds and unravel the mysteries of Earth in a limited edition boxed set offering the diversity and originality you haven’t been able to find before now.

Including stories from…
Lori Titus
Kris Austen Radcliffe
USA Today bestselling authors Heather Marie Adkins and Alex Owens
Paul C Middleton and Lee Hayton
Rita Stradling
Eva Pohler
Lily Luchesi & Faith Marlow
M.R. Graham
Award-Winning author Carmen Fox
Tina Glasneck
Sedona Venez
J.N. Colon
Cheri Winters
USA Today bestselling author Katalina Leon
RJ Blain
USA Today bestselling author Cate Farren
Amy Evans
Catherine Banks
Award-Winning author V.A. Dold
Dylan Keefer
Award-Winning author Ali Cross
Michel Prince
Danny Bell
Tiana Laveen

Dare to enter forbidden realms of unexpected beauty and peril? Secure your copy of SIGILS & SPELLS today – before it disappears forever!


Migrating the email newsletter!

I’m moving from Mailchimp to Mailerlite, so if you’re a subscriber, be looking for an email with the new links. If you’re not a subscriber, this would be a good time to stick your address in, as I’ll be revamping the entire system with new features, like book recommendations.

An update, and an apology

My sincerest apologies, readers, but it is 10:40 PM and I am experiencing technical difficulties, and I don’t have the time to sort them adequately. Believe me, I am working on it, but I have to contend with wait time between emails with tech support and with the general life issues (just general, don’t worry) that have sprung up abruptly these past few weeks.

As a result, The Mage is unlikely to release tomorrow, 30 November. I do NOT anticipate these difficulties lasting long at all, and will do my best to have your book to you within a week. It may even be out tomorrow, if the situation miraculously sorts itself, though I don’t think that will happen.

I’m very sorry about the delay – yet again. This seems to happen often with this series. It would be strangely appropriate to find out that it’s hexed.

I promise further updates soon. Please forgive me.

Tuesday Teaser #34

Golly, I seem to have missed two whole Tuesdays in a row! Terribly sorry. In my defense, it was prep week, then first week of classes, plus gearing up for… (tada!) the release of Part 1 of No Cage for a Crow! Why, yes, it’s out, now. So I guess I better get my act together and start teasing again. Here goes.

Every Tuesday (in theory), I post a teaser for one of my current works in progress. I invite all of my writer buddies to join in!

The rules:
Post a link, image, quote, or excerpt related to or taken from your current WIP.
State the name of the WIP.
Do NOT explain yourself! Resist the urge to wax poetic. This is a hint, not an outline.

No Cage for a Crow

Surprised? Well, it’s not done, yet, so I get to consider it still “in progress”! Anyway, this isn’t so much a “teaser” as useful information.

Click that link above. Go ahead, click it. Notice anything? Such as a distinct dearth of paper options?

Well… yes. And no. There is a paperback. It exists. It is sitting on my shelf right now.

Pardon the dust.

But here’s the kicker: You can only get it from me. (Bwahahahaha.) Not from Amazon, not from Barnes & Noble, not from arcane rites. (Prove me wrong on that last one.) You can get it from me through giveaways (typically through Goodreads), or in person at conventions and events, or here on the website. It’ll be appearing soon under my Shop tab up there, but if you need a copy right now, you can hit the Contact button, and I’m sure we can work something out through Paypal.

The result is that every copy in existence will be signed. By both authors. Nifty, eh?

Recounting the Great British Sojourn – Day 1

I’m back! From where, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

A charming view from the hotel window. Kensington is lovely. Too bad I’d have to sell all my organs and sublet my soul to actually live there.

The flight into Heathrow was uneventful. The Minion, the Mother, and I landed, retrieved luggage, made it through customs, and were transported to the hotel in good time to meet our marvelous tour director. The hotel, the Queen’s Gate, is easy walking distance from the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and the Victoria and Albert. It’s a slightly-more-strenuous walking distance from Harrods, as well. After a short nap (A Dallas-to-London flight without seats that lean back can be exhausting), we thought we’d scoot on down to the museums. There was an enormous, recursive queue at the Natural History Museum, so we continued on to the V&A. We only had a little bit of time, but we made it through the gallery of Islamic Art, then through the religious art of the Renaissance and Medieval Europe. By the time we had made it through only a few galleries, it was time to come back and change for supper.

Then jetlag attacked, and we were very ready for bed.

The “Literature” status of children’s literature.

Again, I’ve had the opportunity to write an article for Reading in the Borderlands – this time addressing the quality and prestige of children’s literature.

Reading in the Borderlands

This semester, students in READ 6310 Children’s and Adolescent Literature were asked to contribute a post to this blog.

by M.R. Graham

books-69469_640The “Literature” status of children’s literature has long been not merely the subject of debate, but often a point of feud. Many in the industry and surrounding the industry – book critics, authors, agents, and English professors across the country – seem to see children’s literature as something less: less complex, less beautiful, less intelligent. Less important. The argument seems to be that children’s literature must be inferior in some way because adults read it easily, as though quality were to be gauged not by depth or humanity, but by ability to confound. Others argue that children’s literature is “watered down” in its portrayal of the human experience, often glossing over the darker moments of death and loss – not merely an inaccurate criticism, but an unfair one…

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