If you’ve read my books you may have noticed that there’s quite a lot of diversity in them. Most of the fiction I read when I was younger (and much of it produced today) is about… well, to be blunt, it’s about white men. Or white women. I do acknowledge that Emma, my main character, is white and female – but the rest of my characters… they’re something of a mixed bunch. With regard to race, ethnicity, and sexuality.

Jalisa Blackman writes a blog called ‘Minority Report’ where she searches for, and identifies, diversity in fiction, particularly fantasy, and I’m honored that she’s identified my work as an example of doing it right! I was terribly flattered when she contacted me to talk about it. I think you can tell that this is a very passionate subject of mine – even though I’m a boring white old woman myself, my kids are mixed and I never want to see them marginalized. I will fight to my last breath to ensure that society never gives them second-class treatment.

Here’s a link to the interview I did with Jalisa, on the topic of diversity. As you can see, I’m optimistic about the future!

Minority Report with Kylie Chan


3 responses to “Diversity.”

  1. Marie says:

    Hi Kylie – great blog post and interview, and love to hear that this is a passion of yours. As a mixed-race half-Asian myself, I’ve always appreciated your blend of diverse characters – your portrayal is spot on and feels perfectly normal and “right” to me as a reader. Thanks for holding a mirror up to reality! 🙂

  2. William says:

    Well as a anglo/irish white male the diversity feels normal to me. I just look around to see how diverse Sydney is at least. And I went to school in the 70’s where the migrant hostel was just across the road.

    BTW I really did enjoy Small Shen.

  3. Aaron says:

    I’m currently reading your Dark Heavens series. While it’s always positive to see homosexual charaters included in novels, I’m disappointed that you seem to be re-inforcing certain negative stereotypes about homosexual men.

    For example, Leo is HIV positive. I’m part way through book two and I can’t see what him having HIV adds to the story. Yes, he needed to be sick but why not cancer? Leo having HIV re-inforces the stereotype about gay men and HIV (even though HIV is currently growing faster amongst heterosexual populations).

    Further, once Emma finds out he is HIV positive Emma seems to admonish Leo for having sexual partners. So because he has HIV do you think he should never have sex again even though the risk of tranmission during protected sex is very low?

    And why does Emma need to share with Rhonda either that Leo is gay or that he has HIV. Is it because you are concerned that it is unsafe for a 15 year old boy to share a house with a gay man, or is it that you believe there is a high risk of cross-infection from living in the same house with someone who is HIV positive?

    As i said, great to see a strong gay character. A shame to weigh him down with so much populist baggage.

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