Joy L. Smith is an up and coming YA novelist. She writes characters as diverse as they are powerful and inspiring–Joy is one incredible human bean. You can find her on twitter @JoyJoyWrites.
What characters and themes do you like to write about and what inspires them?
I think the main thing about the characters I write is that they’re Black girls. They’re city girls like me. They have that one thing that really keeps them going. I love to write about family and friendship and love because it’s important to me that Black girls know that there isn’t one clear story to tell about those three things. It’s all a bit complicated. And I love simple things but also complicated things too. For me I like to give my characters a skill that I was obsessed with as a kid or still wish I had. So you’ll see my characters love their theater references, ballet, acting and BMX biking among other things that make me happy, but inspire them.
Can we still appreciate content made by a creator whose views and actions have inflicted harm on others? This question is by no means new, but it is still an important one. Numerous creators throughout history have been abusive, racist, or just generally unpleasant people. In the last few years, huge movements like #MeToo have outed many creators as sexual abusers over multiple creative industries. In light of 2020’s BLM protests and JK Rowling’s transphobic essay, I know many people are grappling with their feelings about art they consume. This post is not designed to convince anyone of what they should think, but as a series of thought experiments and a toolkit to help you make up your own mind. Continue reading
Society is all too quick to label criticism as just another ‘sensitive opinion’. This attitude dismisses real problems and silences people from under-represented groups. I’m discussing diversity in my blog because I want to do my bit in promoting equality and I think analysing diversity in stories is a good place to start.
Lack of diversity is not a new issue. Throughout history, there has always been an ideal human that was represented in media from medieval paintings to silent movies and sketches in newspapers. Kind of like a time-travelling Barbie and Ken. Continue reading
Where were you in March 2020? When science was shunned, again? When a well-known author’s fear of the unknown gave fuel to the fires of transphobes? When in May a man cried, “I can’t breathe”?
I’m thinking about the future and the human rights questions of the next generation. Will they be angry at us for the part our ignorance played? I don’t know. I don’t know how to write this post either, so bear with me. Continue reading