Oh, wow, readers, I have a happy thing to tell you: the revision of THE CONTINENT is complete! This is, of course, pending editor/sensitivity reader notes, and the further revision and polishing that goes along with such things–but the main re-draft is complete. What a labor of love this has been, to take the original version and see it with new eyes, and to reimagine things in light of all the feedback I’ve received. So much has changed. Entire sections have been rewritten, and details, subtle and otherwise, throughout the book, have been rendered different. Ancestries themselves and origins–not just physical or cultural descriptions–and every other meaningful thing, have been altered.
And yet I feel that the heart of my story–a view of how privilege allows us to turn a blind eye to the suffering of others, and, from all sides, how a separation in culture can cause prejudice and misunderstanding–I feel this theme still exists, and powerfully, without now being clouded by erroneous and harmful representation.
I am so proud of what this book has become, so humbled by the changes that were truly necessary, and I have learned so much. I am nothing less than grateful for this experience, especially as a debut author! To have been able to hear from literally hundreds of POC with a far more extensive worldview than I myself possess, and to incorporate changes in the text that would not distract from the intended message of the story–and, most especially, that would not be harmful to anyone who might be marginalized–what an important opportunity.
I will go forward as a writer far more informed, sensitive, and thoughtful of the way fiction might represent reality. I can only ever promise to listen, and do my best, and I hope that the story of THE CONTINENT and any future books I might write will encapsulate this understanding.
Biggest hugs to you all. <3