Emma Viskic is the author of Resurrection Bay, her debut novel (out now). Caleb, her protagonist, is deaf and becomes enmeshed in a mystery around an old friend’s death.
In her interview with me earlier this month, she mentions her interviews with members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community while writing Resurrection Bay. She also learned Auslan in order to ensure she portrayed Caleb accurately… which I think goes to the heart of her quote here: writing about disabled characters, about any diverse characters is possible with the right research and letting go of fear.
It’s the right kind of research that helps you get rid of the fear about diversity in writing.
Is this the case for you? Fear can be all consuming, can’t it? The fear of, as Emma says, not getting things right — even when it comes to a book review or a blog. I sometimes find myself thinking about whether my reviews are “right” and forgetting they are informed by own experiences.
What do you think? How do you combat your fears?