I always struggle with the role an author should play in political discussion. Okay, that’s not true—I struggle with the role I should play in those discussions. I’ve always believed that my novels should speak for themselves—that I should be this invisible person behind the book. I really try to leave much of my novels (especially my YA) open to interpretation—I want the reader to come to his or her own conclusions about certain topics, especially social policy and politics. I don’t want anything—my political affiliation, my race, or even my gender—to influence what a reader thinks or feels about my work.
However, just because I choose to be ambiguous in my novels doesn’t mean that I don’t have an opinion. Not by a long shot.
There’s certainly been a lot going on in the world recently, but two items in particular resonated with me: Texas Senate Bill 5 and the Trayvon Martin case.
I’m not going to get into my position on those matters here, but I will say that I spoke out “actively” on both on Facebook and Twitter. Active is relative, of course. Others posted and tweeted far more than I did. But as I generally avoid such things, it was enough for a few people to notice.
I’m sure I upset some people.
Actually, I know I did.
But I’m okay with that.
Yet I have to accept that there are always repercussions to having a political stance. I can be very stubborn when a company or “celebrity” does something that really offends me, and I show my displeasure with my wallet. It’s only fair to expect others to do the same.
I’m not sure if my opinion will change in the future, but for now, I’m comfortable with speaking up when compelled. However, I also don’t think I have to fight every battle.
While that won’t sit well with everyone, that’s just fine with me. At the end of the day, that’s probably the most important thing.