Diversity is Strength

I’m a sixty-something year-old white woman who had the good fortune, at nineteen, to meet and fall in love with a man of color.

My life was enriched and my experiences deepened because of what he brought to my tapestry. The treasured history and community connection of a black man in America broadened my soul, as much as it could be broadened, in ways that never could have happened without him. For all of these positive experiences I’m forever grateful.

On the other hand, my awareness of stereotypes and exclusion became profound. Really? No person of color is in this class photo? No person of color could have had a role in this movie? Oh wait… that role doesn’t count. Not one person of color as a possible candidate for office?

Not one author of color on your bookshelf?

How many crime fiction authors of color are out there? Two? Three? Walter Mosely? Kellye Garrett? Frankie Bailey? Atticka Locke? (I really, really, really want to include Octavia Butler but that would be mixing things up a bit too much.) And now that I’ve read the fabulous Mysteristas post by Alexia Gordon, she’s on my list too.

I believe that celebrating ethnic, religious, and sexual diversity by crime fiction authors makes us bigger and better and stronger. It gives us a foothold so we can reach back and pull up. It’s a shout out to other non-inclusive genres to figure it out and make room.

Here’s a list for you. I challenge you to count the number of authors you’ve read up until this very day, and then add ten more between now and July 2019. It might be your first ten, it might be a new ten.  Are you gonna like them all? Probably not. But because you’re aware of the diversity in our genre, we’re all stronger, and I wager your life will be richer.

Print this list. Take it with you to the bookstore and keep it handy when you’re online.

Frankie’s List

African American Writers

Bailey, Frankie Y.
Baker, Nikki
Bates, Karen Grigsby
Batts, Krys
Bland, Eleanor Taylor (deceased)
Brown, Elaine Meryl
Burns, V.M.
Camacho, Austin S.
Canterbury, Patricia E.
Carter, Charlotte
Carter, Stephen L.
Chambers, Christopher
Christy, Cynthia
Clemons, R. Lanier
Coleman, Evelyn
Croom, Janice
Darden, Christopher
Davis, Kyra
DeLoach, Nora (deceased)
Dickey, Eric Jerome
Edwards, Grace F.
Flowers, R. Barri
Ford, Clyde
Fullilove, Eric James
Gardner, Danny
Garland, Ardella (pen name of Yolanda Joe)
Garrett, Kellye
Gordon, Alexia
Greer, Robert
Grimes, Terris McMahan
Hall, Rachel Howzell
Hardwick, Gary
Harris, Marietta
Hayes, Teddy
Haywood, Gar Anthony (also writes as Ray Shannon)
Head, Cheryl A.
Henry, Angela
Holton, Hugh (deceased)
Jackie, Sonja (pen name of Sonja Hazzard)
James, R. Franklin
Johnson, Keith Lee
Jolivet, Myra
Jones, Solomon
Jones, Stephen Mack
Kabongo, Gledé Browne
Kelley, Norman
Lamar, Jake
Lawrence, Deliah
Locke, Attica
Lovell, Glenville
Mallette, Gloria
Meadows, Lee
Mickelbury, Penny
Miller, C.M.
Mosley, Walter
Neely, Barbara
Olden, Marc
Osborne, Karen E.
Phillips, Gary
Quartery, Kwei
Ramsey, Gail
Rhodes, Jewell Parker
Richardson, Gwen
Robinson, Angela ( lm and TV writer)
Rudolph, Wally
Ridley, John
Samuels-Young, Pamela
Singer, Gammy
Smith, Andrea
Smith, Brian W.
Smith, Ian
Smith-Levin, Judith (deceased)
Swafford, Erika Green (TV writer)
Thomas-Graham, Pamela
Tramble, Nichelle D.
Underwood, Blair
Walker, Persia
Wesley, Valerie Wilson
West, Chassie
Woods, Paula L.


Asian American / Asian Writers

Cha, Steph
Chang, Henry
Chang, Leonard
Chien, Vivien
Chupeco, Rin
Furutani, Dale
Gerritsen, Tess
Goenawan, Clarissa
Hirahara, Naomi
Lee, Don
Lee, YS
Lin, Ed
Ng, Celeste
Revoyr, Nina
Rowland, Laura Joh
Tan, Anne R.
Xiaolong, Qiu
Yi, Melissa
Yu, Ovidia

South Asian American / South Asian / South Asian British Writers

Claverton, Rosie
Jacob, Mira
James, Tania
Khan, Ausma Zehanat
Kirchner, Bharti
Massey, Sujata
Pandian, Gigi
Swarup, Vikas
Vatsal, Radha


Hispanic/Latino/a Writers

Acevedo, Mario
Anaya, Rudolfo A.
Corpi, Lucha
Cortez, Sarah (editor of anthologies)
Garcia-Aguilera, Caroline
Gaspar de Alba, Alicia
Hinojosa-Smith, Rolando
Lantigua, John
Lefeve, Claudia
LoPinto, Charles and Llamas LoPinto, Lidia
Maldonado, Isabella
Narvaez, R.
Nava, Michael
Ortiz, Martin Hill
Ramos, Manuel
Roman, A. E.
Segura, Alex
Thurlo, Aimée (deceased)
Torres, Steven
Vasquez, Ian
Villatoro, Marcos McPeek
Zamorano, Desiree


Native American Writers

Cox, Jessie
Erdrich, Louise
Hogan, Linda
Hoklotubbe, Sara Sue
Holm, Tom
Owens, Louis
Rodriguez, Linda
Smith, Martin Cruz
Welch, James

LGBT Writers

Chandler, Jessie
de Helen, Sandra
Ettritch, Sarah
Forrest, Katherine V.
Friend, Catherine
Gordon, Josie
Gordon, Max
Griffiths, Nicola
Hart, Ellen
Head, Cheryl A.
Herren, Greg
Hill, Gerri
Hunter, Fred

Isabella (only one name)
James, Renee
Kelleher, Dharma
Lake, Lori L.
Lepionka, Kristen
Lynch, Katie
Maiorisi, Catherine
McDermid, Val
MacGregor, K. G.
McNab, Claire
Marks, Jeffrey
Padgett, Abigail
Redmann, J. M.
Roberts, Ann
Scoppettone, Sandra
Sherman, Scott
Silva, Linda Kay
Sims, Elizabeth
Sweeney, Kate
Summer, Mary Elizabeth
Vali, Ali
Waters, Sarah
Wilson, Jon Morgan
Yu, Ovidia


Thank you, Frankie Bailey, for your list. And thank you, Sisters in Crime, for moving forward.


It’s all better with friends.


Author: Peg Brantley

With the intent to lend her stories credibility, award winning author Peg Brantley is a graduate of the Aurora Citizens’ Police Academy, attended the Writers’ Police Academy conference, has interviewed crime scene investigators, FBI agents, human trafficking experts, obtained her Concealed Carry Permit, studied diverse topics from arson dogs to Santeria, and hunted down real life locations that show up in her stories.

20 thoughts on “Diversity is Strength”

  1. I am amazed at the number of listed writers I have on my shelves, not because they are writers of diversity, in some cases, this list is the first I have learned of their diversity, but because they are damn good writers.

    As an author – I know it’s tough to get your work in front of agents, publishers, readers – as an author with any kind of mainstream variation it’s more difficult (thus SinC was born to try to level the gender playing field for women writing mysteries) as the variations mount – the difficulties mount – what a tribute to perseverance and quality of writing that Frankie has so many writers on the list who have managed to overcome the odds.

    Mia, we’re looking for you to add your name too!

    Great post, Peg!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It won’t let me edit and I’m typing with one hand and a broken wrist – hit post before I was done – I wanted to double Peg’s challenge – there are so many great authors on this list – you’re bound to find new favorites. I bet you can’t stop at just 10!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree Kait. I have read many of these writers and met several. I read their books because they are great writers. I met them because I was interested in their books. I almost never look at the photo of the author that may or may not be inside the back flap. (If I know that s/he will be making an appearance at a local event, I do look just so I will be able to find the correct person) I think books are one of the great equalizers; a great book is just that — a great book written by a gifted author , period.
      I expand my reading by choosing new authors from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and attitudes. I enrich myself by doing that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve got several of these on my shelf and more on the TBR. My biggest problem is I don’t have time to read all the books I want to read in a day, while still working, taking care of my family, and doing my own writing!

    Peg, you need to read Rachel Howzell Hall’s Lou Norton books. They are outstanding (a little dark sometimes, but I don’t think you’re put off by that).

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Fantastic post and amazing list. Honored to know some of these authors and always excited to add more diverse books –and voices–to my ever-growing TBR list. Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s so very important.


    Liked by 4 people

  4. What a wonderful list. I have read several on the “list” and met many of them at book signings at The Book Carnival. I accept your challenge, and hope I discover many new favorites

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve always loved African American writers and so I’m grateful for the list you provided. Great story and what an honor to marry a man of color.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.