Guest Author Tina Glasneck

Tina Glasneck Speaks to Us About Why Representation Matters

 

Welcome, Tina Glasneck!

 

Why representation matters

Have you read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou? Therein is a little black girl that believes if she had blonde hair and blue eyes, everything would be different and okay.

I didn’t understand race for a long time – I grew up with friends of all colors and nationalities, but it wasn’t until my family relocated to the deep south that I came to understand that being black came with its own stigma.

I’ll never forget the day – I was riding with my grandmother as we headed to Pulaski, Tennessee, and as we rounded the courthouse, I watched men in sheets chant epithets and spew hate. I asked my grandmother about it, and she told me to ignore those fools. But what is known cannot  be unknown or forgotten.

Only after this fierce and blatant experience was I forced to face that European beauty standards  would dictate my own beauty. My lips and nose were considered too wide; my derriere to round; my laughter too robust; my hair too curly and kinky. I was supposed to cower in the background, and be okay with it, but  I wasn’t. Instead, I sought to create my own path, and strengthened by the tenets of my faith, and family, and embraced by a high school where we were all eclectic, different and thriving on this difference, I pursued excellence.  I tried out for plays; studied hard, acted, travelled, and never let anyone put me in a corner because of what they expected me to be like.

Luckily in the 80s, I grew up with television characters that reflected my world, such as The Cosby Show and A Different World, followed in the 90s by Family Matters. I saw families that reflected my own – these stories didn’t revolve around drugs, prostitution or any negative stereotype, but about families and the problems that they had to overcome.

Every kid is teased. Every kid has to make their way into adulthood, and having representation that goes beyond that of horrible tropes, as depicted in movies and by the media, the social prejudices can then be eradicated. If books and media didn’t provide a different take, I could have grown up thinking that the best I could become would have been a maid, a hooker, a strung out side chick, or even a drug dealer. The positive role models made it possible for me to reach higher, and to strive to become more. That’s why representation is important.

Diversity in pop culture and media are important. The media and entertainment industry play an important role in race relations, as many people only know of certain ethnicities based on the image as produced through Hollywood’s lenses. Stereotypes that are visually reinforced, and without basis. We’ve not yet moved to a society where all are embraced, but maybe this can be the beginning of it. Maybe through diverse fiction, and the telling of tales that move the masses, others can embrace stories that star cast members of differing ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations.

Just as a FYI, diverse fiction doesn’t mean that everything is about race relations or some huge historical struggle. A romance doesn’t have to be about race any more than a children’s cartoon. Were the Huxtables any less relatable because they were a black family?

Instead, this and representations of diverse mediums reflect the diverse community we are, as well as helps to build bridges – removing the sense of otherness, and instead recognizing that the stories we tell are those of the heart – the same boy meets girl love stories, travel adventures, war stories, heck, even horror. By building those bridges we help to eradicate the growing chasm of hate which we find ourselves wallowing in.  So, instead of just deferring to a homogeneous or default representation in fiction, I’m happy to be part of a forthcoming boxed set that reflects the world in which I live.

My America is composed of several races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and genders. And there is room in fiction for all of us.

Let’s embrace diverse fiction because we are living in a grand diverse world!

#diversitymatters #representationmatters

Today, help support diversity and representation, and grab your copy of this great set of full length stories for only 99 cents.

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Tina Glasneck, born in the Midwest, and raised in Richmond, appreciates the opportunities she’s had to learn not only from her community, but from countries across the globe.

During her earlier years, and studies, her travels have taken her to Russia, the Middle East, Western Europe and the Caribbean. It is through this life experience that she came to understand how big the world truly is.

Trained as a theologian, during her undergraduate studies she came to embrace her studies of the humanities,  and upon graduating with her Masters of Arts in Religion she began her career as a criminal paralegal.

The law has always had a special place in her heart, and she believes that her theology background made it possible to empathize and assist those in need of legal service; her studious nature also ensured that she would be able to properly delve into legal principles and research. As a paralegal, she worked on criminal and civil cases in the  trial courts (Juvenile and Domestic Relations, General District and Circuit Courts, as well as the United States District Court), as well on state and federal appellate matters. Over the years, she’s seen many court rooms, visited several jails and prisons, and worked with the different state and local law enforcement agencies as it it pertained to criminal law.

It is through her career as a paralegal that she came to rediscover her passion for mystery and suspense writing. Due to a tumultuous experience one day in the office, whereby she feared that there would be an at-work shooting, writing became her therapy for dealing with the after effects and stress. This emotion she was able to infuse into her first novel, Deadly Sins.

In addition to her career experience, as a writer, Tina Glasneck has had wonderful opportunities to work and learn from law enforcement, through on-hands opportunities with her local Citizen’s Police Academy, as well as an evening overview of Forensic’s with the FBI.

After ten years in the field, Tina left the full-time practice to focus on writing. She is currently working on the continuation of her  mystery series, as well as the  beginning of her time travel, Fantasy- Romance series, called Dragons.

 

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