There are many things I love about writing, but perhaps my favorite is being able to send a message to readers. Some of these messages are simple and are found in many books: love, hope, courage. But there's one message that seems to be missing from many books: acceptance.
To me, this is the most important message of all. How can you truly love someone if you can't accept who they are? How can you find hope, if you can't accept the possibility of a happily-ever-after? How can you have courage if you don't accept your beliefs and actions to be right? Acceptance is something so vital to living fulfilling lives, yet it's strangely missing from so many books.
This is the reason I focus so much on acceptance in my novels. More specifically, on accepting people for who they are. I have disabled characters in my novels, who face health challenges very similar to my own. I have LGBTQ characters, who confront a hatred I will never know, but will always fight against. I have characters of different races, cultures, religions, and mindsets.
All these people in my novels create diverse, yet integral, parts of the story. They're not always easily accepted within the novels; but the important thing is that they all fight for acceptance. They believe in who they are, even if it makes them different in the eyes of others.
And, most often, those "differences" don't make much difference to the story at all. My character Matthias, from the "Tortured Elements" series, is blind and gay. That doesn't stop him from being the most powerful magician alive. Cyrus from "Counting Shadows" is mentally ill, but he still saves many lives. Kilimanjaro, a character from one of my currently-unpublished novels, is bi-racial and often discriminated against. However, he still manages to be an influential celebrity.
These characters accept who they are, fight for who they are, and live as they are. And if there's anything I want my readers to take away from my novels, it's that they can do this, too.
Oh, and one other thing. Whenever I talk about diversity in writing, I like to remember a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures." So who knows? Maybe with a little more help from fictional worlds, the real-world will become more accepting, too.
Publication date: June 30th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Two hearts, one kiss…
Faye’s soul-mate is everything she should hate—an Angel, an outcast, an enemy. Ashe is just one more imperfection in her life that somehow makes everything… perfect.
Until he’s murdered.
With the only person she loves ripped away, Faye sets out to avenge Ashe’s death. The task seems impossible, until she finds Lor—an Angel who looks nearly identical to Ashe’s killer. Arrogant and hot-headed, Lor is everything Ashe wasn’t. But Lor is connected to her soul-mate’s past, and Faye needs him to find the killer—even if Lor is potentially deadly.
But when Faye discovers that Ashe’s past isn’t as black and white as she thought, she faces an impossible choice: Give up the hunt, and risk the lives of others. Or continue pursuing Ashe’s murderer, and forfeit the lives of everyone in her family—including herself.
Olivia Rivers is the author of five novels, ranging in genres from Epic Fantasy to Contemporary Romance. Along with being a writer, she’s a freelance digital artist, a literary agent assistant, and a high school student. She’s a nerd at heart, and is a hopeless fan-girl for Doctor Who and Pokémon. Olivia lives in California with a dog who thinks he’s a cat, a cat who thinks he’s a dog, and a kitten who is just generally confused.