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More thoughts on writing out of my culture


Hooray! Crossing Paths is finished and I’ve signed a contract with Konstellation Press. We expect to have the book out before the end of the year.


As I’ve finished up the book, I’ve had new insights into why I wrote it from the point of view (POV) of two Tanzanian women. POV, as an element of fiction, refers to which character’s head the author is in -- which character’s thoughts will be directly conveyed to the reader. As I explained in a previous blog post, “Writing Outside of my Culture,” I thought the story needed to be told from the POV of the two main characters. Now, thinking again about my target audience, I believe there’s more than that, and it’s to do with who I wrote the story for.

I anticipate that most of my readers will be English-speaking Westerners. I wrote this book hoping to expand their point of view --their opinions and viewpoints -- about Tanzania. I wanted to show them a slice of a culture they probably know little about. I do understand where they’re coming from, because I’m one of them -- an English-speaking Western woman. Once upon a time I had no experience with Tanzania (or other African countries) either. I don’t expect Tanzanians to learn anything about their country or culture from my book, although I’ll be very happy if they’re entertained or touched by the story. But, having spent so much time in African countries, I believe I’m in a unique position to expand the point of view of my target audience, to banish some stereotypes and show positive aspects of lives they would otherwise know little of.

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