Note from Kristin: Jamie is one of NLA’s first reader on queries. He reads hundreds a week so this was worth sharing.
By Jamie Persichetti
As a gay man, it’s always weird to read in query letter book pitches that a story “features LGBTQ+ characters” or “has diversity” like they are bonus content on the special edition BluRay, specs on a laptop with extra RAM, or items to check off a culturally aware grocery list.
I mean, cool! Keep the queer coming. Books need them. But you sound a bit… odd… if you phrase it like they are features. Just say someone is trans, or that he has a boyfriend. Or (and I know this is a hard one) don’t mention it at all if it’s not actually important to the core of the book.
I get it. Don’t write diverse characters and you’re a bad person. Write diverse characters and you do it wrong. It’s a double standard that is suffocating publishing right now. This is just how I felt in the moment.