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When it comes to writing how important is ethnic diversity for your characters?

I recently read a post on goodreads.com about the casting for the upcoming movie adaptation of Stephenie Myer’s novel The Host and I couldn’t help but notice that every major cast member is Caucasian. I raised an eyebrow, because if memory serves me correct (I don’t trust it) I could have sworn there were at least one or two non-Caucasian main characters in the novel. Now I don’t want to delve into the controversial aspect of the discussion as to who should be cast for what role. I mean Hollywood has been creative as in the casting of Idris Elba in Thor (I mean the Norse are European), or in the casting of Rutina Wesley in True Blood (Tara was white, but heh love the change), but it seems to me that adding a little diversity to a cast shouldn’t be relegated to completely changing a story. That said, I began to wonder if the creating of all white, all black, Asian, etc. characters has more to do with the background of the author and not the story necessarily. I can’t remember who, I think it was Anne Rice, that stated some time ago that she writes what she knows as in she couldn’t relate to a black person from personal experience, so she writes from her perspective as a Caucasian woman. This has always made sense to me, but I wonder how many authors even have this thought process when they create characters. Personally, most of my main characters are black, because that’s what I know, but sometimes it’s purposeful such as the character Amelia Jones. I felt that in this genre we are rarely if ever exposed to a main character that is supernatural and non-white. So that’s the main reason I chose Amelia to be black even though my characters are ethnically diverse in general. How many other authors care about ethnic diversity when creating characters?

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