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It’s no secret that world at the moment seems like armageddon is upon us. It all started with a pandemic that took its toll on not only one nation, but the world. We were struck by restrictions I’ve never known. Being locked in your home, fear of being around friends and family, and watching the world lose people daily, was jarring.

Creatively, me, along with friends of mine have been struggling. When you’re constantly living in a world of fiction, seeing the world implode around you can be stifling. There have been days where writing has not come easy, and it’s been stressful to see what’s happening to people close and far.

But even in the turmoil, people have come together, we went into lockdown, we followed the rules (well, some of us), and yet, all we can do is wait. There are no quick fixes, and we have no control over how others treat the virus, but we can play our part, no matter how small it is.

We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race. – Kofi Annan Click To Tweet

As we spent our time getting used to COVID, we were hit with the horrors that America face and the BLM movement. It almost feels as if this year has decided to slam us painfully just for kicks. Watching what’s happening in the US, I’ve sat back and reflected on the journey South Africa had to deal with way back when Apartheid was running rampant through our country. Even though I didn’t live through it, my parents and grandparents did. But even after it ended, there were still lingering emotions. I was taken back to hearing racial slurs, and being eighteen, holding hands with my first boyfriend who was caucasian and being stared at, being told to find someone your own color. Knowing what my grandmother and granddad went through, and what my mother endured while South Africa was in the darkest days.

Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization. – Mahatma Gandhi Click To Tweet

As a child I was always taught we’re all human. We all bleed the same. We all hurt the same. When I think back to school, and my childhood, I knew that we weren’t the same on the outside, I was taught that even though we had different hair color, skin color, or our ancestry wasn’t the same, we have to love each other. And it hurts my heart to see such hate in the world.

Which brings me back to writing. Even though it’s been difficult, I’ve focused my energy on creating new stories, new worlds, new characters. And I hope these stories will show you how beautiful diversity can be.

Even though it’s been a tumultuous time in the world, I can only believe that out of this we’ll see change, in our community, in books, and in the way we treat each other. Even in our well-loved books there may be dark times, but love always wins in the end. And I hope that the world will heal from 2020, because it certainly isn’t a year we were expecting.

I hope wherever you are in the world, you’re safe, healthy, and you’re still falling in love with book boyfriends.